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Captives & Kings by Craig & Janet Parshall

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Captives & Kings
by Craig & Janet Parshall

Reviewed by April Gardner

"...a must read for lovers of deeply historical fiction."

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

When the fifth of November rolls around here in jolly ole’ England, the bonfires and fireworks in every town and village help to do just that—remember.

As an American, you might need a bit more than a reminder of what happened in London, on November 5th, 1605. If you have seen the movie “V for Vendetta” you probably have a cursory understanding of the foiling of Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I.

But for a more detailed telling of the story, I recommend “Captives and Kings,” book two in The Thistle and the Cross series by Craig and Janet Parshall. This historical novel kicks off with Guy Fawkes skulking in the cellar of the Palace of Westminster, checking and rechecking his barrels of gun powder and fuses.

I will leave the re-telling of history to the Parshalls. They do an excellent job. However, permit me to introduce you to the fictional characters.

Phillip Mackenzie, Scotsman and wayward brother, is accurately linked to the fuses that were to ignite the gun powder. Will he face the rack, or will he make it aboard a ship bound for the New World in time to save himself?

Phillip’s son Peter has given his heart to the lovely Rose Heatherton but is forced to relinquish their love or risk her life by association.

Andrew Mackenzie, brother of the fuse-maker, is an ambitious yet godly aide to King James. The rift between he and his brother seems impossible to mend, but that is the least of his worries. Being related to the traitor is enough to expel him from his work on the translation of the Bible authorized by King James. But will his enemies stop there? And what of the new plot against the Crown?

“Captives and Kings” is a must-read for lovers of deeply historical fiction. It is weighty in its content and moves a bit slow. But if that doesn’t bother you, then go for it. You’ll gain a barrel-full of knowledge about the 1600’s English governmental system, the translation of the KJV, and even the New World, which at that time was still a virtually unknown land. The possible reasons for the disappearance of the Colony of Roanoke are also mentioned and explored, which I found fascinating.

While it might lack some in pacing, “Captives and Kings” is still a very good read and one that I recommend.

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.