Saturday, 24 November 2012

What catches the attention?

When it comes to writing a review for another author, or reading reviews of my own novels, it's clear that they can vary such a lot. In general, though, there needs to be something in the novel that all readers latch on to. 
What would you say is the common aspect in these clipped pieces from reviews of THE BELTANE CHOICE? 
'Full of sensual descriptions and evocative vocabulary, ‘The Beltane Choice’ explores the role of a strong, determined female in a patriarchal culture. Nancy Jardine’s disciplined prose expresses sexual repression and dramatic tension in its well-focussed narrative. I was fascinated by the reconstruction of Celtic tribal life, leaving me wanting to discover more about the culture and beliefs.' Jeff Gardiner
‘The plight of captives in the ancient world is shown well, as is the looming threat of Rome to the free Celtic peoples.’ Lyndsay Townsend

‘Impeccable prose, suitably matched to the times of turbulent Roman Britain, marches the story towards a fitting political and personal conclusion - but not without some satisfying twists.’ Jane Bwye

‘Nancy Jardine weaves an intriguing plot with very interesting colorful secondary characters. The writing is brilliant and I found myself totally immersed in the ancient Celtic world. She has certainly used a lot of historical research and authentic details for her storyline. The very dramatic context and romantic conflict are skillfully combined. The dialogs are fantastic and the phrasing is so original it gives the characters’ speech a sense of genuine authenticity.

The wonderful descriptions have both captured my mind and fuelled my imagination. Ms. Jardine made me feel as though I had been transported to Northern Britannia of those troubled and perilous times. What a fabulous book! I give it 5 stars.’ Black Tulip

‘The Beltane Choice sweeps you back to when northern Britain was claimed by Celtic tribes who successfully banded together over time to drive back the unrelenting Roman Army. The love story of Lorcan and Nara is as wild as that untamed land and as sweet as heather mead. Nancy Jardine creates vivid settings and real characters you care about from page one. Loved this book!’ Kate Robbin

 ‘The sights, sounds, smells, homes, festivals and clothes of first century Scotland came to life for me and I warmed to the characters, especially grumpy old Tully. It made me want to find out more about what happened to those communities when the Romans came marching across the land.’ Kim Walker

‘Ancient history is the least genre that I would be interested to read but when I started reading The Beltane Choice, it has actually caught my attention and has changed my perspective. Nancy has successfully turned the past era to the present time and she made it more livable for the readers. The flow of the story is engaging and riveting; the characters are realistic and have definitely fulfilled its purpose.’ Lynn Bardo

‘The historical side is meticulously researched (it is set in Northern Britain in 71 AD, against the background of the Roman invasion) and has, at its heart the paradox of a conflict between conflicts (on the one hand, the inter-tribal conflicts that had riven British societies for centuries and, on the other, the conflict with the Roman invader that requires those societies to come together. As such, it combines a very human and personal story with a very believable vision of Late Iron Age society in Northern Britain.’ Mark Patton

 ‘I was riveted by this story of the Celts indigenous to the area of southern Scotland and northern England - not too much has been written about this turbulent time for the tribes, the Roman invasion.’ Mary Rose Caslin

‘The Celtic period in which this novel is set adds an extra dimension for readers who like history.’ Sceptic Meg

‘The book was set in a very interesting historical period and the author used this to her advantage’ Specs and Ginger

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