Nowhere Was There Peace

December 25, 2013 Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

Nowhere Was There Peace three-half-stars
on 07/15/2013
Pages: 260
Format: eARC

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England, 1266 AD. Simon de Montfort is dead, butchered at the slaughter of Evesham, and England lies in ruins after years of civil war. Eager for revenge on his barons, King Henry III has disinherited all of de Montfort's surviving followers. The war is renewed as thousands of men are left with little choice but to snatch up their swords and fight to recover their stolen lands. Hugh Franklin, a humble mason's son from Southwark, is plunged into the eye of this storm when the Lord Edward, King Henry's son and heir, recruits him as a government agent. With the safety of his family at stake, Franklin must survive encounters with rebel knights, blood-hungry outlaws, and a beautiful Jewess as England crumbles in smoke and flame around him.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review by Travis Starnes

Set in the England of King Henry III, Nowhere Was There Peace follows a single man caught up the king’s struggle against the followers of Simon de Motfort.  This historical novel looks at the life of a peasant soldier in 1200s England and highlights some of the issues with the system of Feudalism.

I have read some of the history of England, but this is one time period I am unfamiliar with so I will be honest that it took a little time for me to get my bearings when reading this book.  That however isn’t a criticism of the book, as what history I do know of the time period matches up well with this book.

The character of Hugh Franklin, while a little overly stubborn at times, I found pretty well written.  He has a good backstory that is conveyed well by Pilling but not overly focused on; you get just the right amount to help flesh out the character.  I also liked the motivation given to Franklin and his actions all along the way completely make sense with the character as written.  Aside from Miriam, who is also fairly well written if a bit less sketched out, the rest of the cast however are a bit thin.    Nearly all the people Franklin runs into, on either side of the fight, and unpleasant and deplorable.  I get the author was trying to give the feeling of the time, but it does go a little overboard at times.  If you have one likable person in the form of Hugh Franklin, then you should encounter a few more.

The flow of the book is pretty good.  Although it did seem at times that the story meandered all over the place, the plot was not difficult to follow and I didn’t find myself wanting to put down the book because of this.  Pilling is a skilled writer and researcher and although the book takes a little time to get really going and it’s really hard to see where the story is heading at times it was still enjoyable to read.

Fans of medieval historical fiction or history readers looking for a little adventure will both find this a book worth picking up.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.3

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