December 22, 2014
If I could write words that rhyme, I'd write an ode to Joanna Bourne. Lucky for you I can't.
What a great adventure this has been. Wow! I've just finished the last book in the Joanna
Bourne's Spymasters series, The Black Hawk. I cannot express my opinion in this matter strongly enough - if you haven't read this series yet, what are you waiting for? Pick this series up and read, read, read! I don't know if the Spymasters are done running around stopping those nefarious villains, but, I did check Ms. Bourne's website and I suspect she has more tales up her sleeves.
On to The Black Hawk. We are dealing with characters who are not pleasant people. Adrian Hawkhurst and Justine don't fit into our standard conception of a romantic couple. There are times when our couple is quite unsavory and do some very distasteful stuff. Hawkhurst and Justine have been continuing secondary characters in the previous books and now its time for their story to be told - along the way some loose threads from the other books are tied.
Even though this was a fairly dark book, the characters have a chance to exhibit an occasional glimpse of humor. We need that glimpse of fun because these people have to do some pretty unspeakable things to survive.
For those of you who are not fond of flashbacks, don't let that prevent you from picking this up. The flashbacks play an integral part in the compelling voice of the work. This story is a real gem. The Black Hawk was an epic of sorts. It covers the time period of 1794 to 1818, but don't groan too loud; this story wasn't close to the boredom of War and Peace. This was an exciting story, both in its romantic storyline and in the exploration of a couple of horrifying times in European history - the Reign of Terror in France and the Napoleonic War.
Justine and Hawk's relationship was fully developed and lush in its beauty. As you can imagine, considering there was a span of 25 years covered in this story, there was a great deal of change between our couple. I can't tell you too much about what happened in this story - I don't want to spoil it. However, there are murders to be solved, plots to be uncovered and villains to be caught. Through the flashbacks we watch two very complex characters grow, love, betray each other, and finally find their happy ending.
This is/was a wonderful book and the fantastic news for us is that it is part of one of the best series' I've read in a long time!
Time/Place: 1794-1818 England/France