The prologue first got me quite interested in what was going to happen in this novel. Set in the 1500s it was an interesting beginning, at the end of the prologue it made me want to see who this woman was the man was talking about.
Unfortunately it did tether out in excitement a bit. I can see what the author was doing. Creating a picture of both sides of the coin – that of the Spanish and the Dutch. I would have preferred little bit less detail about their everyday life.
I did enjoy the voice of the character, as I prefer novels that are written in the first-person. And you get a real sense of what life was like in the 1500s, especially before the war and during the war.
However, if you persevere through some of the earlier chapters to get the back story, it will be worth the wait. As the story grows, and tells of the young women who sought revenge because of the atrocities done to people around them.
The historical aspect of this novel is detailed and well-researched.
The novel picking up as the stark reality of the fact that women will have to kill themselves, or face rape or torture by the hands of the Spanish. The desperation of the entire township can be felt, some even turning on each other. The brutality is shown on both sides as it is clearly shown what happens to traitors.
This novel displays the strong female characters, how their strength and courage over-shadows that of a man’s. The group of women that remains fearless.
It is quite a depressing ending to the novel, but depicts the hard reality of war. Although I felt the novel could have moved faster, there are a lot of historical aspects to the novel that would fascinate a lot of people, especially those that did not know much about the Dutch revolution against the Spanish in 1570s, like myself.
Although many of the characters are fictitious, one of the main characters does have some historical backing, and the author does highlight her major role in the revolution and the politics of that township. She depicts an inspirational character, as back in those days it was very rare to see women fighting or being a major part in any military tactics.
People that enjoy historical fiction will certainly find this novel very informative. And of course, it’s always nice to see that it is not the hero that is the main focus, but the heroines.
4 out of 5 stars