I love history. Add in a good story from an excellent fiction writer and you have me sold. Hazel West crafted a wonderful story in On a Foreign Field.
Youíve heard of William Wallace. Yes, this book is about him. No, heís not the main character. This book is more about the people who followed Wallace including Reeve, an English soldier, who was able to step back and see the bloody reality of war.
I have to admit that I normally do not like a ton of narrative. I like lots of dialogue mixed in. Ms. West is not one to do that. At first, I was expecting to be frustrated with a slow paced story, but that proved incorrect. Ms. West kept me completely interested as I read faithfully from page to page. The large amount of narrative was important and kept the story moving along instead of bogging it down.
To be honest, the fact that the main character is not William Wallace drew me in. This is a story of a man who started out hating the leader and would have struck him down but for the problem of being honorable. Itís a story of courage, inner struggles, a little love, decisions, and brotherhood.
Ms. Westís writing style is engaging and designed to keep the readerís attention. Her attention to detail is amazing. I found myself on the battlefield with the swords clanging around my head and the arrows shooting past me in a blur. I could actually look down and see the blood flow on the battlefield. That is good writing. But most of all her characters are real. They all have flaws. They are all struggling with something, but they all love and hate with a passion. These characters can be related to which is not always easy for a writer.
I do need to warn you that the battle scenes are graphic. They are not as graphic as Iím sure a move of this could make it, but from a readerís point of view, Ms. West does not back down from blood and the truth of war. It is not a pretty site.
Ms. West is one of the most talented authors I have read. Her words draw you in and put right there in the midst of the battle between England and Scotland. You walk away actually thinking you have met the legendary William Wallace. This takes a lot of talent.
I highly recommend this historical fiction book if like history. If you are a William Wallace fan, get a look at him from a different perspective.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides