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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 325
Genre: Historical Fiction

Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*

After taking my AP European History class I figured that I only like learning about history when I'm not getting tested on it. It's like reading a book that's assigned to me, I can't do it and I learn to hate the book with a passion because of it. So, historical fiction happens to be a nice walk in the park because I get two things in one: history and an intersting story in a novel to read on my downtime.

The Wicked and the Just does a wonderful job with the setting in 13th century England--the home life that the main characters struggle with and sort of define them and even the backgrounds, family, and social status. You also get a taste of the high and low social class: Cecily the nobility and Gwenhwyfar, her servent. The alternating point of views gives a conflicting and dueling narrative between the two and gives insight between the thoughts, feelings, and coralation between the two in the English setting.

I respsect the mindset to keep the history strong when dictating to the reader and keep the historical nature prominant in the novel but The Wicked and the Just gives a deary and slow start, I found myself skimming at some parts until things start to pick up later into the novel. Not only that but the attitiude and irritability, the immaturity and spoiled nature of Cecily agitated me while reading. I constantly abhored her narrative whenever it was her turn in the novel. She was one character that I could have lived without reading.

For those who enjoy history, definitely take time to pick up this novel becuase it will not disappoint, but do be wary of snobby, abhorrent Cecily because she can only really be taken in small doses.

First Line: Tonight at supper, over capon and relish, my father ruined my life.
Story: B
Cover: B


ashelynn hetland said...

I actually don't really like historical fiction, despite loving to learn about history... and I have NO IDEA why I don't like reading historical fiction. Non-fiction? Sign. Me. UP. I guess I'm just a strange child. ;D

I do love the first line (love that you include it!), and I am really intrigued by this one after your review... hm. May have to see if the library will get it and see if I'll like this one. great review!

Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

Cindy said...

I like historical fiction and can say that a snobby character is always expected. I think I would enjoy this and will check it out. Great review :)

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