It’s that time of week, again, and time for another First Impressions Friday. For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.
“Mallory Bright is the only daughter of London’s master locksmith. For her there is no lock too elaborate, no secret too well kept. Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster and protector of Queen Elizabeth – the last of the Tudor monarchs – and her realm, is quick to realise Mallory’s talent and draws her into his world of intrigue, danger and deception. With her by his side, no scheme in England or abroad is safe from discovery; no plot secure.
But Mallory’s loyalty wavers when she witnesses the execution of three Jesuit priests, a punishment that doesn’t fit their crime. When Mallory discovers the identity of a Catholic spy and a conspiracy that threatens the kingdom, she has to make a choice – between her country and her heart.
Mallory, however, carries her own dark secrets and is about to learn those being kept from her – secrets that could destroy those she loves.
Once Sir Francis’s greatest asset, Mallory is fast becoming his worst threat … and everyone knows there’s only one way Sir Francis deals with those.
I’ve been slowly savouring THE LOCKSMITH’S DAUGHTER, by Karen Brooks, for the last few days. Savouring being the optimal word here. This is a dense, descriptively written story that the author asks us to take our time with, and yes, savour each and every word. It’s the kind of book you don’t rush, or skip through because you’ll miss all the rich detail that Brooks weaves into a fabulous Elizabethan tapestry that has you absorbed from the very first page … I’ve just finished page 405!
This is a first-person POV narrated by the lead character: Mallory Bright (named after Sir Thomas Malory, author of Morte D’Arthur — and you’ll see why if you read The Locksmith’s Daughter for yourself.) A character I fell in love with from the first few pages I began reading. This young woman has been through the mincemeat grinder and fallen from grace but, as the story unfolds we see how she manages to not only find herself, but find reasons to live again, and with a purpose. And oh boy, what a purpose! So perfectly plausible and so cleverly crafted.
Hopefully, by the end of today, I will have finished this book and I just know it’s going to score high, I might even give this one the highest rating I’ve ever given a novel. The whole story, premise, the characters and their plight—set in Elizabethan England near the end of Elizabeth’s reign—have not only captured my imagination, but blown me away. The clever twists; two of which I never saw coming, really added so much depth to an already cleverly written story.
I cannot shout it out enough just how much I love this book and the characters, and how sad I’ll be to finish it. To the author I say, Karen Brooks, you nailed this one and then some!