First of all I want to thank the publisher for making a review copy of this book available to me in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
This is a sweeping saga of the life of Lady Caterina Tabor. It takes place in a period of time when Kings and Kingdoms come and go because of the feuding over lands, people and wealth. Caterina's mother is Italian by heritage and a "healer" by gifting. She is able to produce medicines from herbs that are helpful in the healing of man and beast. Unfortunately during this period of history a woman with this gift was often thought of as a "witch," especially in France. The penalty was death by burning at the stake.
Lord Tabor was a professional soldier who served the King or Queen of England. He was Catholic. But at this time the Queens of England (there are two vying for the throne) are different, one a Catholic the other a Protestant. Even though Lord Tabor serves well if the wrong Queen is on the throne he will not find favor in her court.
Lord Tabor takes his family with him when he goes off to war, thus Caterina sees the devastation of war up close, learns healing techniques and also learns battle tactics from her parents.
Our story starts with her being sent back to England to get her out of danger. She is captured by a Scottish Lord and taken to Scotland where she will begin the first of three "Era's" in her life. She is a tenacious woman, one that is not borne to bend under the strong hand of any man. She is also a woman who is born to be "as a queen" in both her temperament and upbringing.
The story will go from Scotland to England to Italy. It will involve several Kings and Kingdoms as well as plenty of war and intrigue that brings changes to a families life often.
The story will also deal greatly with the sickness and healing that must take place during this time. Sickness takes many without regard to station in life or age. The devastation to a family can be terrible.
This is a Saga because it takes long to develop, covers Lady Caterina's full life and covers at least three different Kingdoms that rise and fall. It is not a "gripping" novel that has plenty of action. Instead it is a "thoughtful" novel that deals with reality and with the emotions and personalities of the people involved. It is a great study in the character of people.
Once started you will be drawn into the story and be anxious to see how it ends, that is what will keep you reading. It is long, it is a bit slow at times, but it is well worth the read and thoughtful contemplation.
There is also a "readers guide" at the end of the book to allow book clubs to have some time to think, meditate and then discuss the many themes developed in the book.