Book Review: Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory

This is the third book in the Fairmile series and so far, it is the icing on the cake. Considering the fact that it ended in a cliffhanger- ish way, I would not be surprised if there is a follow up to this book and I will be glad for it.

From the first chapter, I was captivated with how the author placed a native American “slave girl” at the center of the story and weaving a very complicated tale of love and survival. It sort of reminded me of one of my favorite books in the author’s ‘Tudor Series’ titled ‘The Queens Fool’.

Primarily, set in 17th century England with a Roman Catholic King on the throne, the story is rich with history as we travel across continents from the Americas and then to the island of Barbados during the sugarcane boom and when slave trade was at its peak. We meet the characters we love and hate once again as they navigate through these difficult times. I was glad Alinor had some sort of happy ending if I can call it that, but I am still curious as to why the author still kept Livia as powerful and wicked as she was.

This book was such as treat, and it kept me on my toes until the end. I can’t explain how much I loved it. I would highly recommend it to all historical fiction lovers, but it may be more enjoyable if you have read the first two books in the series. Can’t wait for another release by the author.

Rating: 5 Stars

Published: Published November 8th 2022 by Atria Books (first published November 2022)

Pages: 512

Genre: Historical Fiction


The Author:

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author. Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings. Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells. A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website.


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