Is it chance that brings Fay and Persephone together?
Or is it the restless and malevolent spirit who stalks them both?
Once rivals, they must now unite if they are to survive the mysterious trail of roses they are forced to follow into a dangerous, war torn past.
The Rose Trail is a time slip novel set in both the present day and during the English Civil War. The complex story weaves through both eras with a supernatural thread.
Way back in 2015, I interviewed Alex Martin after I’d read her first books: http://bit.ly/2iVUaxK. And then again in 2016, http://bit.ly/2itOdaz (when she was part of the Tenby book fair: now evolved into the Narberth Book Fair: (http://bit.ly/2iiW8HW ). I have enjoyed all her work and I must admit I was looking forward to reading The Rose Trail, expecting the same genre.
It’s not! But the strong writing style that makes this author’s book instantly recognisable is there throughout. And just as fascinating. This is a story that moves through two time zones, starting off in the present day and then woven into the period of the English Civil War. It’s dark, haunting and riveting and moves a a good steady place with the occasional revelation that shocks the reader.
As usual Alex Martin has researched well; the settings, the descriptions give an evocative sense of place
The characters are well rounded and believable. Fay could be a protagonist that elicits pity, yet her courage and fortitude soon become evident. And Percy; for me it was dislike on sight but then an unwilling sympathy. Until, I admitted to myself that she was actually a decent person. See? I’m talking about them as thought they’re real. Which, to me is a sign of empathetic writing. And the two brothers, Will and Ralph in the juxtaposed historical story become just as believable with the wrangling in both their political and personal lives.
The dialogue, both as spoken and as internal thoughts, of all the characters reads naturally. There are no irritating lines where I wasn’t sure who was speaking.
If there was one small constructive criticism I’d have it would be with some of those parts of the book that deal with the civil war combat scenes. I found myself skipping through them. Though I have to confess, some of the dark ‘ghostly’ scenes, I stopped to re-read again. perhaps this says more about me as a reader than anything else!
So, as with all the other books that Alex Martin has written, I really enjoyed The Rose Trail and have no hesitation in recommending this novel.