From Publishers Weekly
Kent doesn't disappoint in this prequel to The Heretic's Daughter, taking readers back to Massachusetts before the Salem witch trials as strong-willed 23-year-old Martha Allen falls in love with strong-armed hired hand Thomas Carrier. Rumor has it that Thomas, while living in England under another name, played a role in the execution of King Charles I. Now both he and Martha work for Martha's cousin on her farm and are brought together with a little help from the wolves stalking the farm. But after Thomas saves Martha from a wolf attack, he discovers wild animals are not the only dangers lurking in the Massachusetts woods: assassins have arrived from London to capture Charles I's executioner, said to be living outside Boston under an assumed name. Kent weaves in references to her first novel while creating an immersive stand-alone where Old World corruption clashes with New World opportunity; London bustles as civilization is carved out of the Massachusetts wilderness; and colonial self-reliance contrasts with dealing for favors in Restoration England. Kent brings colonial America to life by poking into its dark corners and finding its emotional and personal underpinnings. (Nov.) (c)
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This prequel to Kent’s The Heretic’s Daughter (2008) focuses on the early life of outspoken, tart-tongued Martha Allen, from whom the author is descended. Set in seventeenth-century Massachusetts, the novel finds the still-unmarried 23-year-old Martha being sent to live with her cousins as a domestic. Once there, she finds herself intrigued by a hired man named Thomas Carrier. A Welshman, he is the tallest man she has ever seen and one of the most taciturn. But when he saves her from two marauding wolves, intrigue turns to attraction. But other wolves—human ones this time—may pose an even greater danger to the two. Who is Thomas, in fact? What part might he have played in the overthrow and beheading of England’s Charles I? And why have a clutch of dangerous assassins come from England in search of him? An example of the currently popular genre-blender, the book is part historical fiction, part romance, and part suspense. Skillfully meshing these various elements, the author’s latest effort is bound to please fans of each. --Michael Cart