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on September 3, 2011
After reading the first three books in the Morland dynasty, I couldn't wait to start this one. It started out promising but by the end I kept checking how close I was to being done. I felt a disconnect with this book and never felt like it was as engrossing and exciting as the others. None of the characters seemed to develop for me as they have previously. I usually feel like I know them inside and out; in this case I kept getting people confused because she jumped back and forth so much. I am starting on book 5 now. Fingers crossed it will be more like the first three books.
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on June 28, 2015
Great series of books. So well researched and extremely interesting. Thank God I wasn't born in those times!
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on September 8, 2012
I got a little confused this time with so many of the characters having the same name. I would like for the family tree to be clearer. I am really interested in the American branch now.
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on October 2, 2013
This author is amazing in bringing history to life. The characters jump off the pages with ease. I highly recommend it.
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on May 2, 2015
This is perhaps the best of the four Morland Dynasty novels I have read. It is set during the Civil War in England, beginning in 1630 and closing with the execution of Charles I in 1649. The history unfolds through the lives of various members of the Morland family who find themselves divided by their loyalties and forced along different paths, often at odds with those they love most. The fictional characters here are, on the whole, more engaging than in the previous novels, and through their stories, I began to have a far better understanding of what had transpired during these years.

To be sure, I had been taught about the Civil War in England, and of course I knew that Charles I had been beheaded by his political enemies. But in spite of this, I did not understand much about it, especially the causes of the war and reasons for such bitterness and extreme action. Viewing the history through the eyes of “real” people made it concrete and far more tragic than it had ever appeared during a high school/college lecture or in the pages of any history book I had read.

This book was worthwhile and I certainly will continue my journey through British history with the Morlands. There are at least 35 books in this series, so it will be a long journey for sure. If the accuracy of the history and the quality of the narrative continue, I most likely will as well.
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on November 9, 2007
During the clash between the armies of Charles 1 and the Commonwealth forces, lead by Oliver Cromwell, the Morland family followed their long tradition of being staunch supporters of the King. The ensuing time of strife that followed meant that the cream of the Morland men were killed in battle and that the times after that were made difficult and dangerous by the need to appear to conform to the Puritan code and the loss of a large portion of their fortune and lands through fines. Schisms form between father and son and husband and wife, separating sections of the family and even cause the beginning of the American branch of the Morlands settling in Virginia. It's a time of huge religious intolerance between different sects and, as usual, it's the poor and underpriveleged who suffer the most hardships. It's a great book 4 of this series which gives the reader a clear insight into the lives of a family in the 16th and 17th centuries.
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on June 7, 2006
In the fourth installment of the Morland dynasty books, the family are confronted with civil war, as king and parliament fight for control of England in the 1640s.

The civil war divides the family - Roundhead against Cavalier, Puritan against Catholic/Anglican. The family members are torn between family loyalty and individual conscience. As with previous books, the fortunes of the characters are well blended with actual historical people and events. The Morland heir Richard marries a Puritan, while his brother Kit fights for King Charles I and gives up his life at the battle of Marsden. Their cousins are sent to Virginia to claim land for the Morlands, and become American pioneers.

There is a large time gap between this book and the previous one "The Princeling". Characters that had just been born in the last few pages of book 3, are now middle aged adults with children of their own. It took some time to connect the current family members with those in the last book, but the family tree at the front was helpful.

This book also had more to offer than it's predecessor in terms of characters too. It wasn't just a series of births, death and marriages. The characters were individuals and tied to real events, something that was lacking in "The Princeling". In particular, the reclusive and mysterious cousin Ruth was a nice change to the line up. The Morlands have once again found their place at the forefront English historical fiction.
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Following "The Founding", "The Dark Rose" and "The Princeling", this is the fourth book in the MORLAND DYNASTY series.
After many years of peace and prosperity, the reign of Charles I brings brutal civil strife to England.
With their century-long history of fighting for what they consider a just cause, the Morland family is drawn inevitably into the bloody fighting. While the oldest son Ralph brings home a Puritan wife, thus creating a schism between himself and his father, his younger brother Kit joins the Royalist cavalry under Prince Rupert. Before leaving for the war, Kit marries his cousin Hero, thus making a lifelong enemy of Hero's brother Hamil. When the two cousins meet during the war, albeit fighting on the same side, the death of one seems inevitable.
There are so many more stories in the book concerning the various branches of the Morlands that it is impossible to go into more detail. For the first time, the author includes Colonial America in the story, telling of the desperate struggle of a young couple to survive in a harsh New World.
The characters are believable and the stories, which have been well researched, are full of rich historical detail. I simply could not stop reading until I reached the last page and then I rushed on to the next book. I have read the first six books in the series and have not yet been disappointed.
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on March 27, 2014
This book - and the entire Morland Dynasty series - are incredible! This is the second time for reading the 35 book series and I love it! My daughter has read them all too and is rereading.
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