Master of His Fate

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

I loved the story and the beginning of a new series from an all time favorite author. 

The characters are refreshingly strong and modern for their time period. I enjoyed knowing them and look forward to seeing their humble beginnings turn larger and successful.
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I always look forward to books by this author.
This book did not disappoint! There are great characters, & a time in history I love reading about. When it ended I was upset! I wanted more. I will look forward to the next book.
I hope it doesn’t take too long!’
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I never read any Barbara Taylor Bradford book even if I knew about her.
This was a great discovery! The book is well reaserched, well written, really enjoyable and entertaining.
I loved descriptions of the historical setting, the cast of characters and the plot.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for this ARC
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I don't write books for reviews. The author has already done that. BTB is a favorite author.
Her books always keep my interest.
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This is the first book in the House of Falconer Series by Barbara Taylor Bradford.   A great historical fiction story based in Victorian England.  There was definitely a class system there and a wide divide between rich and poor.   Complex characters, secrets, tragedies and plenty of drama.  A compelling story that I read as a reader copy via Net Galley and voluntarily chose to write a review.  The book started off a little slow but otherwise a good beginning to the series.
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Either it's been too long and I've forgotten, or my tastes have changed a lot, but I felt like I've read much more interesting things by this author while reading this book? The story felt very flat and boring as I was reading and there was nothing exciting, nothing that made me want to keep reading - I only did it because of the engagement I had, to give the review. There were so many characters to keep track of, which this I do remember being something the author likes doing, but it was pretty annoying and it didn't help that it was an ecopy that I had and going back and forth to keep track of who is who was a bloody pain. And honestly, I don't even remember how it had started out by this point.

I mean, other people might enjoy definitely but didn't work for me.
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Master of Fate introduces readers to the House of Falconer and James Falconer in particular. This is the first book in a series et in Victorian England. James Falconer is a teenager as the book begins, and a young professional when the book ends. Other members of the Falconer family are introduced, as are other peripheral characters who it is expected will tie in with James and the Falconer family as the series progresses. This book on its own is rather dry, but that is likely due to the stage being set for future books. I look forward to the next book.
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When my children were young enough for me to be still suffering from baby brain I read and enjoyed "A Woman of Substance". I was surprised to see that Barbara Taylor Bradford is still publishing novels so thought I would give this one a try, courtesy of an ARC from Netgalley and St Martins Press.

I wonder if BTB herself wrote it. It is phenomenally badly written. Every conversation is stilted and expository. Some of the language is oddly anachronistic - I'm sure Victorians did not describe themselves as chuffed and I'm not convinced that the term "mesmerise" would have been in wide use at the time the novel is set. The characters are wooden in the extreme and the plot is banal.

If you have an interest in Victorian fashion - male and female - there are lengthy passages describing the characters' clothing and quite a lot of attention is paid to interior decor. But I can find little else to recommend this book. If family sagas are your thing, Ken Follett does it much better.
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It's 1884, Victorian England.  We meet James Falconer, a young man whose greatest desire is to be a merchant.  Not quite as simple as it sounds, for his desire is to own several shopping arcades and be the head of a large retail store such as Fortnum and Mason, a luxury department store (which is still going strong today).  He is much loved by his family, adored by his grandparents and has a good head on his shoulders.  How will he meet these goals, we have to read on and then find out as the series continues!

As we read further, we meet Alexis Malvern, 25 years old, an only child, she works for her father who is wealthy and successful in the world of retail.  Vowing never to marry, she falls head over heels in lover with a man who is 15 years her senior and one of her friend's father.  There again, time will tell what twists and turns Alexis will take.

Set in the late 1800's we are taken into a different time, different century.  Life was not easy for the poor and unbelievably grand for the rich.  I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the Victorian era.

So there you have it, not quite in a nutshell because there is more to this story that I have read, but now it's the turn of others to enjoy these pages.  I will say, however, there were not many prudes in the Victorian era as one would think, or at least in what is written here by Ms. Bradford.  It has been a long time since I have read one of her books with "A Woman of Substance" being my favorite.  I do not deem it necessary to compare these two, suffice it to say  "Woman.....: is still my favorite.  This book was a comfortable read and the first in a series.  It will be interesting to see how the series advances.

My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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"Master of His Fate" begins a new historical fiction series. We begin with James Falconer as a boy- already he has big dreams. He currently helps his merchant father to sell wares at the market, and he absolutely loves what he does. He dreams of owning a big shop and stores to sell wares when he is older. With an idyllic, loving family and grandparents (seriously, Hallmark quality interactions), James is already on the right path for success.

Next, we meet Alexis Malvern. Her father owns a trading business and has raised her to take over for him (breaking the mold of the time). She's intelligent, quick-witted, and independent. In fact, she is so independent that she has decided she will not marry and have to worry about her husband's potential issues. Although her father worries that his business will then never be passed through her family, he loves her so much that he supports her in all things. Alexis is starting a charity for women with abusive husbands where they can escape to get on their feet. 

Between these two characters, following their lives becomes intriguing. I was much more pulled into Alexis's life at the start as James and his family just didn't feel quite real. However, over time, James really grew on me. For lovers of historical fiction and Jane Austen-era/style writing, I think this will be a big hit! Be ready to be pulled into the lives of these individuals and their amazing families.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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Great storyline, with a really good mix of characters. The story of James Falconer is really interesting with him growing up as a barrow boy but with the dream of working in his own arcades. His grandparents willing to help him with his dream.

Then the side story of Alexis who is career minded and not interested in men and marriage until she meets Sebastian and then here world is changed upside down. 

Really good concept, pleasure to read, the storyline flows really nicely.
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Barbara Taylor Bradford has done it again! This first novel of her new series features two compelling stories, and you won't figure out how in the world they will converge until a couple of pages until the end of the book. If you like steamy family dramas, this one's for you.
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Master of His Fate is the first book in a new historical series.  Barbara Taylor Bradford does not disappoint in her new book. James Falconer a young man who is helping his father in their merchants stall in the martket place. James has bigger dreams though. He is a very smart young man and will go very far. Thank you to Netgalley and St Martins Press for giving me the oppurtunity to read this book.
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Brief synopsis from the book cover:
Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father’s market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. James quickly rises through the ranks, proving himself to be both hardworking and trustworthy, catching the eye of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. But when threats against his reputation – and his life - begin to emerge, James will have to prove that he truly is the master of his fate.
Through scandal and romance, tragedy and triumph, the Falconer and Malvern family’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways in this expansive and intricately detailed new novel filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford's trademark cast of compelling characters.
My rating:
Story: 5 out of 5 stars
Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Character development: 5 out of 5 stars
Overall:  5 out of 5 stars

Review:
I have read most of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books and this is one didn’t fall short. It has everything a good book needs. It is well written, an interesting story line with the right amount of intrigue and suspense that captures you and makes it hard to put the book down. Set in Victorian England which makes it interesting read from a historical perspective. The characters are strong and well depicted this makes it easy to step into their shoes and it doesn’t take much effort to like them. Defiantly worth a read! I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley at no cost to me.
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In this Historical Novel we begin a new series regarding Merchants and the Aristocracy in 1880's England. There is quite a difference in culture between the two classes. Although things are becoming a bit closer as the Aristocracy is facing troubling times in a declining agricultural economy that is bringing a strong fiscal downturn that endangers their style of living.

In this new series of novels we will be introduced to the Malvern and Travelian families who have a high standard of living based upon their financial acumen. We will also meet the Falconer family who are in the lower level of the trade business as well as as household servants. The two classes are fairly far apart, but they do have some overlap.

This story revolves around James Falconer a young man who is helping his father by attending to their merchants stall in the marketplace. But James has high goals for himself to rise to the level of owning a complete Marketplace of his own where others have their stalls. The easiest comparison would be that he wants to own what we today would think of as a shopping mall, as well as owning "The Anchor" store for that mall.

James is highly intelligent and quite capable for a teenager. We will follow his rise in business as he makes great strides towards his goal.

Then there is Alexis Malvern. The daughter of an owner of a vast Trading Business. Her father has built quite the business. But he has no son. So, one day his business will pass along to his daughter (something unusual for this time). Alexis is quite intelligent and capable. But she has one small issue. She doesn't want to marry. It's not that she doesn't like men, but she just doesn't feel the need to have a man in her life and most men are suspect of wanting her for her money.

Barbara Taylor does a great job of drawing words pictures for us of the culture of England during the late 1800's. She also brings a story of many lives and situations together that eventually tie everything up in a nice neat bow. There is business, mystery, romance and intrigue. While this is not a barn burner of a story it has a very appealing quality to it that draws you in and keeps you reading. It left me with a strange desire to want to follow along as the characters grow. So, with that said, I'm looking forward to the second installment in the series.

Enjoy reading.
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Great writing with amazing characters! I can not wait for book 2 in the series! I love historical fiction and this one does not disappoint. I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. All opinions are my own.
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I am not sure exactly what went wrong with this piece of historical fiction for me, but it failed to capture my interest in any meaningful way.  This was a surprise for me as Victorian times usually are a time that interests me.  The character of James Falconer proved to be less than compelling to me too.  All this meant that at 35% I gave up on reading further.  This might just be me feeling rather out of sorts and not in the mood.  Shame as I had had been so looking forward to it.
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Master of His Fate is the first book in a new historical saga by the amazingly talented Barbara Taylor Bradford. 

This story is set in Victorian England and the writing was superb. This book is a winner! This will be on everyone's TBR! 

Great read!!!
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Very well written as are all of the author's books, could not put it down after I started reading it. Highly recommended.
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I'm a big fan of Barbara Taylor Bradford and this book did not disappoint!
This novel transports you to Victorian England where you follow a very charming, likeable main character. 
I think this book will be liked by all of BTBs fans, well worth a read.
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