Cover Image: Dawnlands

Dawnlands

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This book really does a great job at describing and letting the reader know what the time period was like.

This book follows a lot of different characters and all with there very different perspectives.  They were hard to keep track of at times, but enough description was given to help out.

I really likes following Rowan's part of the story.  Ned saves her from slavery and she travels with him under the disguise of a boy.  Her native culture shows through in her character in many parts in the book.  Her story eventually takes you to Barbados and you learn all the slavery atrocities that go on there.

This book is well written and very descriptive to help feel a part of the time period.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ARC for my honest review.
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Fairdale series book 3, Dawnlands, is set in the later Stuart years, with awful, conniving Livia placed next to Queen Mary Beatrice. From here, she stirs the pot for the extended Reekie clan. Matthew, her son, fostered by the Reekies, is growing up, and at her command. Alinor is growing old, and returns to Foulmere, a gift from the Queen to Livia to Matthew. Sensible Alys continues to be the only rational family member, while Ned travels from New England back to England to stand against the King, bringing with him an indigenous girl who is loyal to the end. 

The Reekie clan keeps on keeping on, in slaveholder Barbados, in William of Orange's army, and on the Lindon wharves. This great book can't be the end of the series; we have more to learn and love about the family, who will stick together no matter what.
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"The "superb" (People) Fairmile series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory continues as the fiercely independent Alinor and her family find themselves entangled in palace intrigue and political upheaval in 17th-century England.

It is 1685 and England is on the brink of a renewed civil war. King Charles II has died without an heir and his brother James is to take the throne. But the people are bitterly divided, and many do not welcome the new king or his young queen. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister, Alinor, that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant, Rowan, to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor and her daughter Alys, have been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.

Alinor's son is determined to stay clear of the war, but, in order to keep his own secrets in the past, Livia traps him in a plan to create an imposter Prince of Wales - a surrogate baby to the queen.

From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before."

New Philippa Gregory!?! YAS!
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This latest installment of the Fairmile series delivers all the palace intrigue we've come to expect from Philippa Gregory.
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I've enjoyed all 15 of the Plantagenet and Tudor collection written by Philippa Gregory, and when I learned she'd begun writing a new series based on mostly fictional characters, I was intrigued. Book 1 was great, while book 2 was just average. But this last one is the best of the three. My only issue was the sudden death of two characters that deserved a little more focus in the end. That said, the various generations of this family are amazing, and I'm loving the growth and substance standing alongside them. I hope there is another book.

*Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria books for this e-arc.*
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Overall: I loved Philippa Gregory’s series about the wives of Henry VIII (The Other Boleyn Girl is the best-known) and her series about the Wars of the Roses (The Cousins’ War series). She’s deservedly one of the top authors of historical fiction about England, and her latest series, Fairmile, takes on the reign of the Stuarts. Dawnlands, the third book, can be read as a stand-alone novel, as its events take place 15 years after those of the second book, and Gregory provides plenty of background information, but it’s best read as a continuation of the series.

Likes: The research is impeccable. I learned about transportation of prisoners: King James II sold people captured during the uprisings of the 1680s to Caribbean plantations for periods of indenture (usually 10 years) as their punishment, which I didn’t know much about prior to reading this book. The book does not shy away from how slavery and the slave economy became interwoven with many different lives and industries in England. Even otherwise sympathetic characters, like Alys and Alinor, make bags of tea for the slave ships, and the book contains a section about the brutality of life on the plantations of Barbados. The reader returns to the court with the character of Livia in attendance on Queen Mary Beatrice; Gregory shines when describing high-level political intrigue and the pressure on royal women to produce an heir. One of the characters, Rowan, is one of the People of the Dawnlands, the Pokanoket of New England; although the advance copy I received did not contain an author’s note, the second book in the series has details about Gregory’s extensive research and her gratitude to the members of the Pokanoket Nation who shared their history and helped shape the Pokanoket characters.

Dislikes: There is a lot going on – it can be hard to keep track of everyone at times. I’m not sure the introduction of two young women from Italy added much to the book. And the question of a character’s parentage combined with the machinations around his betrothal became unnecessarily complex, in my opinion.

FYI: violence, imprisonment, slavery, infertility, difficult pregnancy, infidelity
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The third in the Fairmile series, I was excited to read this because I've mostly read historical fiction centered on royalty, so I was really interested to see a new perspective from that timeframe. This book sadly didn't really do it for me, and I found myself largely skimming toward the end. Ah well, thanks anyway @netgalley and @atriabooks for the early copy!
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I will say, I did like the parts of the book that got into how the drama at court, and potential and actual uprisings, affected normal people. It was certainly interesting to see the characters who ranged from not caring in the least to those who felt so strongly as to take up arms. I found it interesting to see their reasoning, how much religion vs politics played into it. But this didn't come up all that much in the book--mostly in the beginning and the very end. 
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The rest of the book...not that much happens. And for a book lacking on plot, there's really not much character development either. The majority of the characters are pretty one-dimensional so you can absolutely predict what is going to happen with all of them. 
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There are also a lot of characters to keep track of over multiple generations--if you hadn't just recently read the previous book in the series, I could see this being tough to keep track of. *The Barbados chapters were also interesting and unique, but I didn't find Rowan as a character particularly compelling and the storylines surrounding her all ended up being very simplistic. 
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This ends in a way that suggests a fourth book is possible, but I think I'll skip that.
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Thank you NetGalley for the electronic ARC in exchange for a my honest review, 

I’m a Philippa Gregory Fan and adore Historical Fiction so I was excited to read the Fairmile Series. I loved the first book Tidelands and the second book Dark Tides was okay but this third book Dawnland is Fantastic, probably my favorite of the three. As the first book leaves you with an cliffhanger so does the third book so I’m hoping that what I read about this being a 3 book series is not true and there will be more in the  Fairmile series!!!

As expected Gregory’s writing is craftily written with excellently developed characters untwined in Historical facts but what is different in this series is how she intertwines the main characters who are fictional around Historical accurate characters and facts. 
 
She weaves a wonderful story that includes English and American history with the beginning of the fall of the Stuarts, The Glorious Revolution and War, Slavery including African Slaves and Native American Slaves taken to the Barbados slave Islands and the Sugarcane  plantations. I’m so impressed the author included accurate Indigenous Americans enslaved as it is rarely mentioned or glossed over. Thank you Ms. Gregory! 

It is 1685 and all the characters we love or love to hate are back including Ailnor Reekie, Ned Ferryman, Alys and Rowan and of course Livia  is back and still up to her trickster antics. Royal intrigue and family drama pursues with clever twist and turns!  This one is a page turner! If you haven’t read this series yet get cracking  so you can Grab this one ASAP! 

I throughly enjoyed it and fingers crossed there will be more coming for this series!! I felt Gregory left it wide open for a fourth book!!  FINGERS CROSSED!
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Thank you to NetGalley for the advance ecopy of this title. This is the third installment of Gregory's Fairmile series.  We find Alys and her family in a much higher socio-economic bracket.  Alinor is aging and lives with Alys. Rob is a physician with a "delicate" wife.  Ned has returned to England to fight against James Stuart and his Catholic reign.  In the process of leaving New England, Ned rescues a Native American girl from slavery who passes as his young servant boy. Livia is thoroughly enmeshed in Queen Mary Beatrice's court, and pays scant attention to James Avery or her son Matthew.  James is extremely regretful about his inability to stand up for Alinor so that they could be together.  
Ned and "servant boy" (Rowan) are taken prisoner of war and he is sentenced to indentured servitude in Barbados.  Rowan knows Ned will never survive, and manages to switch places with him.  This lands her in Barbados as an indentured servant and a witness to the horrific treatment of slaves in the production of sugar.
Livia manages to secure the priory estate for Matthew, and that becomes Alinor's final refuge.  With the background of a possible Protestant uprising, Queen Mary Beatrice eventually becomes pregnant and has a son.  In order to ensure the line, Livia convinces Rob to aid her in a back up plan.
This installment started off slowly, and I wish there was a recap at the beginning to remind me of the characters, and what occurred in the previous books.  I also was looking for an answer as to what became of the baby Livia got from Rob to ensure a Prince.  No mention was made after she brought him back to her rooms.
All in all, Gregory writes compelling, robust historical fiction with fully-drawn characters.  Her description always transport the reader to the time and place, and I look forward to whatever she writes next.
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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. 
Expected publication date: November 8, 2022
“Dawnlands” is the third novel in the “Fairmile” series by historical fiction writer Philippa Gregory. The first two novels, “Tidelands” and “Dark Tides” were captivating and engaging, and I expected the same from “Dawnlands”. Gregory, being the talent that she is, delivered this and more. 
In 17th century England, King Charles the Second has died without leaving an heir, and the entire country is in upheaval, divided over their dislike of the King’s brother, James, and his new wife, who will now take the vacant Royal seat. Ned Ferryman knows a civil war is coming and wants to fight on the side of the rebels, but his sister and mother, Alys and Alinor, are determined to stay out of the conflict, and want Ned to do the same. But when the manipulative Livia comes to the Fairmile estate, begging Alinor and Alys for help, she offers them their greatest hopes and dreams, if they take the side of the disliked Queen. As civil war looms, the entire country is in chaos and a family is at risk of being torn apart. 
The Fairmile series is one of those that should be read in order. The family drama and character background is the most interesting part of this series, and the enjoyment won’t be complete without the full scope. I read all three novels and, while reading this one, had to go back to parts of the previous novels in order to jog my memory.
“Dawnlands” is the first series by Gregory that features primarily fictional characters. Although the Royal characters are real, “Dawnlands” is told from the perspective of Ned, Alys, Alinor, Rowan and Livia who did not exist, but are no doubt based on similar characters from the time. All of Gregory’s characters in this one are well developed and craftily well written. Livia returns in her full manipulative form, and she’s ever bit as easy to love as she is to hate. 
From London, to an abandoned, decrepit shoreline residence, to caves in Barbados, “Dawnlands” has all of the action, romance and family drama that fans of Gregory will recognize. Each chapter is short, which is unusual for Gregory, but it just makes for quicker page-turning enjoyment. The novel does bring an end to the storyline, but it is definitely not final enough and I anxiously look forward to another Fairmile novel. Gregory continues to be one of my favourite historical fiction writers of all time.
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One of the most interesting things about this series is that Gregory chose not to focus on the royals as she did in many of her other popular books. She instead chose to infuse these books with the historical events she wanted her characters to experience in the course of their lives. Even though the main characters are not royals I found the books be very character driven. Their goals, desires, and relationships all invite the reader to take the journey with them. 
It was enjoyable to go back to the lives of Alinor, Ned, Alys and Rob. The treacherous Livia gave readers all the manipulation and backstabbing one could ask for. Gregory doesn't just provide insight into the English monarchy and the civil war that ensued. Due to the travels of her characters she was able to expound upon the plight of the Native Americans in America and the slaves on the sugar plantations in Barbados. 
While I did enjoy this latest addition to the series I felt some of it was a stretch. However, good writing always prevails. I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan and will continue to read whatever she writes. 😊

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley.
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It is 1685 and England is on the brink of a renewed civil war. King Charles II has died without an heir and his brother James is to take the throne. But the people are bitterly divided, and many do not welcome the new king or his young queen. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister, Alinor, that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant, Rowan, to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor and her daughter Alys, have been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.
Alinor’s son is determined to stay clear of the war, but, in order to keep his own secrets in the past, Livia traps him in a plan to create an imposter Prince of Wales—a surrogate baby to the queen.
From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before.
This is a novel based on factual information.
It is part of a series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. 
This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book.   

I love Phillippa Gregory books and this did not disappoint.  We learn that even the royals have struggles and try to impose Catholicism on their country's well as trying to produce an heir.  Their were hardships,  no doubt, which the author brought to the forefront vividly and tried to show how ordinary people as well as royalty have struggles.

I look forward to future novels.  So well wrtten.
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I receive a free e-arc through Netgalley.I didn't realize that this was Book #3 in a series, but it is okay to read as a standalone book. It sometimes refers to earlier events, but doesn't go over them ad nauseum so you can feel like you have the gist of it. There are a lot of characters in this book, but thankfully their names are different enough that it's easy enough to not confuse them with each other. I found it to be an entertaining story during the tumultuous monarchy years in England as control of the throne is fought over.
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I enjoyed this 3rd book in the series, a family saga in 1684. Family drama and intrigue in England and Barbados. Some interesting and quirky characters.
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Dawnlands
by Philippa Gregory
Pub Date: 08 Nov 2022  

It is 1685 and England is on the brink of a renewed civil war. King Charles II has died without an heir and his brother James is to take the throne. But the people are bitterly divided, and many do not welcome the new king or his young queen. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister, Alinor, that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant, Rowan, to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor and her daughter Alys, have been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.

Alinor’s son is determined to stay clear of the war, but, in order to keep his own secrets in the past, Livia traps him in a plan to create an imposter Prince of Wales—a surrogate baby to the queen.

From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before.

This is the third installment in this wonderful book series, that I completely love!
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To be completely honest, I did not love it.

I was first attracted to the Fairmile books because I was fresh from reading Philippa Gregory's The Wise Woman, where we also meet unlikeable, but strong characters. I thought Alinor would be like the perfected form Alys in The Wise Woman. Alinor is a different wise woman, who is earnest and easy to root for from the start. A slew of characters with potential follow her thought out the series.

Dawnlands covers the turbulent few years of King James II's reign. I am pleased with the resolution of Alinor and James Avery's story. I am happy for Ned. I was disappointed with Johnnie, and felt let down we did not see how things ended with Matthew, Mia, Gabrielle, and Hester, and most importantly, Rowan. This group felt so shortchanged, and it might have been done intentionally so that Gregory could write another if Dawnlands does well. I nearly screamed in frustration to see Livia through the end of the book. I found Livia's character to be the most unlikeable to the point I think she is why it took me so long to get through the book--I couldn't deal with reading more than a few pages of her story at a time.

All in all, I generally didn't enjoy the technical discussion of battles and was more interested in the court intrigue (which, again I mostly sped through because of the presence of one character). Having not reread Dark Tides recently, I found the family trees to be a little confusing and hard to piece back together without a chart of who's who. The book did have me looking up maps of England and the Stuart family though.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria books for the advanced reader's copy. I have enjoyed reading Gregory's books over the last 15+ years, and will likely continue hoping the next will be better than the last.
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I loved the first book in this series but I thought the second book was disappointing and unfortunately this book continues that trend. I was annoyed with the second book making Livia the central character and moving so far away from Alinor and her family and unfortunately that continues here. We still get far too much of Livia but we are also introduced to another new character, Rowan, whose character shreds any credibility that several male characters could possibly have. Suddenly grown men are acting like love sick teenagers and on top of making fools of themselves are risking everything to do so. Alinor’s family for the most part are treated as capitalists who care for nothing more than money except for her brother who is the morally sound one. 

If that sounds preachy it feels like the point of the book to stand against slavery, which obviously was a huge part of the world then, and to make everyone else out to be awful which makes it hard to want to read about them. While I never liked the inclusion of Livia it also makes her constant scheming that much more obnoxious set against this background and how are we to be invested in her and court life when we know the outcome. Unfortunately we get only a reference to Sara who is excluded altogether from this book. In fact most of the children and grandchildren who should be at the center of this story are background characters to the politics and outsiders who are at the center of it. It is to her credit as a writer that while I was annoyed the entire time about her choices of direction in this book that I never thought of giving up on it. She really writes so well that even a long winded book moved quickly. I feel invested in this series so I want more of the magic of the first book but I don’t know if she will ever get back to what the story began as or if she would rather write about people outside of the family and the politics of the time. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Since it had been a while since I had read the previous book in this series, there was some major catch-up I felt like I had to do. Unlike some other books where you don't necessarily need to have read the previous stories, in this case, I felt it was necessary to really get a gist of the characters and their relationships to one another. Even with some inkling of their pasts, I found myself grasping, and not in a fun way. Although a lot happens in this book, it still came across as a set-up for a next instead of something that could stand alone and still be entertaining.
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I love any book by Philippa Gregory and always feel that the one I just read is her best ever.  And I felt the same about Dawnlands.  The author has an exceptional way of presenting history that brings the time period to life.  This book covers part of the reign of King James in 17th century England and how the people reacted to his trying to make the country turn from the Church of England and embrace the Roman Catholic Church.  This was an excellent story and I would highly recommend it.  Read through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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