The Honey and the Sting
by E C Fremantle
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Pub Date 27 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 27 Jan 2022
Penguin Michael Joseph UK, Michael Joseph
Three ways to fall . . .
Forcibly seduced by the powerful George Villiers, doctor's daughter Hester is cast aside to raise her son alone and in secret. She hopes never to see Villiers again.
Melis's visions cause disquiet and talk. She sees what others can't - and what has yet to be. She'd be denounced as a witch if Hester wasn't so carefully protective.
Young Hope's beauty marks her out, drawing unwelcome attention to the family. Yet she cannot always resist others' advances. And her sisters cannot always be on their guard.
When Villiers decides to claim his son against Hester's wishes, the sisters find themselves almost friendless and at his mercy.
But the women hold a grave secret - will it be their undoing or their salvation?
Because in the right hands, a secret is the deadliest weapon of all . . .
'Fremantle builds the tension with delicious skill in this page-turning thriller' Times
'Wonderfully inventive and darkly satisfying, this story of three sisters resonates with myth and mystery' Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of The Ashes of London
'A lush, thrilling page-turner humming with its own exquisite dark beauty. I loved it!' Eve Chase, author of The Glass House
'Gripping and page-turning. Propels a trio of vivid women towards their complex destinies . . . Hugely enjoyable' V.B. Grey, author of the forthcoming Tell Me How It Ends
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 68 members
Once in a while a book comes along that just ticks all your boxes and makes you happy that such a book was written and that you got to read it. The Honey and the Sting is that book for me.
The pacing throughout the book is spot on, the way it push you to a precipice then pulls you back is masterful. In addition there is an underlying air of tension that never quite dissipates.
The characters are brilliantly written, I particularly enjoyed how Melis and Hope were portrayed.
The settings used throughout are vivid and easy to imagine. The manor and the forest almost being another character.
The plot is maybe foreshadowed a little heavily, I worked out most of what was going to happen, but that didn't dilute my enjoyment.
Overall, a really well written and enjoyable read. One the easiest 5 star rating I've ever given
I was impressed with this book, because it really does create an authentic seventeenth century atmosphere, and right from the start it is exciting and a page turner.
It concerns George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, who gets a young woman pregnant and thrown out of the household, after which she has to survive as best she can. I will not spoil the book by revealing any more, but it is highly recommended.
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