Recommended Read: The Legacy
As a writer, I sometimes dread picking up a book by an author I know and like on a personal level. I always want to love the person's work, but I feel really let down if it turns out the book is not for me. If that's the case, I simply don't bring it up, leaving my friend to think it's languishing or lost somewhere in my gargantuan To Be Read pile (which also happens).
I have to admit, I was already kind of worried when I picked up pal T.J. Bennett's debut, THE LEGACY, the other day. Although I used to write historical romances, I've been really burned out on them for a few years. Too many skimp on the history or seem too much alike to hold my attention. And then there was the sixteenth century Germanic setting, which made me think of sausages and saeurkraut and other foods that make my stomach ache.
But I thought I'd check out a few pages, just to be polite. Almost immediately, I was hooked. To quote the review I wrote for Amazon (I try to do this whenever I love a book, whether or not I know the author. When I hate a book, I keep it to myself for karmic reasons):
If you're looking for something different in a historical romance, THE LEGACY may be for you. With rich, relatable characters, a fascinating -- and very different -- early German setting, and an intelligent plot, this book quickly drew me in and held me fast until I finished.
After escaping a convent (a daring plan from a real-life plot involving Martin Luther and a nun he later married), Baronesse Sabina von Ziegler goes to her adoptive father's castle to claim her inheritance. But the baron has other plans for Sabina's legacy, so he marries her off to Wolfgang Behaim, a widowed printer who's coerced into the deal. Though both are initially unwilling, their marriage of necessity slowly and believably evolves into a real one, against a backdrop of religious upheaval and a deadly peasant revolt.
I never imagined I could enjoy learning about sixteenth-century Germany, but that's the gift of a good historical -- and exactly what will have me watching eagerly for T.J. Bennett's next book, THE PROMISE, in May 2009.
Very highly recommended.
To check out reviews and a sample of the book, please stop by T.J. Bennett's website.