Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements

The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements
Publisher: Headline Review
Release date: 27 March 2014
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb: 'I like to give a token to those I care about.' She hands the package to me and I unpick the strings and unfold the linen. A pair of crimson satin ribbons gleams like rubies in the candlelight. The ribbons nestle in my palm, coiled like shining snakes. They speak to me of my mother, twirling with red ribbons in her hair. Red - the colour of passion, the colour of the army, the colour of blood.










The Crimson Ribbon has a powerful opening, with our main protagonist Ruth Flowers witnessing the brutal execution of her own Mother, who is deemed to be a witch. Ruth fears that she will be next as she is hunted out by the mob and has little choice but to leave the house of Oliver Cromwell which she has served all her life.

Ruth is kindly given a note to take with her by Master Cromwell's mother, which she is to give to the Poole family upon her arrival in London. But the journey is far from easy, Ruth is set upon at a local in before she is kindly rescued by the secretive figure of Joseph Oakes.

Joseph it transpires is travelling to London, and he agrees to take Ruth as long as she pays for the fare. They travel together as Brother and Sister both of them desperate to hide their true identity. Ruth for the fear that her Mother's killers are seeking her out, and Joseph because he is an army deserter.

Upon arrival in London, Joseph is keen to help Ruth, but she is distrusting of Joseph and flees once she has paid for their travel. She has no idea where she is going but is lucky enough to stumble across people who know the Poole household and can direct her.

Once they have agreed to take her in Ruth becomes captivated by Master Poole's daughter, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Poole, who is based on a true historical figure. Ruth is truly enchanted by Lizzie's kindness and beauty and quickly uses an old charm (from a book of her Mothers) to ensnare Lizzie.

Lizzie is a complex character, who is determined to have her voice heard, no matter what effect it may have on her own life, and the lives of those around her. Ruth has bound herself to Lizzie no matter what. Is it a decision she will live to regret?

You will have to read for yourself to find out!

The Crimson Ribbon is a beautifully written debut novel and I look forward to reading the authors next offering.

You can purchase The Crimson Ribbon online from Amazon and from all good book shops.
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Thank you to the publishers who sent me an advanced proof copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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