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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage is a spellbinding fiction story with powerful historical references, set in the turbulent England of the 1300s. The death of Hugh Despenser and the rise to power of King Edward III could have made Adam de Guirande hopeful that the country would soon gain stability. He couldn’t be more wrong! The young king has no experience and is manipulated by Queen Isabella, his mother, and her lover, Roger Mortimer. A darkness hovers over the land; there is a lot of intrigue, stabbings in the back, and imminent upheaval. It is in this context that the author explores the role of an unlikely hero, a man who has to balance his loyalties to serve his king, his wife, and his country.
I got hooked on Anna Belfrage’s writing when I read the first book in the King’s Greatest Enemy series, In the Shadow of the Storm, which features Adam de Guirande and explores the themes of rebellion and loyalty. In the third entry in the series, the author raises the stakes and explores the depths of the protagonist’s pain on new and refreshing levels. I enjoyed the excellent prose and the diction which reflects the culture and language of the time. The intrigue, the powerful conflict — both internal and external — as well as the quick pace of the plot and the depth of character development are aspects of the story that readers will adore. Under the Approaching Dark is for readers who love historical novels that are laced with intrigue and conflict, with compelling characters and a sophisticated plot. Anna Belfrage never disappoints.