Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Mortal Arts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mortal Arts (2013) Anna Lee Huber

Mortal-ArtsSet in Scotland in October 1830

The sequel to The Anatomist’s Wife finds Lady Darby returning to Edinburgh with her sister, brother-in-law, and their family when they receive an urgent summons from Phillip’s Aunt to join them at Dalmay house where her daughter has just become engaged to Michael Dalmay–a childhood friend of Alana and Kiera.

This is a story about PTSD–except that it wasn’t considered such in the 1830s. Instead, men who were unable to deal with society after their return from war were hidden away–sometimes even in lunatic asylums.

Our nation was eager to welcome home conquering heroes, not broken men.

This is disturbing to Kiera not only because of her friendship with the former solider, but also because she had been threatened with such a situation.

(T)he realization of what I had narrowly escaped in not being confined to an asylum as my accusers had wished made me grow cold— but I still couldn’t help wondering if I would be forever grappling with memories I couldn’t forget.

I am really enjoying this series–the history is fascinating and the characters aren’t really outside of time as sometimes happens in historicals, and there are plenty of reminders of just how different life was two centuries ago–mostly to your detriment if you were a woman.

Plus, there are some lovely phrases and other bits.

She thrived on conflict. The bigger the reaction she got out of you, the more it pleased her. And the more likely she was to continue goading you. The swiftest way to beat her at her own game was to refuse to engage, be it with anger or discomfiture.

That’s something I need a reminder of myself right now.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Berkley


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