The Angel and the Sword by Sally Wragg

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The Angel and the Sword by Sally Wragg

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Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Sequel to Loxley and with many of the same personalities. A good plot and excellent character development.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: February 2015
Publisher: Robert Hale
ISBN: 978-0719814303

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We met the people from Loxley New Hall in Loxley but we've moved on quite a few years as we rejoin them for the story of The Angel and the Sword. Harry, eleventh Duke of Loxley is dead and the title has been inherited by his daughter - she's a lucky girl as that doesn't happen too often in the world of Debrett's. She's only in her mid teens, but Katherine, her grandmother is uneasy about her friendship with Bill, a local boy. She was very sniffy when her son married Bronwyn, the daughter of a doctor and only really came around to the idea when Bron made a good fist of running the estate when the Duke went off to the trenches with every able-bodied man on the estate.

Still, Katherine would prefer that there was a little distance between Henrietta and Bill - and a trip around Europe, starting in Venice and accompanied by her former governess seems just the ticket, even if Katherine has to sell some jewelry to provide the funds. In actual fact she might have been able to save her money as Hettie is at that age where boys are still just friends and she's not ready to think of him in any other context just yet. She might even be a little bit attracted to other boys. Sally Wragg captures that stage perfectly: there's no hint of guile about Hettie, but there are hints of the woman she will become when she learns to be a little more discreet.

It's an uneasy time in Europe - that time of the extended armed truce between the two world wars - and the trip collects a motley crew of people who will all end up at Loxley before too long. There's a German Count, who's a supporter of the burgeoning Nazi party, an artist who is showing a picture of Hettie's mother and his apprentice, who can be more than a little surly, but whom Hettie finds strangely attractive. Life isn't simple at Loxley either, with a group of romany providing complications for the estate workers whilst their tales of a Saxon king and queen enchant Hettie.

It's a good story with some of Wragg's trademark twist which you should have seen coming and a lot of her excellent character development. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. We also have a review of Playing for Keeps by Sally Wragg.

You could read this book as a stand-alone, but you will get more out of it if you've read Loxley first. You might also enjoy The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine or The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan.

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