Adding another new, shiny check to my historical fiction column of books that I love! Master of His Fate is an expansive historical saga, the first of a series, that follows a rich cast of characters in the most vivid settings in Victorian England.
I adored both James Falconer and Alexis Malvern and although their stories are laced with common threads – they couldn’t come from more different backgrounds. And they just may be destined to meet. The story bounces back and forth as James and Alexis both find and make their ways in the world.
Coming from a much lower class family than Alexis, James starts off as an assistant to his father, selling goods and wares in a small stall located inside a merchant mall, but everyone knows he is destined to do greater things. His goal is to own his own merchant mall and use his knowledge to franchise and expand and become somewhat of a mogul. His family is so sweet – I loved getting to know every single one, including his devoted grandparents, servants to a wealthy family, but the wealth of love that envelops this family is so lovely, you can’t help but root for James’ success and happiness. His loyalty to his friends and family, his hunger for knowledge and impressive work ethic, and a curiosity of the finer things in life (along with dashing good looks) prime him for an incredible future.
Alexis is born more into privilege, her father owns a successful trading business, and working alongside him closely has also groomed her to be fiercely independent and exceptionally smart in business. She is charitable, running her own charity herself for battered wives, and extremely loyal to those around her. And, also an exceptionally beautiful women, who turns heads at every corner.
I loved getting a glimpse into what isn’t really seen much in these stories: Seeing the families at their most intimate gatherings, dinnertime, birthdays, and I relished the doting fathers. James is very close to his father, and you see he is brought up in a family where the women are very much respected. Alexis and her father are very close as well, as her mother passed when she was very young. (Mothers don’t have a lot of luck with health in this story!) The intricate details and historical facts interspersed throughout the book were so clever and interesting, and I enjoyed the writing very much.
James and Alexis are bound to meet – it seems to be fate that the Falconer and Malvern family’s come together. We follow them both, separately, through lives and loves and about 3/4 through I was SHOCKED at a major death in the book. I am SO looking forward to the next book in this series and to see how things progress. A stunning story that will draw you into a sweeping saga of ambition, tragedy, love and dreams and will captivate readers with is wonderful details and engrossing drama!
Get this book now on Amazon here: Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford
- Series: The House of Falconer Series (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (November 20, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250187397
- ISBN-13: 978-1250187390
About The Book:
MASTER OF HIS FATE (St. Martin’s Press) is the first book in an expansive and intricately detailed new historical fiction series from master storyteller Barbara Taylor Bradford – filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford’s trademark cast of compelling characters. Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a boy working in his father’s market stall in Camden, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. Through hard work and a single-minded determination, James rises quickly through the ranks, catching the eye of a famed real estate tycoon. But when back-to-back tragedies strike the Falconer home, shattering this idyllic life, it seems as though James might never recover his former glory…until a royal summons gives him the chance to prove that he truly is a master of the game.
BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD was born and brought up in England and started her writing career as a journalist. She has written thirty international bestsellers. MASTER OF HIS FATE is her thirty-third novel. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth awarded her the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her literary achievements. She lives in New York with her husband, TV and film producer Robert Bradford.