Friday, November 21, 2014

Under These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan

It came! My very own copy of Lissa Bryan's 

Under These Restless Skies

Under These Restless Skies

by Lissa Bryan

Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.

Why can't all history be this interesting? Yes, I realize Under These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan is fiction, but she's filled it with historical facts, and she's made it highly readable! She's done her research, and it shows.

Will Somers is taking a few minutes to walk on the beach, to think about how his life is changing as he heads off to the Court of Henry VIII to, hopefully, become his fool. Will juggles, jokes, and is made fun of because of his hunched back. He doesn't have a choice and it's a rather scary endeavor. Kings can say things like "off with his head" and it then happens. While he's thinking on his future, Will meets a Selkie. His grandmother had told him that they can make wonderful wives and mothers. Like any other man, Will wants that, but because of his deformity, he never thought it was possible. Then the possibility is right there...she's so beautiful and she likes and accepts him, deformity and all. Quite the heady event for young Mr. Somers. Emma had wanted to learn about "land men" and she chooses Will to show her everything.

This is their journey as they learn about each other, as they learn to avoid the undertow that is Court, and they find out what friendship, love, and family really means.

Ms. Bryan puts us right in the middle of Court. Henry is working to annul his marriage to Katharine, his wife of twenty years, so that he can marry Anne Boleyn. The intrigues, the pomp, the circumstance, the back stabbing, the hate...and the love that is Court comes alive here. 

I am sincerely grateful that I live in the present time. What Henry, and others in positions of power, did was appalling. I am not ashamed to say that I cried buckets at some points while reading. I was always rooting for Emma, with her calming Selkie powers, as she discovered what land men were really like. I was grateful that she and Will had each other to find comfort with. They also had Jack, a little monkey, to brighten their days. He had some great scenes.

While those that know about this time frame will anticipate the historical events, I think they will also enjoy how this "it could have been" is expertly interwoven with the historical facts.

I loved this, and I'm starting a campaign to have MORE of Will and Emma. There are few places Ms. Bryan could take us if she wishes to write more. I sincerely hope she does!

*Thank you, NetGalley and TWCS, for the opportunity to read Under These Restless Skies

If you are intrigued, please add Under These Restless Skies your Goodreads' Shelves:

Under These Restless Skies

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Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot ... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Her first novel, Ghostwriter, is available through The Writer's Coffee Shop (which is the least expensive option), AmazoniTunes, and Kobo. Her second novel, The End of All Things, was released on January 24, 2013, and is available through TWCSAmazon, and iTunes.
She also has a short story in the Romantic Interludes anthology, available from TWCSAmazon and iTunes.
Her third novel, Under These Restless Skies, is scheduled for release in spring of 2014. See the trailer here.

Author Links
Website Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ TWCS (Publisher) ♥ Amazon♥ Barnes & Noble ♥ iTunes ♥ Youtube book trailers

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