Today I am very excited to welcome Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours back to The Book Binder’s Daughter with an historical fiction set in 10th century Naples. I invite you to read my review of The Novice, learn more about the author, and enter for a chance to win your own copy of the book. Open Internationally.
Sara has spent the last year living in a convent as a novice because her parents died during an outbreak of the plague. When the Saracens burn and destroy her convent, Sara and a small group of nuns barely escape the massacre. As they are trying to flee to the safety of Naples, a group of Saracens captures Sara, strips her of all her clothes, cuts her hair off and ties her to a tree, leaving her exposed in the cold, dark woods to die alone. But a brave and kind cavaliere named Nicolo saves her and offers to bring her to the safety of a nearby city.
As they face danger at every turn, Sara and Nicolo are drawn together and inevitably fall in love. There was is real surprise in the first third of the book as the author makes it very obvious that Nicolo is going to be Sara’s savior. But the problem is that Nicolo believes that Sara is a nun who has taken her final vows and he will not ask her to commit a sin by being with him.
Sara’s character is a bit silly and infuriating because she knows that Nicolo loves her and she ardently returns his love. But Sara wants to keep him in anticipation and she keeps putting Nicolo off by withholding from him the fact that she is just a novice and not a full-fledged nun. Nicolo, so that he doesn’t have to force Sara to break what he thinks are her eternal religious vows, steals off in the middle of the night and leaves her before they confess their true feelings for one another.
Sara makes it to Naples on her own where her rather wealthy uncle and cousin kindly take her in and treat her well. While she is in Naples, an arrogant count named Umberto falls in love with Sara and does everything in his power to woo her. But Sara cannot forget her feelings for Nicolo and recognizes that the count is a haughty, dishonorable and brutal man. Umberto is the polar opposite of her brave and kind Nicolo.
So the reader is kept in suspense for the entire book wondering if Sara will ever be united with Nicolo. Will she escape the cruelty of Umberto and will Nicolo, once again, be her night in shining armor?
The setting in 10th century Naples was the most interesting aspect of the book. I had not known very much about the Saracens and the raids on Italian cities during this time period. I always find a book more stimulating when the setting teaches me something about history. I also thought that THE NOVICE had a very important lesson to impart to the reader through the story of Sara and Nicolo; when we are not honest with our feelings and we do not reveal our trues selves to the ones we love, then we risk losing the very love that we treasure the most.
This giveaway is for one e-book, open internationally. Please leave a comment below and let me know that you want to win! It’s that easy! The Giveaway is open until 10/10 and the winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to click on my “giveaway” tab and enter all of my current giveaways!
The Winner of this giveaway is: Denise D. Thanks to everyone who entered!
About the Author:
A true blue Taurean in every way, Mirella Sichirollo Patzer grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a city famous for the Calgary Stampede, oil companies, and the wild west. Historical fiction books are one of her obsessions, especially those that pertain to medieval eras and with Italy as a backdrop. Her fascination for women of history and Italy is often reflected in her work, her various blogs, and website. She lives in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada with her husband and family. Her house is brimming with books and toys. For her, life couldn’t get any better.
For more information please visit Mirella’s website. Mirella also blogs at History and Women & Historical Novel Review. Connect with Mirella on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.
The Novice Blog Tour Schedule:
Friday, October 3
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, October 6
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, October 7
Review at Unshelfish
Wednesday, October 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, October 9
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews