Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beautiful cover below? Y’all, let’s go explore some castles in real life! And go to Ireland. And possibly eat some pears.
FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:
BACK COVER BLURB
When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.
With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.
From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.
Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
Kristy Cambron’s books and I have a strange relationship, yet despite that I always find myself wanting to read her latest release and get lost in her lovely writing. The first book in this series, Lost Castle, was one of my favorites Miss Kristy has written, so when an ebook of Castle on the Rise was up for review on NetGalley, I excitedly requested it.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
Here’s my strange relationship with Miss Kristy’s books: Her writing voice is one of my favorites. It’s nearly lyrical with long, flowing sentences, descriptions that whisk you straight to wherever the book is set, and rich thoughts that pull you into the heart of what’s happening. Yet her plots and delivery of information often leave me confused. Take the Ringmaster’s Wife for instance – I felt like each scene was one of the most beautiful I’d ever read, but when you added them all together the book didn’t seem to flow. And that was kinda how this book was.
First off, I think I would have enjoyed this book better if I was reading a physical copy. I was reading a NetGalley ebook version, and sometimes the formatting’s a tiny bit messed up, so I might have lost some of the story through that. Plus, I do better with keeping track of different time periods in books when I can easily flip back and forth to remember what’s happening. So, do yourself a favor and request this book at the library, listen to it as an audiobook, or buy a physical copy. I’m fairly sure you’ll enjoy it better that way.
Next, the writing was beautiful as always. Every time I pick up one of Miss Kristy’s books I’m a little in awe over how magically she weaves words together. Her sentences have a cadence that I don’t find often in writing, and completely draw me in.
And then comes the plot. Y’all. I was confused. I understand it’s a style, and I understand it’s not my style, so this really isn’t a negative overall, it’s just a negative for me. Miss Kristy has a way of writing where you see what’s happening, but only in a vague way where the focus is on the outcome, not how you got to that outcome. Then five chapters later you realize revisit what happened and realize that what actually happened wasn’t what you thought at all. Logically I know this is a cool way to write and probably is cheered on by many readers, but for me it just leaves me being like What? But why couldn’t I just know this five chapers ago? Which, writing that I’m laughing at myself because that’s the way I view all of life. I like knowing all of the information up front and being able to stand back and view the picture as a whole, so it’s no wonder I enjoy the same in literature.
Also, the time periods and setting… I didn’t realize how little I knew about Irish history until I was reading this book. The wars, uprisings, and ideals being fought for were ones that I only have the vaguest knowledge of, so therefore the details being discussed in the book were leaving me slightly confused. That isn’t a bad thing on the author’s part, it simply means if I would have gone into the book knowing more about the subject I probably would have enjoyed it better.
And then we come to the characters… Sadly, I wasn’t really able to relate to any of them, and since I’m a character-driven reader this was another drawback for me. It wasn’t that the characters were poorly written – because they weren’t. They just weren’t the character’s for me to fall in love with or relate to.
There were a few slight things I didn’t like in the book, but for the most part, the reason it only get’s three stars from me is simply because it wasn’t the right book for me. Still, because of the beautiful writing, I’m glad I read it.
I’m giving Castle on the Rise 3 out of 5 stars.
((NetGalley was totally amazing to provide this book for review – all thoughts are my own. I mean, obviously.))