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Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Autor(a) de Blood & Sugar

4+ Works 544 Membros 16 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Séries

Obras por Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Blood & Sugar (2019) 223 exemplares
The Square of Sevens (2023) 161 exemplares
Daughters of Night (2021) 159 exemplares
Blood and Sugar - poche (2022) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Winter Spirits: Ghostly Tales for Festive Nights (2023) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
1976
Sexo
female
Nacionalidade
UK
Educação
City University, London (creative writing|MA)
Relações
Robinson, Tony (father)

Membros

Críticas

Set in London in 1782, Laura Shepherd-Robinson takes us to a Georgiann world of sex workers and high society, of thief-takers and Bow Street constables and, of course, murders. All levels of society close ranks in this tale as Caroline, known as Caro, tries to find out who killed her friend Lucy. There is plenty of perilous action and vivid descriptions in this complicated plot. Occasionally I was glad of the comprehensive list of characters at the beginning. An enjoyable and engaging read wilth most ts crossed by the end.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
CarolKub | 4 outras críticas | Mar 13, 2024 |
This was fantastic, a really well-written gothic novel with an actually surprising twist.
It took me a while to get through it, but it was never boring. I must say it lost a little bit of mystery and magic as the novel progressed, but that was made up for with the final unravelling of the truth.

This book is written masterfully, with an intricate plot and there is a great deal of foreshadowing if you pay attention. All the little pieces fall into place at the end which is very satisfying. The story is quite dark, not just stylistically gothic. Together with [b:Fayne|60510110|Fayne|Ann-Marie MacDonald|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1651705946l/60510110._SX50_.jpg|96190936], this is probably my favourite book of the year in this genre.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
ZeljanaMaricFerli | 6 outras críticas | Mar 4, 2024 |
The Square of Sevens follows Red, who is left in the care of an antiquarian after her ''cunning-man'' father passes away from an illness when she was seven-years-old. Having learned an ancient method of card-reading that had been passed down through generations, Red's heritage must remain a secret, along with a document containing the secret of the Square of Sevens technique. Personally, I thought this book was quite cleverly plotted and although a lot of people complained about the slow pacing of the book, I am a huge Dickens fan and enjoyed the highly descriptive prose the author tried to emulate in this book.

The story is set in Georgian England, and with The Witchcraft Act having been passed in 1735, it is very dangerous to practice anything to do with fortune-telling. When Red's fortunes change after the death of her benefactor, she has to rely on her cartomancy skills to survive which puts her in incredible danger. I loved the descriptions of London and Bath during this time period and was quite content to just read along and immerse myself in the time period. There was this level of tension that existed throughout the pages as Red tries to figure out who her parents were and what she discovered could alter the lives of two very prominent families. And while the search was interesting, I actually preferred the scenes when Red was at the fair and interacting with the various different people who were there as I found that much more interesting. It was also refreshing to learn how dangerous it was for so many people simply trying to make a living and the danger of being put in the stocks was a constant threat to people's livelihoods. So often history books focus on the lives of the wealthy, but I actually prefer to read about the less fortunate as I sometimes find it much more fascinating.

The plot itself, while interesting, did take a long time to get going, and if you are not one to enjoy descriptive prose, this may have proven challenging to get through. I enjoyed the Gothic vibes included through the atmospheric and descriptive writing and I liked how cartomancy was incorporated throughout the book, even used as headings for each chapter. If you paid attention to the chapter descriptions, it gave you clues as to what was happening in the story and to each character, even perhaps their significance to Red and her life.

With all of that, I did think the story could have been more tightly woven as the main mystery didn't really start until about a quarter way into the book. The pace of the book was somewhat uneven, and if not for the fact that I like descriptive writing, would have been annoyed by the really slow pace of the story in many of the sections. I also found the actual mystery predictable, but I really enjoyed the ending and how it got there, and I especially like how it made you think about the main character and what you actually knew about her as well as the assumptions you make along the way.

There was a large cast of characters in this book and naturally Red was the most developed being the MC. I wasn't always thrilled with the choices she made as she could be quite impulsive and seemed to be led by this idea that her unknown family would welcome her no matter what. And although I wasn't thrilled by this impulsivity, I'm glad it was written this way as it showed how sheltered she actually was, even though she lived quite roughly on the road with her father until he passed away, She was constantly telling people how she wasn't naive, but then she would go and trust the oddest people. It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I started to become suspicious of her motives and really started looking at her behaviour in a much different way that I began to realize what was really going on. That AHA moment, of which I will say nothing more so I don't give away any plot points. I enjoyed the rest of the characters as well and thought they rounded out the story quite well, even if there were some I wished to know a bit better as they were so interesting.

Verdict
The Square of Sevens was well-written and well thought out, with more of a descriptive and lyrical type of style. The unique plot and the wide range of characters made for some interesting twists and turns and I really enjoyed the use of cartomancy woven throughout the narrative. But because I paid so much attention to that, I also think it gave away some interesting plot points that I may have otherwise missed. If you enjoy descriptive historical details, this may be right up your alley.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
StephanieBN | 6 outras críticas | Sep 24, 2023 |
Our protagonist, Red, spent the first seven years of her life on the run with her father, evading the eyes of those who, according to her father, intend to harm them. Red’s father, who goes by the name of George the Tenth of Kernow, is a "cunning-man" who comes from a long line of pellars. Using an ancient method of card reading that has been passed down through generations, father and daughter make their living telling fortunes using the Square of the Sevens method. Red is a gifted fortune teller. She never knew her mother, having lost her when she was a baby, and her father hadn’t shared much about her with Red. After her father dies, seven-year-old Red is left in the care of an antiquarian from Bath to whom he also entrusts the manuscript detailing the unique Square of Sevens technique. However, she remains curious about her parents, a quest that is discouraged by her guardian. Red spends the next ten years in Bath until her fortunes change after the demise of her guardian. She runs away from Bath and the clutches of her guardian’s shady nephew and tries to support herself, telling fortunes – a risky venture after the passing of The Witchcraft Act of 1735, which could result in imprisonment. She follows the clues of her mother’s family history from her father’s documents which lead her to London and Devon amid two feuding but influential families who would rather their secrets stay buried but also wouldn’t hesitate to use Red as a pawn to further their own motives. Will Red discover the truth about her family connections and finally find out why she spent her early childhood on the run with her father? Will she be able to see through the lies , deceit and manipulation?

The Square of Sevens by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is a cleverly plotted work of historical fiction with an intriguing mystery at its core. I loved the Gothic vibes and the atmospheric setting and how cartomancy is incorporated into the narrative structure. Each chapter begins with the card and its interpretation, which, if studied together, predicts the possible outcomes for the relevant plot point /person concerned. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and loved the large cast of characters, each of whom had a significant part to play in Red’s quest – both her friends and allies as well as the villainous and shady people she encounters. She doesn’t always make the wisest of choices, but one wouldn’t expect a sheltered teenager to be worldly wise and exercise caution in her dealings with others. Red’s character development was on point in keeping with her age, naiveté and life experiences. The author excels in depicting the contrasting worlds of both London’s fair folk and affluent society. I would have given a higher rating had the story been shorter and a tad more tightly woven. The pace slows down considerably in some segments and dragged around the halfway mark. Though a few of the revelations were not completely unpredictable, I loved the ending and thought that the final twist was well executed.

The author has penned a fascinating historical note where she discusses the era, her inspiration for this story and much more. This is my first time reading this author and I intend to explore more of her work.

Many thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for the digital review copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
srms.reads | 6 outras críticas | Sep 12, 2023 |

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Associated Authors

Neil Gower Map Artwork
Ben Onwukwe Narrator

Estatísticas

Obras
4
Also by
1
Membros
544
Popularidade
#45,827
Avaliação
4.0
Críticas
16
ISBN
37
Línguas
3
Marcado como favorito
1

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