Wednesday, 20 April 2022


 Hello and Good Day

Today, I join Zooloo's Book Tours to spotlight Justin Newland's book The Coronation. However, before we talk about the book I want to send a heartfelt thank you to both Zoe and Justin Newland for a wonderful signed copy of the book. This was such a lovely surprise as I was not expecting it. In addition to the book, it was accompanied by a lovely letter.

Right, on to having a look at The Coronation.



The Coronation by Justin Newland

Publication Day: 1st December 2019 by Matador

Page Count: 328 pages

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It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history… 


The Coronation is an interesting book that highlighted aspects of history that I was not particularly familiar with. It is a historical fantasy that takes place during the Seven Years War, which is typified as the first global conflict and ran from 1756 – 1763.

The story focusses on the conflict between Prussia, Austria and Russia, and is based in the year 1761, with the tale mainly revolving around around Countess Marion Von Adler and her plight to look after her tenants when a group of Russian soldiers requisition the food from her estate for the company. In the midst of this, Marion Von Adler is injured by a Russian captain, and is summarily defended by Ian Fermor, a Lieutenant within the company. The captain takes revenge for what he sees as an affront on his honour and also as an act of insubordination. He subsequently injures the aforementioned Lieutenant, leaving him for dead. He is nursed back to health after a miraculously returning from the brink of death. Whilst on the edge of death, Fermor experiences a vision from the two headed Adler Eagle, who shows him the path that he is to take.

The book is an interesting combination of  history, magical realism and faith. The historical backdrop that the story is set against is an intriguing one, and one which led me to investigate certain events that I was not familiar with.

The book is a layered story and has a number of plots and subplots that can take the tale in different directions to what you would expect. I particularly liked the main characters of Ian Fermor and Marion, and when the plot moved away from them, I found myself wanting to get back to them. I think that the main reason for this is that Marion is such a multi faceted character that had a good deal of depth, particularly her compassion and her commitment to those around her. For me, Marion kind of stole the book whenever she was on the page in all honesty.

At times, I did  wonder where the book was going, and how the book would reach its conclusion. However, once I got to grips with the flow of the narrative, I became more comfortable with the writing style, and just buckled in till the end. The book definitely took me out of my normal reading comfort zone, and it showed me a different type of literature that I would not seek out independently.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that focusses on historical events that I was not familiar with, and buttressed with a supernatural element that fits the tone of the story. On the whole the characters are good, and although I would have liked to have spent more time with the main characters, it was an intriguing storyline that kept me engaged throughout.

  

About Justin Newland

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

You can connect with Justin on Facebook, and his website



 




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