Friday, 8 April 2011

Review: Paradise Red - K.M. Grant

Paradise Red by K.M. Grant, published by Quercus on 10th May 2010

Goodreads synopsis:
As Raimon and Aimery set off to re-gain the flame and the heart of the Occitan, Hugh prepares to lay siege to the Cathar stronghold where the flame burns. Unbeknown to him, his wife Yolanda flees his castle and into the freezing snow. What is Yolanda running from? What underhand game is Aimery about to bring in to play? And will Raimon's passion for the flame cause him to lose Yolanda and even himself? K M Grant's spectacular novel weaves together the friendship, love and bitter rivalry of her wonderfully evoked characters in a finale to a superb trilogy of romance and adventure.

This is the final and concluding part of the Perfect fire trilogy by K.M. Grant.  It's one of my favourite historical fiction series that I've come across in the last couple of years.  It's a winning combinaton of amazing characters that you really do care about; an exciting and fast-paced story which blends together romance, adventure and excitement and a stunning historical backdrop.  I'm really sad that the adventure is over because these books have provided me with so much enjoyment.

'Paradise Red' picks up the story from 'Blue Flame' and 'White Heat'.  Raimon is still desperate to retrieve the blue flame from the White Wolf and save the Occitan while Yolanda is torn between her husband and her love for Raimon.  The romance between Yolanda and Raimon is one of the central elements of the series.  I love the fact that whatever they are faced with and however much it looks impossible for them to be together, they always have complete trust and faith in each other and they never give up hope.  They've grown up together and their love has grown with them and matured from that between childhood sweethearts to adults who know that they belong together.

The other significant relationship is between Yolanda and her dog Brees!  He's adorable and such a faithful companion that he provides her with the strength to go on when she needs it most.

Their story is framed by an intricately detailed historical backdrop, with an ongoing war between the Catholics and the Cathars.  Religious hatred and intolerance are key themes throughout the book which highlights the destruction that these can cause.

This is an absolutely superb and fitting conclusion to an oustanding series by an amazing author.  I even had tears in my eyes at the end! 

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