Best Historical Fantasy Fiction Reviews From BookViral

"An original and applaudable debut from Hutchins..."

Historical Fantasy Fiction
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  • Publisher: ‎ The Regency Publishers; 1st edition (November 18, 2022)
  • Publication date: ‎ November 18, 2022
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 320 pages
  • Genre:  Historical Fantasy Fiction

The BookViral Review:

By any stretch of the imagination Sparhawk Hutchins has delivered a superb debut novel. 

An epic story AND THE HILLS REPLIED is immediately engaging with a narrative that effortlessly captures the essence of the pivotal years leading up to the Treaty of Northampton (1328) which led to the recognition of Robert I’s title as king of Scots and the abandonment of all English claims to overlordship.

Told in the main through the eyes of Robert’s wife Elizabeth de Burgh it would be a diehard cynic who denied Hutchins’ descriptive prowess and the extensive in-depth research that underpins his narrative. He has an obvious affinity for rich historical detail which he blends well with the fantastical. This makes for a finely executed plot whilst never opting for the lesser option of leaving it to his readers to connect the dots. 

It’s a literary undertaking that might have daunted the most seasoned of authors, but Hutchins has added an intriguing time-hopping element and a clever supernatural foray into Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny’s, provenance and the mystery that surrounds it. And it’s to his credit that he seamlessly integrates this with historically accurate events without sacrificing the sense of authenticity all historical fiction authors strive for.

Through Elizabeth de Burgh’s point of view and the tragedies of her life we are not only introduced to key historical characters but intricate back stories are woven together to create the canvas upon which “AND THE HILLS REPLIED” unfolds. This includes disparate time periods with an alternative reality element. The drama is intense as Hutchins finds an equitable balance between suspense and intrigue, whilst imbuing his characters with a degree of emotive resonance that ensures his readers will become fully invested in the trials and tribulations they each face.

An original and applaudable debut from Hutchins which is sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction and avid historians alike, AND THE HILLS REPLIED is recommended without reservation.

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