Best U.S. Alternative Historical Fiction Reviews From BookViral

"A masterful novel that’s written with equal parts passion and calculation"

U.S. Alternative Historical Fiction
Golden Quill
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  • ASIN: ‎ B0C5RWC85C
  • Publisher: ‎ Black Rose Writing (14 Sept. 2023)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 342 pages
  • Genre: US Alternative History Fiction


The BookViral Review:

 We’ll fight for full freedom, as long as it takes.”


A compelling, pertinent and powerful alternative history novel To The Manor Born proves a positively gripping read from the start. 


Provocative, often deeply unsettling, it’s underpinned by a weighty and deeply thought-provoking plot with Speiser’s narrative wide-ranging and restlessly probing as he introduces his readers to an eclectic cast of superbly imagined characters.


Despite alternative historical fiction’s popularity, it is never the less a rare thing to find a novel with interesting characters in dense, intelligent storylines, but that’s exactly what ‘To The Manor Born’ offers as Speiser takes us into a world where the The Confederate States of America never knew defeat and are locked in a perpetual border skirmish with the United States. 


Dark dystopias may feel ordinary in our current pop-culture landscape but To The Manor Born is something unique, with an adult take on the dystopian genre and a sombre and relevant story about the lives and fears of African Americans who have never been released from the yoke of slavery.


At the centre of ‘Manor Born’ are the key characters of Atticus and Clara and as more players are introduced Speiser edits his narrative into a lean propulsive read that becomes increasingly tense. A read that benefits from well-nuanced dialogue and Speiser’s intimate understanding of historical cultural influences as we gradually come to understand how the separate stories of his characters are connected to one another.


Despite the genre’s popularity it’s still rare to find an alternative history novel that features astute historical commentary alongside the machinations of a good read without seeming ridiculous. But in To The Manor Born each of these elements is as wonderfully surprising as the plot itself, which never lets the reader guess what’s coming next in a dizzying, disturbing fable of love and betrayal that never loses track of its story’s human core.


As befitting its subject To the Manor Born is laced with stark colour symbolism and it’s a credit to Speiser that he can keep his grasp on his narrative’s changing tone as some of his characters form tenuous alliances whilst others double-cross each other.


One of the most dangerous concepts of human society is that children believe what they are told and whilst To The Manor Born is set in an alternative timeline it becomes universal as we are forced to reflect on the complexities and injustices of the past. Spieser would have made a serious error in ramping up contrived melodrama toward some sort of science-fiction showdown but To The Manor Born is about empathy and on this level he has pitched it perfectly.


A masterful novel that’s written with equal parts passion and calculation, Speiser’s chilling tale of slavery in an oppressive alternative history is a story that demands to be enjoyed. A Golden Quill read it is unreservedly recommended!

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