C.S.'s Reviews > The Tide Mill

The Tide Mill by Richard Herley
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Feb 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction

If you love historical fiction, you need to acquaint yourself with Richard Herley. His novels are not only rich in detail, they're beautifully written. Nature is always an important part of his books. His descriptions draw you in with the sounds, scents, and views of an often wild and unfriendly, but beautiful world. His nature isn't a passive thing that you merely look at. It's active and engaging, and always very much a part of the story. When he writes about a flock of seabirds swooping over the water, you can see and hear them.

Manual skills and handcrafts, often of another time and place are thorougly convincing. I think his knowledge must be based as much on his own skills as on research.

The heart of The Tide Mill is about the intersection of the lives of serfs, free men, and nobles. Characters defy their ordained destinies, suffer the consequences, or reap the rewards. Nothing about this life is easy, even for the highborn, who have to balance the opposing demands of their king and the church. The characters struggle against each other, and against nature, mostly in the form of the sea that edges the village. Most of all, they struggle against themselves. Two threads wind through the story, the forbidden love of two people from different social classes, and the construction of a new kind of mill that attracts the attention of the church.
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