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Master of His Fate

(House of Falconer #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  570 ratings  ·  151 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the first book in a stunning new historical saga.

Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. Even as a boy working in his father's market stall in
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 20th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 Victorian stars! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Master of His Fate, the first in a new series by Barbara Taylor Bradford, is actually my first book by this beloved author of historical fiction!

Set in Victorian England, there is a deep and wide distinction between the haves and the have-nots, and two main characters are brought together from either side of the divide. James Lionel Falconer is the grandson of hired help; well-loved and highly-respected help, but help nonetheless. James is self-made in every respect a
Susan Peterson
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Taylor Bradford introduced me to grand sagas with her first book A Woman of Substance, along with its sequels. I’m thrilled that she is continuing this tradition with Master of His Fate. I was intrigued by the two storylines; James Falconer, a poor but ambitious and bright young man: Alexis Malvern, a rich young woman who lives a life of privilege. It was fascinating as these two stories intertwined in such unexpected ways. The author does an excellent job of placing the reader directly ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Lovers of Downton Abbey and Upstairs/Downstairs will enjoy the latest novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford Master of his Fate (the first in a new series). Set in Victorian England, the story focuses of James Falconer, a young man determined to rise in the ranks and make something of himself. Alexis Malvern is a high class lady who falls in love with a much older man. Their lives cross through a series of tragedies. This book has it all: romance, intrigue, drama. I loved the characters, the setting, ...more
Kate Vocke
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog-tour
Adding another new, shiny check to my historical fiction column of books that I love! Master of His Fate is an expansive historical saga, the first of a series, that follows a rich cast of characters in the most vivid settings in Victorian England.

I adored both James Falconer and Alexis Malvern and although their stories are laced with common threads - they couldn’t come from more different backgrounds. And they just may be destined to meet. The story bounces back and forth as James and Alexis
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What can I say? It's Barbara Taylor Bradford, folks, the queen of riveting historical romance sagas. Once again you'll be transported into the lives of two fascinating protagonists meant to be together but at a big cost. I won't focus on the plot. I'll let you discover it for yourself (if you can avoid reading the book description or the other reviews below). One thing I will say, however, is grab this book. If you like fluff with a sophisticated edge, that is. Taylor's been at it for a while an
Laura Spira
Oct 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
When my children were young enough for me to be still suffering from baby brain I read and enjoyed "A Woman of Substance". I was surprised to see that Barbara Taylor Bradford is still publishing novels so thought I would give this one a try, courtesy of an ARC from Netgalley and St Martins Press.

I wonder if BTB herself wrote it. It is phenomenally badly written. Every conversation is stilted and expository. Some of the language is oddly anachronistic - I'm sure Victorians did not describe themse
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Barbara Taylor Bradford since Woman of Substance. Master of His Fate is the first in a sweeping new family saga. The story is told from two viewpoints and I couldn't wait to find out how the two intertwined. I was quickly transported back in time to Victorian England and pulled into the story of James and Alexis. I can't wait for the next book!
Linda Zagon
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lindas Book Obsession Reviews " Master of His Fate" by @Barbara Taylor Bradford,  St. Martin's Press, November 20, 2018

Barbara Taylor Bradford, Author of "Master of His Fate" has written an intriguing, intense, emotional, riveting, and captivating novel. Barbara Taylor Bradford is an amazing author that vividly describes her unique characters and dramatic settings. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction, with a touch of Romance and Mystery and Suspense. The ti
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I loved BTB's "A Woman of Substance," but unfortunately did not enjoy the author's first installment in her newest series. Review to come in Historical Novel Society.
Cindy Roesel
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it

The grand dame of historical fiction is back with a new series – House of Falconer. It brings two highly different people together: Commoner: James Falconer and Noble: Alexis Malvern.

Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father’s market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince.

Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, cha
Charlotte Lynn
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Barbara Taylor Bradford is amazing. She takes a time that is so far into history and brings it to life. As a fan of hers, I know that when I pick up one of her amazing books I will be taken back in time to a land that I am not familiar with, customs that are not known to me, and a way of life that I’ve only heard about in a history lesson. Her books are the best history lessons I have ever read. I can picture the horse drawn carriages, the esteemed houses lit up by gas lights, the beautiful cors ...more
Ever since devouring The Woman of Substance series over a decade ago, I have loved everything written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. After reading some low reviews of this one, I was nervous to start it. My fears were soon allayed, however, as I became lost in the setting and the deliciously detailed story, forgetting all about the negative reviews.

Set during the Victorian era in London, England, Master of His Fate chronicled the lives of James, a charming and ambitious young man who dreams of owni
Ritika Chhabra
Follow Just A Girl High On Books for more reviews.

I received a digital copy of this book on Netgalley.

"She was an independent woman with her own fortune, and thankfully the freedom to do what she wanted. She was the mistress of her fate."

Master of His Fate was the first Barbara Taylor Bradford book that I read, and frankly, I wasn't exactly sure what I was to expect. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. I had heard so much about the author so naturally, I had high expectations. Now although m
Oct 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Either it's been too long and I've forgotten, or my tastes have changed a lot, but I felt like I've read much more interesting things by this author while reading this book? The story felt very flat and boring as I was reading and there was nothing exciting, nothing that made me want to keep reading - I only did it because of the engagement I had, to give the review. There were so many ch
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford is the first novel in a four-book series, tentatively titled The House of Falconer. This novel, set in Victorian England from 1884 to 1889 centers around two seemingly disparate characters, James Falconer and Alexis Malvern, whose stories are eventually merged in an exceedingly cunning manner. Commoner, James is a young man who begins his career working a market stall with his father, but soon establishes an ambitious plan for his future. Noble, Alex ...more
Olivia Farr
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Master of His Fate" begins a new historical fiction series. We begin with James Falconer as a boy- already he has big dreams. He currently helps his merchant father to sell wares at the market, and he absolutely loves what he does. He dreams of owning a big shop and stores to sell wares when he is older. With an idyllic, loving family and grandparents (seriously, Hallmark quality interactions), James is already on the right path for success.

Next, we meet Alexis Malvern. Her father owns a tradin
Melissa Dee
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the detailed descriptions of the homes, dresses and surroundings of Victorian London. Once I realized that this was number one of a series, I relaxed into the plot lines and realized that that many would be left unresolved.

I was annoyed by the anachronisms, which a careful editor would have resolved.

James’ character is a “to be resolved” for me. Perhaps his behavior would be called “gentlemanly” by Victorians. He has an affair with a widow, lies about it, turns on his accuser, then conti
Sarah Davies
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great storyline, with a really good mix of characters. The story of James Falconer is really interesting with him growing up as a barrow boy but with the dream of working in his own arcades. His grandparents willing to help him with his dream.

Then the side story of Alexis who is career minded and not interested in men and marriage until she meets Sebastian and then here world is changed upside down.

Really good concept, pleasure to read, the storyline flows really nicely.
Karen Trosterud
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have not read a Barbara Taylor Bradford book in a while.. I really enjoyed this book of good family saga! I’m excited that there will be more books of James and Alexis!! I loved the history behind this book!! I was given an advanced copy to read!
Lori Winslow
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. I have always loved Barbara Taylor Bradford, and this story did not disappoint. This book is the first of a series of 4 books set in Victorian England, and introduces what I assume will be the main characters going forward.

Without giving too much away, as I was reading the book, I kept wondering how these characters get together, and it was worth the wait. Speaking of waiting, I can't wait for the next book, I sure hope it is coming out soon.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this epic new family saga by master storyteller Barbara Taylor Bradford, we meet the Falconer clan, James, is the golden boy, the one groomed to lead his family into the future. We are also introduced to Alexis Malvern, only child and heir to the family business, the Malvern company, where the Falconer's have a stall selling merchandise.

I truly enjoyed the story and anxiously look forward to the second installment in the four-part series. I felt like I was transported to the 1880's, I felt t
Michele Benchouk
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have never read anything by Barbara Taylor Bradford before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found her descriptions of clothing, jewelry, interiors, gardens, landscapes, and so on to be exquisite. I could easily picture the scene and her attention to detail was amazing in really putting the reader in the story. I enjoyed getting to know Alexis and find her to be likable and real. Her whirlwind relationship was fun to read and heartbreaking, although I found the physical intimacy to be much e ...more
Mary Cronin
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I was disappointed with this book. The characters were too perfect in every way. There was little turmoil to create interest. It just coasted along in a rather dull manner. I expected more than this vanilla story.
Karma♥Bites ^.~
16 Sept 2018: FYI for HF &/or Barbara Taylor Bradford fans:
Currently 'Read now' @ NG:
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
I stopped at page 71. I think I would have liked the story - but the writing and the conversations were too fake.
Lois Sittu
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford was a waste of my time. It was an advanced reader's edition and I felt obligated to read the entire book. I could not connect to any of the characters and do not care what happens in the continuing saga. After forming my opinion, I read many of the other reviews and was amazed that the novel received so many four and five stars. Historical Fiction
Ever since devouring the Harte Family Saga a decade ago, I have loved anything and everything written by the talented Barbara Taylor Bradford. After reading quite a few negative reviews of her latest effort, I must admit that I was a bit nervous to start it. However, from the initial pages, it was apparent that Bradford remains at the top of her writing game. I was soon lost in the setting and the deliciously detailed story.

Set during the Victorian era in London, England --- which is a new perio
Caryn Shaffer
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Master of His Fate” is a sedate romance set in Victorian England that follows two story lines. The first is James Falconer’s story. James is a 17-year-old wannabe merchant who divulges to his grandparents his 5-year plan early in the book. James respects and strives to emulate his father who also is a merchant, and his family members do their best to set him on the right path for success. As James’ story unfolds, the author reve
Dan Curnutt
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this Historical Novel we begin a new series regarding Merchants and the Aristocracy in 1880's England. There is quite a difference in culture between the two classes. Although things are becoming a bit closer as the Aristocracy is facing troubling times in a declining agricultural economy that is bringing a strong fiscal downturn that endangers their style of living.

In this new series of novels we will be introduced to the Malvern and Travelian families who have a high standard of living base
Christina (Bookwormmommyof3)
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This new series is one I’m excited about. Engrossed by two main characters and their families, you become enchanted by what the future can bring.

What a first book for a series. James Falconer is what I call, “the dreamer” and Alexis is “the doer”, and their two stories intertwined set up a solid foundation for the first book and has the reader excited about what the series will bring next. I found James to to be very endearing, his initial dream is what hooked me in and was a promising premise f
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Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman ...more
“Blane Montague at the latter’s country manor, Fountains” 0 likes
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