Completing her amazing trilogy, which started with The Grip of God (you can see my lengthy review of the HERE) and moving on to Solomon’s Bride (you can read that review HERE), Rebecca Hazell has now treated readers to a dramatic end to an epic story with her third book in the series, Consolamentum, which I’m reviewing today.
But first, please enter to win a set of all three novels in e-book format!! To enter to win the entire The Tiger and the Dove trilogy for the Kindle (all 3 books in the series), click on this RAFFLECOPTER LINK!
The Tiger and the Dove series is one of those long, sweeping epics from a time and place we only dream of in our deepest sleep. It’s my opinion that you must read all three books in order, not as stand alone books, so that you can follow the life, growth, and amazing adventures of Sofia, a former princess.
In Consolamentum, book three and final in the series, the dramatic story features Sofia as a single mom who is on a quest to change and better her life once again. Moving from one country to the next is becoming quite common for her, as well as the changing cast of characters surrounding her. In this way, there are always new things to “see” in each of Rebecca’s books, and due to her details, create for us a way to travel through history and to places afar, as well as always fresh people to “meet.”
With Sofia as her constant character, having well-developed her in book one and progressing her with deeper depth and intellect throughout each book, Rebecca is able to construct supportive characters that are unique and original to each situation and place in each book. In Consolamentum, I enjoyed meeting her daughter Anna. Having come full circle from her being just a child herself in the first book, to a mother now, was very sweet to read.
In my other reviews I’ve already noted how I enjoy Rebecca’s books as she features issues of the time period of religion and cultures and gender in her writing. She continues that trend in Consolamentum, as Sofia is led to France and right into the Holy Inquisition. As is common in Rebecca’s books, Sofia is made authentic in her actions and reactions as she addresses each situation. She is independent, but not as some of the historical women featured in other books. I don’t think she’s weak either, though. I just think that Rebecca is more genuine with the fact that questioning yourself and the choices you make would be pretty common in the type of situations most often encountered in the 13th century. Generally, after Sofia does make a decision, she is head first into making it work. That, to me, is strength of character and true human nature.
Rebecca’s story clashes religions and cultures together to create a melting pot in a book, and as a reader, her stories create worlds where you can stop and evaluate how people where treated centuries ago based on their beliefs. Then, you can pause and look at our world now and see if we have even took one step forward. Her details of other places and times make you feel swept away and I enjoyed being immersed in an exotic time. I love her small touches on each page where she created visuals for the reader by interspersing colorful details and dialogue.
Beyond this, Sofia’s ordeal is dramatic and though I have read many books surrounding the Inquisition in various countries in the past few years, her stance on it in this book was interesting. I enjoyed thinking about the questions that Sofia presented and finding out what she thought about it all by the end. Of course, with Sofia, she evaluates each new religion she encounters and show us its positives and negatives. That’s so interesting to me.
Speaking of the ending, I have to say that I enjoyed how she wrapped it up, but also left it open. I think I’ll want to know how the rest of Sofia’s life goes though, and especially, that of her children. It seemed to me, Sofia still has more story to tell. In book one, the books are presented as something that Sofia is writing to her daughter (and in book three we get to meet this daughter), but at the end of book three she finishes up that circle as she ends her letter or journal for her daughter. I like the message at the end, though I don’t want to speak of it for fear of spoiling.
Overall, Rebecca has written a solid finale to a sweeping historical series that isn’t afraid to showcase cultures and religions and the struggle they impose. I enjoyed her lovely details, her unique characters, and her thought-provoking layered plot. I highly recommend this series for those who like captivating historical narratives that feature heroic females.
Consolamentum, Book Three and Final in The Tiger and the Dove Triology
- File Size: 759 KB
- Print Length: 378 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: CreateSpace (September 1, 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
In the finale of Sofia’s memoir, Consolamentum, both dramatic and poignant, her dreams of home are shattered when her own family betrays her. Raising her child on her own, mourning the loss of her beloved knight, and building a trading empire, she seeks safe haven for her child and herself. Her quest takes her from Antioch to Constantinople to Venice. A surprise reunion in Venice leads her to France where she runs afoul of the newly established Holy Inquisition, possibly the greatest challenge she has yet faced. Can a woman so marked by oppression, betrayal, and danger ever find her safe haven, much less genuine happiness?
The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order.
Rebecca Hazell, Biography~
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases.
She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.
Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.