Review of “Castle on the Rise” by Kristy Cambron

The Easter Rising, also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish nationalists seeking to end British rule in Ireland. Britain had controlled Ireland for some 700 years, in ways disadvantageous and cruel to the Irish Catholics.

The Easter Rising came 118 years after the unsuccessful rebellion of 1798, which was the first armed action of Irish revolutionaries.

This historical fiction romance uses three time frames, including the period of these two rebellions, as well as the present day. The three stories alternating in the book are all tied together by family, setting, and history. In addition, somewhat parallel romances characterize each period.

In the portions set during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, we learn something about the enmity between the Irish and the British, when Maeve Ashford, the Mistress of Ashford Manor since her mother’s death, becomes acquainted with Eoin O’Byrne, an Irish activist.

In 1916, we meet Issy Byrne, a would-be photojournalist who, like Maeve, is also from the Anglo-Irish aristocracy but finds herself in love with an Irish patriot.

Children collect firewood from the ruined buildings damaged in the Easter Rising Photo: Getty

And in the present day, Laine Forrester is reluctantly drawn to her best friend’s new brother-in-law, Cormac Foley, who has just inherited a castle on the grounds of Ashford Manor.

All of the couples have to deal with the difficulties of bridging the span between two different worlds – worlds that have been characterized by much pain and sorrow. The romance between each couple is well-done; there is nice tension and pacing surrounding the “forbidden” attraction each of them experiences.

Cambron resolves the conflicts realistically, and at the same time leaves room for expansion of their stories if she so chooses. (Apparently this book is the second of a series. I was unaware of that, but had no trouble following the story.)

Evaluation: With strong female characters and a compelling historical and geographical setting, this book has much to recommend it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Thomas Nelson, 2019

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3 Responses to Review of “Castle on the Rise” by Kristy Cambron

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I’m not sure I’d like the romance or the three different time periods but I would like to learn more about Irish/English history so I might give this a try.

  2. Mystica says:

    I’ve read several books with this setting as the main back ground and they were all good. This adds to the list from another perspective. Thanks for the review.

  3. Beth F says:

    I’m often drawn to an Irish setting and I don’t know as much as I should about it’s troubled history with England. I’m not a huge romance lover, but this looks good.

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