Lord Alfred’s story continues PESTILENCE (Second Son Chronicles Volume 3), right where the last left off. His father, the king, has died quite suddenly, thrown by his horse after assassins tampered with his saddle. Alfred’s older brother, John, is next in line for the throne, but he is little suited for kingship. A weak, but arrogant and power-hungry man, he is selfish and short-sighted and from the beginning, his reign throws the kingdom into chaos. Under Alfred’s father and grandfather, the realm was brought into a new age of enlightenment. A system was created that involved the other lords of the kingdom, and even the merchants, in the governing of things. Everyone benefited and even the servants and peasants were well cared for. But John is determined to return to the old ways and rule with absolute power. He dismisses the counselors and ignores the needs of his people in favor of building up his military and preparing to wage war on other kingdoms. As unrest grows, Alfred works to help the people harmed by his brother’s madness and to save the kingdom from utter ruin. But his resistance may cost him his life, or worse: that of his wife and children.
PESTILENCE is a well-written book that is part historical fiction and part fantasy, set in a progressive medieval kingdom. It is the third volume of the SECOND SON CHRONICLES but is easy to read on its own, though it could benefit from more detail about the different kingdoms mentioned. They are all somewhat generic, even their names. It does lack a little in description, both of people and scenes, and some of the characters are slightly one-dimensional. The font that was used for Alfred’s writing is quite difficult to read, though that may have been an intentional stylistic choice by the author, meant to reflect actual medieval writing. There is also a slightly explicit, adulterous sex scene that seemed very out of place and out of character for at least one of the people involved. These issues aside however, the story is very good and well worth reading, with a well thought out plot.
PESTILENCE (Second Son Chronicles Volume 3) by Pamela Taylor is the continuation of her historical fiction series and, on it’s own, a well-written and well thought out book filled with courtly intrigue and drama.
~Heather Stockard for IndieReader