Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review - Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift + GIVEAWAY

01_Spirit of the Highway

TITLE:    Spirit of the Highway (Highway Trilogy, Book 2)
AUTHOR:    Deborah Swift
INFO:    Historical Fiction/Young Adult, 292 pages
PUBLISHED:   Endeavor Press, 2015
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

 England 1651. England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmer’s son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem – he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady. Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate. But war is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. What’s more, Ralph finds he has just as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield. Told by Ralph’s ghost, Spirit of the Highway is the stand-alone second part of the Highway Trilogy based on the real life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, highwaywoman and heiress.

MY TAKE:    While this is the second book in this delightful series, it is definitely a stand-alone read. Another note is that even though it is being marketed as Young Adult, this well-researched Historical Fiction can't really be stuffed into just one genre. I think that readers of all ages and fans of most genres would truly enjoy these books. 

I'm a sucker for books that are multi-faceted and have many threads weaving throughout the entire tale. Deborah Swift seems to excel with these kinds of stories. She brings the characters and the past alive for the reader with intricate details that let you imagine that you're right there in the scene. She makes history attainable and truly entertaining for her fans. 

I found our "main" character Ralph to be easy to become attached to, even though we know from the start that he is dead. It was an interesting and rather refreshing twist to hear the story and see how events unfold from his unique perspective. 

Most of Ms. Swift's characters are also multi-layered and provoke many different emotions as the story progresses. I felt empathy and concern for Lady Katherine while the opposite was true for the horrible Elizabeth. This is a testament to the author's writing as she does exactly what she sets out to do in evoking your emotional reaction to these people. 
The narrative also did an excellent job of teaching us about this time in history while making the human element all too clear. Class division, the ravages of war, political intrigue and pure human emotions are all prevalent and intertwined. It makes for a truly lovely way to actually learn something while being thoroughly entertained. 

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

    Available now at: 


Praise for Deborah Swift

"The past comes alive through impeccable research, layers of intriguing plot line, an understanding of the complexities of 17th century politics and the sheer power of descriptive prose." -Lancashire Evening Post "characters you can really get interested in" -The Mum website

Praise for Shadow on the Highway (Book One, Highway Trilogy)

"Shadow on the Highway is an awesome work of YA historical fiction. It is definitely my new favorite Deborah Swift book!" -So Many Books So Little Time Blog "Swift brings layers of historical and imaginative detail to her stories and I highly recommend as a light read for any adult and for teenagers interested into foraying into historical fiction." -Hook of a Book Blog "Shadow on the Highway is an exciting peek into the English Civil War from both sides of the fighting... I very much look forward to the next two books in this trilogy!" -Historical Tapestry

About the Author

02_Deborah Swift

Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists. She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District - a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.


Be sure to come back tomorrow as we will have the author herself, Deborah Swift here with an interesting guest post that you won't want to miss!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 26 Guest Post at Passages to the Past 

Tuesday, October 27 Review at Book Nerd 
Spotlight & Excerpt at Let Them Read Books 

Wednesday, October 28 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 

Thursday, October 29 Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book 

Monday, November 2 Review at The Maiden's Court 

Tuesday, November 3 Spotlight & Excerpt at Brooke Blogs 

Thursday, November 5 Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Friday, November 6 Review at Bookramblings 
Review at Just One More Chapter 
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf


To win a signed paperback of Spirit of the Highway please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Three copies up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. 

enter here: >>>>> Spirit of the Highway

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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