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Sweet Mace A Sussex Legend of the Iron Times   By: (1831-1909)

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Sweet Mace: A Sussex Legend of the Iron Times by George Manville Fenn is a captivating historical fiction novel that portrays a rich tapestry of adventure, love, and loyalty. In this tale set during the Iron Age, Fenn delves into the lives of the ancient Britons and skillfully weaves a story that immerses readers into a world of warriors and chieftains.

The plot centers around the journey of Mace, a brave and resilient young warrior. Desperate to prove himself and win the hand of his beloved, Sweet Mace, he embarks on a perilous quest to retrieve an ancient artifact. This relic is not only a symbol of power but also holds the key to the survival and prosperity of his tribe.

Fenn's writing style is wonderfully descriptive, enabling readers to vividly imagine the sprawling landscapes and danger-filled battles that Mace encounters. The author's attention to detail is truly commendable; his thorough research on the historical backdrop of the story shines through, creating an authentic atmosphere for readers to delve into.

Moreover, the characters in Sweet Mace are masterfully crafted. From the strong-willed and courageous Mace to the fiercely independent and compassionate Sweet Mace, every character stays true to their nature and undergoes personal growth as the story unfolds. Fenn successfully develops complex relationships among the characters, exploring themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and the power of love in the face of adversity.

The pacing of the novel is well-balanced, with action-packed sequences seamlessly interspersed with introspective and emotional moments. The narrative grips readers right from the beginning, and the suspense and tension are maintained throughout, leaving readers eagerly turning every page.

One aspect that particularly impressed me was Fenn's ability to seamlessly incorporate historical facts into the storyline without overwhelming the reader. Whether it be the nuances of everyday life during the Iron Age or the intricacies of tribal hierarchies, these details enhance the authenticity of the narrative and enrich the reading experience.

However, there were a few moments where the plot seemed predictable, and certain character developments felt slightly rushed. Despite these minor flaws, Sweet Mace remains an enjoyable and engrossing read from start to finish.

In conclusion, Sweet Mace: A Sussex Legend of the Iron Times is a remarkable blend of historical accuracy and captivating storytelling. George Manville Fenn's immersive narrative and well-rounded characters bring ancient Britain to life, transporting readers to a world teeming with ambition, courage, and love. This novel is an excellent choice for fans of historical fiction who seek an enthralling tale of adventure and romance set in a time long passed.

First Page:

Volume 1, Chapter I.


"Too soon for sweet mace a bunch for sweet Mace," said Gil Carr as he bent down amongst the sedges to pick the bright blue scorpion grass, its delicate flowers relieved with yellow, "so she must have forget me not. I wonder whether she'll keep some when I'm far away."

He stopped and smiled and listened, for the morning concert was beginning two hundred and fifty years ago, at four o'clock in the morning and down in a Sussex valley near the sea.

A long while since? Nay, a mere instant of time in this world's life; and spite of all some writers say, and though we now have steam and electric current to our hand, two hundred and fifty years ago men thought and spoke the same perhaps a little more roughly than they do now.

There was the pleasant gurgle of water at Gil Carr's feet, and as he drew back from where the stream rippled and swirled, and a trout darted into sight, saw him, and flashed away beneath the shelter of a jutting stone, he paused beneath the spreading branches of the trees, half closed his eyes, thought of sweet Mace, and revelled, as young men of eight and twenty can who love to place one object in the chiefest spot of all they see.

Here is the site of Gil Carr's musings, for untouched Nature shows little change... Continue reading book >>

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