Every now and then a review comes along that makes you think you’re not entirely wasting your time. There are readers out there who get what you’re trying to do and respond enthusiastically to it. One of those is Ellie Hawkes, who has just posted her review of Fortune’s Hand on her blog, Elspells.
All I can say is her review blew me away.
I know this book won’t be for everyone. As Ellie acknowledges, it’s not an easy read “in terms of structure and subject matter”. I also agree with her that the cover and subtitle set up expectations of a different kind of book, which may leave some readers feeling disappointed. It was always intended to be an unashamedly ‘literary’ novel, in the sense that the way it is written is an important part of the storytelling. As another perceptive reviewer has said, “Don’t go in expecting a by-the-numbers tale of Raleigh’s life and adventures.”
Ellie is not the first reviewer to draw comparisons with Hilary Mantel, which is of course a massive compliment that I’m happy to accept! Comparisons are odious, but I think it’s fair to say that if you’re the kind of reader who doesn’t get on with Dame Hilary you probably won’t like my book. But if you’re a Mantel fan, then maybe, just maybe, it will be your cup of tea.
Anyhow, reaching one reader like Ellie makes it all worthwhile. You can read her complete review here.