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Forged in the Fire (No Shame, No Fear, Bk 2)
Forged in the Fire - No Shame, No Fear, Bk 2 Author:Ann Turnbull London, 1665. Cast out by his father for becoming a Quaker, the newly independent Will travels from the countryside to London to earn a living. He and his beloved Susanna wait patiently to be reunited and, at last, married. But when Will is thrown into jail for his beliefs, the pair’s future becomes uncertain. With the plague spreading clo... more »ser and the scent of smoke on the wind, can their love still bring them together despite the most terrifying twists of fate? Will and Susanna’s timeless romance continues in this powerful sequel to No Shame, No Fear.« less
Valli reviewed Forged in the Fire (No Shame, No Fear, Bk 2) on
Set in London, in the year 1655, Will, a young man who was cast from his father's home for becoming a Quaker, moves to London where he begins a promising career as a clerk. He's waiting to marry the girl he loves, Susanna, when tragedy strikes. The authorities habitually harass Quakers at this time and several are arrested during a meeting, then sent to a transport ship. While seeing his fellow Quakers off, Will has a run-in with a guard and is himself imprisoned during a particularly bad period of time because there is plague in London. The plague is raging through London and Susanna becomes increasingly worried about Will, so she sets off for London to find him and finally be married. In the midst of all this, the Great Fire of London occurs. I won't tell anymore after that because I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who may read this one.
I enjoyed the bits about the plague because I have a fascination with it, but I particularly enjoyed the great description of the Great London Fire. It was very well done and exciting to read. I also enjoyed the glimpse into the life of a Quaker at this time. The author did a great job at showing the persecution and the daily habits of the Quakers. There were some bits that I thought could have been a bit more fleshed out, but I have to remember this is a book for a younger audience and in that regard, I think it was very well done.
I didn't realize until I was almost halfway through with the book that it is actually a sequel to an earlier book; "No Shame, No Fear". The author was very good at bringing a reader who hasn't read the first book up to date and I never felt like I was missing out on parts of the story.
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com
The streets of 17th-Century London come alive in author Ann Turnbull's FORGED IN THE FIRE. The sequel to Turnbull's 2006 NO SHAME, NO FEAR, this well-written novel stands alone, dually answering readers' current questions while offering just enough ambiguity to pique their interest in the prequel.
Romance is alive and well in the plague-infested streets of 1665 London. But, times are hard and death is rampant, especially for Quakers such as Will and Susanna, who find themselves fighting against a close-minded religious establishment in addition to disease and poverty. Readers are left to breathlessly concede that a happy ending, no matter how deserved, is far from guaranteed.
Turnbull is skilled at entertaining readers while covertly educating them. Her scenes are full and powerful, bringing excitement and history to the forefront, yet never overpowering or heavy-handed. Readers will fall wholeheartedly into the love story of Will and Susanna, while simultaneously aching for the thousands of actual lives truly lost to sickness, disaster and ignorance in the London of yesteryear.
This, readers will understand, was a time of great fear, but not a time beyond equally great faith: "We ate with relish and felt glad to be alive," recalls Will. "The plague was in the city--but danger was always present. We must go about our lives as usual and trust in God" (p. 25).