“The Exile of Sara Stevenson” was Hannah’s first novel, but I began my own introduction to her authorship via her second, “The Angel of Blythe Hall“.
As with the second, the author picked two of my favorite things to write about; Scotland and fantasy (well the fantasy part was a little on the light side, but there none the less). Now I’m not a huge fan of romance, but if done with the right blend of history and quality character development, I’m willing to make an exception. So based on my enjoyment of novel number two, I went back for novel number one.
I thought the overall story was good, but light on both history and character development. The first maybe not such a big deal (since the author only used history as a point of reference) but the second…well it might have been her use of first person that left everyone, except for the heroine and her counter-part, half done. I for one would have like to have seen more from the other characters.
There was good use of plot and intrigue (though both took rather a long time to develop), yet I think there were several aspects of the story, had they been fleshed out more, would have added a lot to it (particularly the area of Scottish smuggler’s). As well as several she could have done without.
My favorite aspect of the entire book was its ending; which truth to tell almost made up for any other disappointments I may have had. Fact of the matter is if it were me, I might have begun with it, instead. But I’m not, and a book is like a child; you can stand around all day and tell its parent how you think it should be raised, but at the end of the day it’s still their child, not yours.
The upside… her second book was even better than the first, which tells me that in all likelihood we’ll be seeing even better stories coming from Darci Hannah in the future.
On my reader’s scale of 1-5 stars, I’m giving The Exile of Sara Stevenson 3.5 stars.