Tuesday, 25 April 2017

BLOOD ROSE ANGEL by Liza Perrat @LizaPerrat

4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK HERE
On Amazon.com HERE
On Goodreads HERE

How I discovered this book: I read another title by this author, The Silent Kookaburra, when it was submitted to Rosie Amber's Review Team, and liked it so much I downloaded another of her books.

The story is set in the 14th century, in the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, and centres round midwife and herbal practitioner, Héloïse.  Her husband, Raoul Stonemason, has been working in Florence on the cathedral for two years, but when the plague hits Italy, work halts and he knows he must flee.  On the way home he accepts a lift from a merchant, who is to stay a while in Lucie.  Alas, he brings with him the plague, and dies of it the next day.  From then, it spreads rapidly.  As a midwife and herbalist, Héloïse feels duty bound to aid not only those about to give birth, but also the ill of the village, and this causes great friction between her and Raoul, who is terrified that she will bring the pestilence into their own house.

I was pleased to discover that Liza Perrat can write historical fiction as convincingly as the dark (yet humorous) contemporary drama I'd read before.  The research that must have gone in to this book is some feat; there is so much intricate detail about the herb lore of the period, the every-day lives of the peasants, and most interesting of all, the superstitions and religion.  The villagers' lives are ruled by their fear of a wrath-like god, and have faith in all manner of charms, talismans, portents of doom, etc; a minority dared to voice their derision of these far-fetched beliefs, but it was so sad that, of course, they had no idea of the cause of the pestilence; as I read with frustration, it made me wonder what generations far into the future will think of the beliefs that still exist today, that our lives are watched over by invisible, judgemental, parental style entities.  The parallels with our 21st century life are many, and it gave me much food for thought.

The story itself, of how Héloïse deals with the prejudice towards her, and how she climbed from her darkest hours back into the light, is well thought out and so well written, but aside from this, the novel is a fascinating exploration of the rural life of the time, of the societal structure and the way in which the pestilence affected the people and changed the way they thought and lived.  I hope to read another book in this trilogy soon; this is the third book, and a complete stand alone.


  1. Thank you so much for this insightful review, Terry. Very glad you enjoyed Héloïse!

  2. Wow this sounds like another cracking read, Terry :D

    1. It's nothing like The Silent K, EL; you wouldn't even know it was the same writer. But I trusted that as TSK was so good, it would be of the same standard :)