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Master of His Fate

Review

Master of His Fate

Ever since devouring the Harte Family Saga a decade ago, I have loved anything and everything written by the talented Barbara Taylor Bradford. After reading quite a few negative reviews of her latest effort, I must admit that I was a bit nervous to start it. However, from the initial pages, it was apparent that Bradford remains at the top of her writing game. I was soon lost in the setting and the deliciously detailed story.

Set during the Victorian era in London, England --- which is a new period for the author --- MASTER OF HIS FATE chronicles the lives of James Lionel Falconer, a charming and ambitious young man who dreams of owning a successful department store filled with lavish goods, even though his life thus far consists of running a simple market stall with his father, and Alexis, a young woman raised by her widowed father and trained to run his department store (or “arcade,” as they were called at that time). James is a dashing gentleman, as well as a hard worker, who remains fixated on his childhood dream.

"Reading MASTER OF HIS FATE is like stepping through a magical door into Victorian England. The descriptions are vivid, the characters rich and the storyline full, and I was completely drawn in and mesmerized."

Alexis is everything I love in a heroine: independent, strong yet likable, and charitable. The story begins with her intent on raising funds to open a home for abused women and their children. What follows is James and Alexis pursuing their parallel dreams. James leaves England to move in with his uncle so he can learn more about his wine shipping business and becomes involved with an older, widowed woman. Alexis, who never thought she would fall in love, let alone marry, has her world turned upside down when she meets an older gentleman named Sebastian. These two storylines are quite romantic, and many of these scenes were among my favorites.

Reading MASTER OF HIS FATE is like stepping through a magical door into Victorian England. The descriptions are vivid, the characters rich and the storyline full, and I was completely drawn in and mesmerized. As with all of Bradford’s books, there are a number of characters introduced at a rapid pace, but thanks to her masterful writing style, I did not have any trouble distinguishing one from the other. The novel includes many touching and romantic scenes, while also providing interesting and true-to-life information about running a successful business in that day and age. As a marketing professional, I was especially intrigued by the latter and lapped up the details. Fans of fashion and jewelry will appreciate the colorful descriptions.

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and this one is rich with historical detail while also maintaining a strong plot and supplying a myriad of compelling characters. MASTER OF HIS FATE is an auspicious and exciting start to Bradford’s new series, and I cannot wait for the next installment.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wasniak on November 30, 2018

Master of His Fate
by Barbara Taylor Bradford

  • Publication Date: November 20, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250187397
  • ISBN-13: 9781250187390