You be the judge.
Reedsy.com is undoubtedly one of the premier sites for self-published authors, connecting them with professionals in the book trade able to give manuscripts a winning finish (one of their artists designed the cover here). The site regularly issues a newsletter, featuring recently reviewed books. Issue #143 (December 10 2021) opened with a couple of intriguing paragraphs:
“Did you know that Hilary Mantel is the first woman to have been awarded the Booker Prize twice? Best known for her fictional trilogy about Thomas Cromwell — the first two books of which won her the aforementioned prize — Mantel has undoubtedly written some of the best historical fiction novels of this century — or any other, for that matter.
If you’re a fan of Mantel, or generally enjoy historical fiction with absorbing Tudor settings, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the debut duology I’m recommending this week. It’s not only rich in historical detail and character portraits, but a witty read to boot!”
The newsletter then introduces a list of featured books, the first for Young Adults, the second for Historical Fiction, and I quote:
“Allan Hands’s historical fiction novel Mirrored Sword, Part Two continues the epic story of Susanna, an ambitious painter in love with the Yorkist king, and Tom, a fighting Lancastrian. Set during the Wars of the Roses — a series of civil wars in 15th century England — the novel brims with nail-biting political drama and is packed with both adventure and romance. Fans of Hilary Mantelwill not want to miss this sharp story and its incredible cast, though I do recommend starting with Part One.”
So, is Mirrored Sword one of the best historical fiction novels of all time – which is how I understand the newsletter – or is the write-up merely encouragement for a first-time author?
You be the judge: read the book.