Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I love it because it is basically a squee-fest where book lovers can choose one book that they are DYING to get their hands on. Check it out!
The Wicked and the Just
by J. Anderson Coats
Cecily longs to return to her beloved Edgeley Hall, where her father was lord of the manor. But now he has completely ruined her life. He is moving them to Caernarvon, in occupied Wales, where he can get a place for almost nothing, since the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will get to be the lady of the house at last—if all goes well.
Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English came and destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now Gwenhwyfar must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl who has taken what should have been hers.
While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And meanwhile the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem. Outside the city walls of Caernarvon, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.
I have been on a MAJOR medieval kick lately. I’ve been watching Merlin online, reading books about Arthurian legends and such, because this kind of setting just astounds me. How people romanticize what was essentially a terrible time to live, unless you had no problems dying before you reached middle age. Every time I read a book–fantasy or historical fiction–that evokes this time period to me, I want to run around and put rushes on the floors in my house, even though I’m not totally sure what exactly rushes are or where I could find them that wouldn’t be bringing ticks and the like into my home. Alas.
THE WICKED AND THE JUST is not about King Arthur, of course, so apologies for going on about it for a second, but it sounds just as awesome. (I think the name Gwenhwyfar is what triggered the comparison in my brain.) I’m anticipating betrayals, scandal, twisty politics and back-stabbing. Maybe some nasty deaths. Hopefully a little kissy-face. I have never read a book that takes place in this time period in this location, and that gets me all jazzed up. And, uneducated American that I am, I had no idea of a Welsh uprising in the middle ages, either, so this stands to be one of those CRAZY books that might TEACH me something. GASP!
In all seriousness, I really want to read more YA historical fiction. When I read adult books these days–in fact, even when I was reading adult fiction EXCLUSIVELY–I always pick up historical fiction. It was my first book love, my go-to genre. But for some reason, now that I read mostly YA, I always manage to pick up other books about dystopian societies or sweetly complicated contemporary romances or faeries. I need me some rushes on the floor, y’all! Some upstairs-downstairs in places that actually EXIST.
I’m really looking forward to THE WICKED AND THE JUST because I think that only it can satisfy this particular thirst that I’m having. And the title? I LOVE it! THE WICKED AND THE JUST. Oooooh, chills!
THE WICKED AND THE JUST is coming out April 17, 2012 from Harcourt Children’s.