by Justin Newland
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 299 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy
It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.
In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…
“The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society
About the Author
Justin Newland was born in Essex, England, three days before the end of 1953.
His love of literature began with swashbuckling sea stories, pirates and tales of adventure. Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he worked in I.T. and later ran a hotel.
His taste in literature is eclectic: from literary fiction and fantasy, to science fiction, with a special mention for the magical realists and the existentialists. Along the way, he was wooed by the muses of history, both ancient and modern, and then got happily lost in the labyrinths of mythology, religion and philosophy. Justin writes secret histories in which real events and historical personages are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.
His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.
Set during the Enlightenment, his third novel, The Coronation reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.
He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
The Coronation is a curious mix of history, faith, superstition, and the supernatural that at times confounds, but ultimately just works. Set during the Seven Years War in 1761, with glimpses of the Prussian and Russian Imperial courts, the story focuses primarily on Countess Marion von Adler as she works to save the people of her Prussian estate from starvation and her children from harm. As Lieutenant Ian Fermor, left for dead after his Russian company raids the von Adler estate, heals under her care and begins to dream of the great Adler – a supernatural eagle he believes is an angel of God – events are set into motion that will see Marion and Ian’s lives in danger.
Wending its way through brief scenes featuring a variety of characters, the tensions mount with plots, perfidy, and peril. Author Justin Newland has crafted a multi-faceted tale that may initially seem fragmented, but comes together as a whole while maintaining a bit of mystery and the question of whether the followers of the Adler are heretics, heroes, or victims of mass delusion.
As I began to read, I was increasingly unsure if this was really my cup of tea, but pushing through lead to a very interesting reading experience. This is Historical Fantasy unlike any I have read before, so grounded in history that I had to remind myself that it is indeed a work of fantasy. Recommended.
This review refers to a digital galley I voluntarily read, courtesy of the author. A positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Tuesday, April 27
Review at Vincent Triola
Thursday, April 29
Interview at Jathan & Heather
Friday, April 30
Excerpt at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, May 3
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, May 5
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Friday, May 7
Review at Bookworlder
Tuesday, May 11
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Friday, May 14
Review at Nurse Bookie
Monday, May 17
Review at Libri Draconis
Friday, May 21
Guest Post Historical Fiction Reviews
Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Passages to the Past
Monday, May 31
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Enter to win a paperback copy of The Coronation! Two paperbacks are up for grabs.
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.