Advance reader reviews of Tides of War by Stella Tillyard.

Tides of War

A Novel

By Stella Tillyard

Tides of War
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Oct 2011,
    368 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 2 of 6
There are currently 38 member reviews
for Tides of War
Order Reviews by:
  • Debra P. (Belmont, NC)

    I had a difficult time staying with this book, it just didn't grab me or keep me like other historical novels.I do believe the author did a great job researching the time period for accuracy, but it became choppy and disconnected because the settings changed so often. I would have preferred a little more of the story around the women featured and less about the actual battle scenes. Maybe it just wasn't a subject I was necessarily interested in and the book will appeal more to others.
  • Valerie C. (Chico, CA)

    good but not great
    After a very engaging opening, the book drags a bit. For some it may still be great, but for me it was just okay.
  • Mary B. (St Paul, MN)

    Tides of War
    I enjoy reading historical fiction and I liked this book very much. For me, it was not the type of book to read cover to cover in one sitting, but one that I could read over a period of time and savor. There were interesting characters both real and fictional and good interwoven stories. I enjoyed the strong female characters.
  • Tillie H. (Baltimore, MD)

    Slow moving
    I thought this book was very slow moving and often confusing. So many characters to keep track of when going back and forth between home and the war setting.
    Not one of the better books I've read this year.
  • Therese J. (Alvarado, Minnesota)

    Know Your History
    Tides Of War is well written for those who are familiar with British nineteenth century war history, and with British idiom. Not knowing background was a handicap as I read this book, as the author plunged into the tale, moving rapidly from one venue to another, one person to another without making connections. A good novel for me is one I don't have to struggle to read, and this was tough.
  • Sheryl M. (Marietta, GA) Do not use full last name

    A Time of Turmoil and Opportunity
    Tides of War has all the elements that create deeply moving and compelling historical fiction. Its wartime London crackles with new possibilities, especially opportunities for women who are released from the constraints of conventional family life. Balancing London’s briskness is the sultry seductiveness of Seville whose ladies provide distractions from the brutality of the battlefront for the soldiers and the reader.

    With a historian’s fine attention to detail, Tillyard paints word pictures that become fully realized for the reader—and with words that are fresh and innovative. She develops a vast cast of players that allow us to see a broad cross section of society, both in England and Spain; events are depicted in meticulous detail, ensuring that we grasp the full scope of the novel’s history.

    However, the central fictional figures around which the places, events and historical figures should swirl and be spun into a meaningful complete jigsaw puzzle are strangely unaffecting—neither likeable nor so despicable that the reader is curious to see what mayhem they might provoke.

    I have read compelling non-fiction that read like fiction. Unfortunately, Tides of War is a novel that reads more like non-fiction. While the narrative was informative, it was not compelling.
  • Carolyn G. (South Pasadena, CA)

    A very slow read
    I volunteered to read Tides of War because I like historical fiction and I hoped to learn more about this period of history. If I had just gotten this book out of the library or had decided to buy it, I would not have finished it. Out of respect to the author, I read the book to the bitter end. I kept wishing the writer would find her story teller voice and that the book would get better. Sadly, it never did. This is a complex story with lots of characters; however, none of them are fully developed. Rather than a novel, this is a collection of small vignettes of several different stories. Just when a scene began to have some drama and characterization, the author dropped the curtain and moved the action. Neither of the main characters, Harriet or her new husband Captain James Raven is especially likable. Their infidelities do not inspire passion or even much interest. As a reader, I felt disappointed that there wasn’t more about the Irish involvement in the conflict. There were bits and pieces of battle field scenes, medical history and development of gas lighting in London which seemed unrelated to the plot.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Poetry is like fish...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.