Rated of 5
by 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.