Summer, 1643. King Charles I and Parliament continue to wage a gory war where no one is safe. Caroline Pendleton, a young widow, must fend for herself in London, while Lucy Hay, the beautiful Countess of Carlisle, juggles her conflicting allegiances, and Queen Henrietta faces exile to France again . . . but will her pregnancy scupper her escape?
As the English Civil War reaches its bloody climax, three women must fight for survival in the captivating conclusion of the Broken Kingdom series. Brenda Rickman Vantrease explores the connection between war and religion, and how it relates to her writing . . .
Ever since Cain killed Abel, the world has been at war over religion and its rites. Even people of faith who claim to worship the same God make war against each other. More human bonfires have been lit, more blood spilled, more bodies broken under torture, more massacres and atrocities committed in the name of religion than for any other cause. As a woman of faith this observation disturbs me. As a student of history, it intrigues me. As a human being it alarms me.
Do away with religion, the secularist will say. Religion is the cause. Really? Perhaps. Religion is a man-made practice, a system, sometimes connected to faith. Sometimes not. Often, religion cloaks itself in the trappings of perceived faith, a noble disguise to facilitate a means to an ignoble end. A closer look at centuries of conflict (and the principle actors) reveals more about human greed and lust for power than simple faith. Consider the European wars of the Reformation. Examine the struggle between the medieval Roman Church and the translators of the Christian Scriptures into the vernacular of the people. Why was so much blood spilled, is still being spilled among people of ‘peaceful’ faiths? Unwind the strand of that question and it follows a crooked path straight to human lust for wealth and power. Why did Roman Church authorities oppose the translation of the Scriptures enough to burn the martyrs like Jan Hus, William Tyndale and John Frith and even those who dared to own or read a Bible? This is the history that informs my first three books. Set between 1379 with the first stirrings of reform through the reformation, the characters in my novels endure and sometimes even overcome this religious strife. This is also the history that I explore in the two-volume series of Broken Kingdom, which is set in the seventeenth century during another religious war and the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, The English Civil War.
A FAR HORIZON is out 31 October in the UK and 1 February in the US. Find out more here.