Traitor’s Knot


The year is 1650. The place, post-revolutionary England. Those who fought for the king are shunned. To be a priest or a Papist means death by hanging. Elizabeth Seton's father fought and died for the crown. Now, alone in Dorset, her last best option is  to live with her Aunt Isabel. On her way to Warwick a highwayman stops the carriage. Later, Elizabeth sees this criminal and recognizes him by his eyes. She falls for him, despite knowing that James is trouble. Elizabeth catches the eye of Hammond, the constable of Warwick. He means to make her his, but Elizabeth is repulsed by him and his Puritan attitudes. Once he knows that she has chosen James over him, he sends her to the gaol. James is none the wiser, off fighting for Prince Charles. She fears she will not live to see James again.

After a slow start, this historical novel varies in speed throughout. Historically, it is an accurate piece with some artistic license taken for the sake of a well-written novel. This novel is full of characters richly drawn and developed, although Hammond is impossible to identify with. An emotional piece, "Traitor's Knot" will have readers seesawing between joy and sheer anger at the scenes that unfold. Battle scenes, though important, are too drawn out and are much too detailed. An interesting and enlightening story about an unstable time in England, much can be learned from this nugget.

Belinda Wilson