If you are crazy for the past, The Wicked And The Just by J. Anderson Coats will set your history senses tingling. Taking place in medieval Wales, The Wicked And The Just is a magnificent read about two girls – one a stranger in a strange land, the other is a refugee in her own country after her family loses everything after the English take over Wales.
Cecily is SO angry with her father. You see, Cecily has grown up at Edgeley Hall in England and assumed it would someday be hers as part of her dowry. When her uncle returns from the Crusades and reclaims Edgeley, Cecily’s father uproots the two for power and economic opportunity in the recently conquered Wales. She just can’t get used to the tongue-pull speaking and the strange looks she gets from the Welsh, never mind the hard to remember customs. Gwenhwyfar has seen too much pain. After the death of her father, the loss of the family estate and the subsequent illness of her mother, it’s a rough life for Gwinny. The icing on the cake? Working for an English girl she simply refers to as the brat. The Wicked And The Just alternates point of view between Cecily and Gwenhwyfar.
Cecily is indeed a brat. It’s hard to feel sympathy for her at first because she lacks gumption. However, as the story progresses, Cecily’s character develops – she shows inner strength that is admirable given the circumstances. I came to like Gwenhwyfar’s narration much more. Gwinny has every reason to give up and not go on but keeps going. Her character feels true to life. Gwinny never becomes best friends forever with Cecily and spends much of The Wicked And The Just resenting her. It does not go away with a magical life lesson. I liked that touch of realism.
If you are looking for a young adult historical fiction read that pays special attention to the level of historical detail, that has a slow build to an intense crescendo with characters that read as though they were drawn from real life, you should definitely read The Wicked And The Just by debut author J. Anderson Coats.
Disclosure: Received for review from Amazon Vine.
Other reviews of The Wicked And The Just by J. Anderson Coats:
Wear The Old Coat