Alison Stuart did an enormous amount of research for The King’s Man, part two of her trilogy Guardians of the Crown. Intrigue is everywhere as men plot to overthrow Oliver Cromwell and return King Charles to the throne of England.
Unless you were very rich, Mid-17th Century London was not a pleasant place to live. Filth and danger abounded. Stuart paints a grim picture of day-to-day life. And things can always get worse. When her leading characters, Thamsine and Kit, are locked up in the Tower, you can feel the despair as the walls close in and the door slams shut.
Had he been born a couple centuries later, Kit would be wearing a leather jacket and tattoos. His manipulating and betraying friends are not pretty qualities. Yet he has reasons for what he does.
Thamsine has run away from a life of relative ease to escape a really nasty guardian/prospective groom. When we meet her, she has never so much as peeled a carrot. But by the end of the book, she has grown into a confident, decisive woman. Even after being subjected to so much evil, she manages to retain her compassion.
If you are a Masterpiece Theater kind of person, you will be riveted by the complicated plot. Stuart throws one obstacle after another in front of the lovers that they must have the strength to overcome to reach their happily ever after.