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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thinkin' Thursday - 'Veiled in Shadows' by Allan Russell

Before I begin this review, I must apologize to Allan for taking so long. But I finally got my act together & am now ready for the reveal. No spoilers.

'Veiled in Shadows' takes place during WWII. I will say, I am not a WWII fan. And, I was a little afraid at the first. But this story truly is about the people who find themselves embroiled in the consequences of their world flown off kilter.

Victoria Katharina, princess of Bavaria, is a young woman who falls in love with a German officer before the war. Ebert, the officer in question, is introduced as a sympathetic character with whom the reader can identify. As their romance hits the crescendo, war & all its ugly facets tears them apart.

As the story unfolds, we meet several other people whose lives become enmeshed with Victoria's. Jena, a young girl from Poland; Peter, an RAF pilot; Penny, Victoria's English cousin. The entire tale is told from each person's perspective in diary format. Their individual perspectives are used to both build the tension around the central character & then to calm the landscape until the next tide.

At one point, Victoria explains how difficult it is to retrieve your soul once it has been freely given to another. It is a beautiful & sorrowful sentiment that leads to a deeper understanding of her motivations. There were also some great descriptions that spoke to me...

"a fluid poetry of foam."

As both a reader & a writer, I am drawn to character driven tales. The evolution & de-evolution of the characters is done with care as each faces their own personal demons from within & without. The core of who they are, where their circumstances find them, is considered at every turn. Every action/reaction is believable & in accordance with each.

Love, loyalty, compassion. These drive humanity & they drive these characters. In a world torn apart, each has to find his/her own way to cope, to act, to forgive. And, it is in these that the characters come alive.

From the beginning, I was certain I knew how the tale would end. But, the surprise came as the loose ends were tied in neat little bows. I loved that! I also loved that each of the players' devotion to his/her core beliefs is what ultimately drove each.

I enjoyed this book & can't wait to see where the next of Allan's works will take the reader. The book is currently available from Amazon. And, as my 1st eBook, I have to say I didn't hate the experience. Yes, I missed the ruffle of paper, the smell of tradition; but, with mouse in hand, I flipped just as easy.

I guess I don't really have a thinkin' aspect this week as far as a question goes. But as it's the end of the year & all, who needs that kind of pressure. 'Certainly not me,' sayeth the bee.

Happy Writing,



  1. What a wonderful review!
    I am you enjoyed Veiled in Shadows.
    I got so wrapped up in the characters lives, that it is nice when other people like them too!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Congrats to Allan, a very good review, all the more so when the reviewer begins with, 'I am not a WII fan'. And well done Patti on a beautiful, intriguing review with no spoilers - not an easy thing at all!

    The Arrival, book one of the BirthRight trilogy, available on Amazon 1.1.2011

  3. Nicely done, Patti -- and Al too, of course! This one was a labor of love.

  4. Thanks to all of you for the comments.
    I couldn't wait to get to the end & then when I did, I wanted more. That's always a good thing.
    I struggled mightily with the balance.
    You're welcome.
    Thanks & I could definitely tell how much care, love & respect went into the characters.


  5. Wow, what a great review! I'm going to have to look into it now.