Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


***All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain -- NOT the property of History Undressed. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post.***

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Historical Fiction Review & Giveaway: Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

01_Spirit of the Highway

Spirit of the Highway (Highway Trilogy, Book II) by Deborah Swift

Publication Date: September 30, 2015
Endeavor Press eBook & Paperback;
292 Pages
 Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult
  Add to GR Button    

England 1651.  England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmer's son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem -- he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady.

Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate.

But war is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. What's more, Ralph finds he has just as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield.

Told by Ralph's ghost, Spirit of the Highway is the stand-alone second part of the Highway Trilogy based on the real life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, highwaywoman and heiress.


Praise for Deborah Swift

"The past comes alive through impeccable research, layers of intriguing plot line, an understanding of the complexities of 17th century politics and the sheer power of descriptive prose." -Lancashire Evening Post

"characters you can really get interested in" -The Mum website

Praise for Shadow on the Highway (Book One, Highway Trilogy)

"Shadow on the Highway is an awesome work of YA historical fiction. It is definitely my new favorite Deborah Swift book!" -So Many Books So Little Time Blog

"Swift brings layers of historical and imaginative detail to her stories and I highly recommend as a light read for any adult and for teenagers interested into foraying into historical fiction." -Hook of a Book Blog

"Shadow on the Highway is an exciting peek into the English Civil War from both sides of the fighting... I very much look forward to the next two books in this trilogy!" -Historical Tapestry

My Review

This was an intense and gripping tale about struggle with self, with love, with what is right and what is honorable. This is a different way of telling a story--the main character is a spirit. Perfect for the season!

Ralph is impulsive, and he's struggling with a bit of post-war issues, which most people who've seen what he's seen would. He is working on his anger, on being so quick to put up his fists, and in the end, he did manage to gather the will within himself not to do so, but it cost him greatly.

There were several characters in this story that I really despised: Downall, the Snopes, Ralph's sister Elizabeth, and Copthorne. Man did I really hate those guys. Ralph has so many people against him, and not enough on his side, which is mostly because of his impulsiveness, and his reckless behavior and way of thinking. Thank goodness for his good friend Cutch, his sister Abigail and Kate, his love, who are willing to stick their necks out for him time and again.

The book was fast-paced (I read it in two days), and filled with adventure and heartache. Though it is categorized as a YA Historical, I think it read well for an adult, too. I learned a lot about a time period I'm not familiar with--the Civil War in England. It was fascinating to learn about--all while being entertaining.

I did not read the first book in the series, and I don't think you have to (though I will be going back to read it). I can't wait to read the third installment, as the book sort of ends on a cliffhanger. I have to find out what happens to Kate and Abigail and Elizabeth!

02_Deborah SwiftAbout the Author

Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Ladyís Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martinís Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists. She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District - a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 26
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

 Tuesday, October 27
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight & Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

  Wednesday, October 28
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

  Thursday, October 29
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

  Monday, November 2
Review at The Maiden's Court

  Tuesday, November 3
Spotlight & Excerpt at Brooke Blogs

  Thursday, November 5
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

  Friday, November 6
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Just One More Chapter
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf


To win a signed paperback of Spirit of the Highway please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Three copies up for grabs!


  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open internationally.
  • Only one entry per household. 
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion 
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Spirit of the Highway

03_Spirit of the Highway_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

No comments: