Priscilla B Shuler received the BREW Readers’ Choice Award – Historical Romantic Fiction 2021/2022 for “The Medallion.”
Table of Contents
When Teresa was born, she was made to believe that her mother was a Romani woman (back then called gypsies) with a scarred face and a secretive lifestyle, who was known as “the witch,” due to her healing powers. But there’s something dignified, almost royal about Teresa. Though her mother loved her, she had a childhood of hardship and poverty. At seventeen years old she has the lowest job in the luxurious Martingale Manor. But when Lord Harry, the head of the estate, falls gravely ill, her position in the household and her very livelihood are in jeopardy. Will she be able to save him and all the people who depend on his goodwill? Who is staging a coup against benevolent Lord Harry, and why? And what is hidden in the past of Teresa that can bring her enormous blessings but also imminent danger? “The Medallion” by Priscilla Shuler is a historical fiction novel that follows young Teresa as she discovers her own power, dives into the past of her family, finds love, and faces the risks that threaten her newfound identity and her promising future.
History buffs like me will love the accurate recreation of England in the 1800s. I was especially fascinated by the Christmas traditions. The author did a fantastic research job and created the ambiance without resorting to dry, textbook-like, explanations.
Equally fascinating are the characters. I want to applaud especially that the female characters of the book while remaining congruent to the behavior that was expected at the time, are also strong, smart, determined, and resourceful women. My favorite character in this regard is Gretchen who is, in the best sense, a force to be reckoned with. I was enthralled by how much herbal healers could know that was completely unknown to the physicians of the time. I think there’s an important lesson here to appreciate the gifts that nature gives us and not to judge people by their social standing. We never know what hand have they been dealt in life or what treasures hide behind what appears ordinary or even scary. Lord Harry, and especially his evolution along with the plot, also presents an important lesson about loyalty, forgiveness, and being a just leader. But, by far, the most meaningful lesson that this book gifts us with is that family is not only the one given to us by birth but a bigger entity that we create along the way with the people who show us kindness and loyalty. The people who, in the end, composed the Martingale Manor family were all from different ages and walks of life but joined by love.
However, readers should not fear because this is not a moralizing book, and I drew all the lessons I mentioned from the very authentic behavior of the characters. Readers who picture a sappy romance novel should know that there’s enough intrigue and adventure to capture even bookworms who are not especially fond of romance.
The book contains some minor editing mistakes. Also, there is a long interlude set between parentheses that I found confusing because it’s not expendable information but very much crucial to the story. These minor inconveniences do not diminish the reading enjoyment, but I hope the author addresses them to give place to a flawless piece of historical fiction.
“The Medallion” is a striking historical romance with a fascinating setting, captivating pacing, meaningful lessons, and memorable characters. Therefore, I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
I recommend “The Medallion” to readers who enjoy romance, historical fiction, and novels that unearth secrets from the past. Readers interested in the healing arts, or anyone looking for an uplifting read will enjoy this novel. Aspiring writers of historical fiction could learn a lot from analyzing how the author constructed an accurate historical setting without resorting to long explanations or footnotes. Survivors of rape and sexual abuse should note that the topic is broached in the book. Though it’s approached with great sensitivity, they might want to proceed with caution. I can’t possibly think of anyone who would not enjoy such a brilliant novel, except for readers who favor sci-fi or fantasy.
- Title: The Medallion
- Author: Priscilla B Shuler (Award-winning Author of “Kuimba”)
- Genre: Fiction (Victorian Historical Romance)
- Publication Date: 15 August 2017
- ISBN or ASIN: B074VNM6TG
Themes (Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual: TBDL
- Religious: TBDL
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: TBDL
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: TBDL
- Other adult tones: TBDL
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 4 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Know more about Priscilla B Shuler via https://thechrysalisbrewproject.com/2021/11/16/meet-our-author-priscilla-b-shuler/.
View “The Medallion” on Amazon.com.
View “The Medallion” on Amazon.com.au.