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Friday, August 27, 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein 4 of 5 stars.
To be released October 12, 2010.

One of the greatest mysteries of all time. . .
and a love triangle that spans two continents

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens--until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate when he sails for the settlement with supplies, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists--and Cate--increasingly turn to. Yet even as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh begin to fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World... (Book blurb)

When Catherine Archer's father dies and despair descends on the orphaned girl a surprising letter arrives from the queen, asking her to become one of her ladies in waiting.  Catherine is thrilled, but when she arrives at court she realizes how little she knows about what goes on within their walls. As courtly intrigue threatens to drown her the dashing Walter Ralegh--a favorite of the queen--may just be the one who pushes her head under water for good.

Catherine is banished to Virginia when the queen discovers Ralegh's affection for her, and Catherine couldn't be more thrilled. Entering a New World as Cate, she doesn't find the Eden she dreamed so often of. As the colonists are increasingly pushed to desperate circumstances it is the Indian ambassador Manteo who proves to be Cate's greatest ally.

Cate of the Lost Colony is a beautifully told story of the "lost colony" of Roanoke Island. The story doesn't rush through, but takes its time lingering on the facts that are recognized by historians and building upon them to create something totally unique. The most intriguing thing about Cate of the Lost Colony is the fact that its story is so possible, describing a possibility that has very little proof against it.

I greatly enjoyed this novel and hated to put it down. Lisa Klein did a wonderful job, obviously pouring a great deal of time, research, and thought into its pages. The pace is a bit slow and may not be the greatest book for those of you who like headlong action, but it is very interesting. If there was anything I would have changed about it, it would be not taking the time to pen in Walter Ralegh's point of view. These sections were often full of information that the reader was tempted to skip over.

The thing about this novel is, to me, it would look better on film. This would definitely be a good idea. For people who are good at conjuring a strong mental picture while reading will see why. The lack of interaction but growing affection between Manteo and Cate would have been much easier to spot in a movie then they are in a book. The same goes for the trials of the colonists. They just don't pack as much of a punch in the novel.

Overall, Cate of the Lost Colony was a wonderful read, but is mostly recommended to people specifically interested in the subject matter and time period.

A special thanks to BloomsburyUSA for sending me a copy to review!

To pre-order Cate of the Lost Colony from Amazon.com, please click here.


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