Some reviews of Turn of the Tide

“The quality of the writing and the research were outstanding.” Jeffrey Archer.

“Set against the backdrop of a 16th century Scottish clan feud, this is a wonderful novel of blood, dirt, political manipulation and the cost to a family when one man struggles against the tide. Once the adventure gains momentum, we’re willingly dragged along. It’s touching, fierce and surprising with a sprinkling of humour. In all it evokes a sense of gratitude that we don’t live with such gang rivalries any more. But there again, a glance at a newspaper may lead us to think otherwise…” Bookbag.

” This is very the human side of history in which political affiliations turn on how much the king likes the gift of a poem or a favoured jewel and have huge consequences not just for the lairds but also for the women at home. It’s clear that the author has detailed knowledge of and empathy with them, particularly Kate Munro, whose husband owes allegiance to the Cunninghame clan but is gradually drawn into friendship with the Montgomeries. Munro frames the book, in at the initial kill and centre stage in the brilliant climax, all the more shocking as the conclusion of an otherwise measured tale.
The depth of research shines out in the details of costume, cookery, agriculture, childcare and the role of women, all of it throwing light on what has always been a murky and ill-understood period in my own mind and bringing the characters and their lives to shimmering life. This is a fascinating and engaging read with great visual effect. Bring on the sequel!” Between the Lines.

“It is hard to know where to begin, there were so many things I liked about Turn of the Tide, Margaret Skea’s debut novel about the feud between the Montgomeries and the Cunninghames set in 17th Century Scotland. This is an emotionally gripping story about a man caught between duty and conscience at a time in history when a man’s livelihood depended upon his loyalty to family and clan. I love that the novel shone a light on this feud, which ran for centuries in Ayrshire. King James VI and his court do feature in the novel, but they are far from the main story. It was a refreshing departure to find a 16th-17th century novel with a griping tale where royalty is on the fringe and not center stage. Skea writes with beautiful detail about the landscape, whether it is describing the miserable rain that can chill you to the bone, or the aconite flowers in a valley. The dialect adds richness to the characters and is judiciously used.” The History Lady.

“A masterful achievement in historical fiction that flows not unlike a Scottish burn, with all the undercurrents, subtleties, and smoothness of the finest single malt scotch. And like a wee dram of Laphroig 15 – which the connoisseur does not merely drink, but rather savors as an experience – so is one captivated by the storytelling and intrigue of this novel. A worthy addition to any literary collection, especially of the Scottish and Celtic genre.” Clan Cunningham Magazine.

“The sheer villainy of some of the characters will take your breath away as you read this book, but I recommend it for your pleasure.” Historical Novel Society.

“An incredibly strong authorial voice, very authoritative, so comfortable with the genre. It was wonderful, I loved it.” Cathy Kelly.

Below are a small sample of the many wonderful comments on Turn of the Tide left on the novel’s page in The People’s Book Prize.

‘A beautifully written and hauntingly eloquent novel set amidst a turbulent landscape as wild as the characters that inhabit it. ‘Turn of the Tide’ brought the beauty and savagery of Scotland right into my living room, I simply couldn’t put it down. A wonderful read, highly recommended!’

‘This book is excellent historical fiction – it draws you in and keep your interest to the last page. The feel of the book is authentic and one is transported to ancient Scotland easily. The characterisations are excellent as is the beautiful flowing descriptive prose. A real page-turner and highly recommended.’

‘I absolutely love reading historical fiction, especially such based in Scotland. It was my lifelong wish to visit the borders and the highlands and I was able to do so eight years ago. Such memories I have of the settings I visited. I long to visit again one day. Margaret Skea’s writings will, in the meantime, continue to feed my soul.’

‘Beautifully written book that brings time and place to life.’

‘This book is excellent historical fiction – it draws you in and keep your interest to the last page. The feel of the book is authentic and one is transported to ancient Scotland easily. The characterisations are excellent as is the beautiful flowing descriptive prose. A real page-turner and highly recommended.’

‘An outstanding piece of historical fiction. Well researched with a fascinating storyline and dramatic climax. You can practically ‘smell’ the period authenticity. Put all this in the mix and deliver it with skilful writing and you have a wonderful read.’

‘Elegant prose, rich characterisation, thorough research, dramatic ending – “Turn of the Tide” is worth reading again.’

‘An exciting, well-researched page-turner — characters you sweat for and tons of nail-biting action!’

‘Excellent historical novel, well-written and with a fine feel for the troubled atmosphere of late 16th century Scotland. Looking forward to the next two volumes in the trilogy.’

‘…it was a shame to come back to the 21st century again!’

‘An authentic and powerful novel of 16th Century Scotland. The writing is outstanding and the historical perspective gripping. A must read!’

‘Beautifully written. Could not put it down. Terrific ending – didn’t see it coming.’

‘A great story beautifully told. An excellent debut dealing with a period of history that’s been woefully under-used.’

Other reviews can be found on Amazon and Goodreads.

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