Monday, October 11

Book Review: The Sixth Surrender

Title: The Sixth Surrender

Author: Hana Samek Norton

Pages: 470

Summary: Sister Eustace, born Lady Juliana, the last of the de Charnais line, is about to pledge body and soul to the cause of the queen of duchess, Aliénor of Aquitaine. Learned yet humble, passionate yet wholly innocent, Juliana has a singular determination - to possess her rightful home, the viscounty of Tilliéres.

Aliénor’s young scribe must choose: husband or the cloister. Juliana prays for a man who is honourable, kind and literate. Instead she is promised to Guérin de Lasalle, a wordly though landless mercenary with a blackened soul. The couple enters the union with just one shared desire: to put an end to the marriage.

As the queens prophecy, “Honor, like love, come sin many guises,” echoes through Juliana’s first days as a wife, the race intensifies to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, Aliénor’s last surviving son. Schemes by traitorous lords and the mystery of Lasalle’s past could cost John his thrones - and Juliana her life.

My Rating: 5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: What can I say about this book? I feel very indifferent to it for one. The plot seemed interesting enough, but something just fell through for me.

What I liked about the book was that it was well told and well written. The author is able to write a great historical fiction, with a good balance between having some historical accurateness to the time it was written, but also allowing her imagination come in and take over. The author didn’t sacrifice one for the other, which I appreciated. But for the most part, I just couldn’t get into the book, yes it was well written, but the plot bored me it took to long to build up to the big reveal, and even that fell short of my expectations. I was expecting something more, and something a little less predictable.

I was also not a fan of the characters. I didn’t like a single one, and they could have all died of the plague at the end, and I still wouldn’t have cared. They just seemed, static to me, and could use something, to make them stand out more. They also had multiple titles and names, used throughout the book, it got very confusing and annoying after while. Especially when all those names were used for the same character on the same page, I would have liked a little more consistency here.

My final issue was the ending. Especially how things tied up between two characters, because it seemed to come out of nowhere, I would have been fine with how these two characters’ journey ended, if there was a little more explanation as to how the one character came to this complete turn about and made this realization. I wasn’t a fan of either character, or their story, relationship, but I would have been fine with the ending, had it been better explained. The book moved slow, building up for the big end, and then it just didn’t work out. The entire ending was rushed, after a book that was fairly slow paced; it didn’t mesh well with me. I wish the author had spent more time with the ending, because I would rather it have been slow paced, so it flowed with the rest, and got more of an explanation out of it, than it been rushed to make it more exciting.

I think the author has great potential to write some good historical fiction, as I said above, she finds the perfect balance between imagination and historical accurateness, but this book just didn’t work for me.

Would I recommend it to read: Fans of Romantic-Historical-Fiction I would. And for those who love anything that has to do with historical fiction would likely like the book. But other than that, I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

What to read next: Hmm. Now I don’t know about this one, wasn’t a fan of this book. I’m not big on the romantic-historical fiction books and I have little experience with this type of historical fiction.

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A-Z Challenge, Chunkster Challenge, Countdown Challenge, RYOB Challenge, A Tournament of Reading Challenge

Please note: I got this book to review from the publisher.


  1. From the way you describe it, I am not sure I would like this one very much either. I do love a good historical fiction tale, but the pacing has to be tight and the endings have to be plausible and deserved. I think I will probably skip this one, though I did enjoy reading your review on it!

  2. Zibilee - It was a disappointment for me, that's for sure. It just didn't work. I think there are a lot of readers who would love the book, but for me it didn't work, not for me. I seem to like a certain kind of Historical Fiction, less away from the romantic side, and more on the period, or having the historical fiction as a secondary theme.