“This is the start of my story. And it’s one helluva saga.
The greatest adventure of my life started with a discovery in a history book by my sister, Jules. Don’t let anyone fool you, this truly is all her fault. Well, not my Uncle Richard’s death, but everything else.
Take our cousin’s awesome car? Her idea.
Explore this ancient castle? Her idea.
Touch things that say don’t touch? You guessed…
Guillaume Lanval! Do not blame the entire mess on me! I didn’t send us to 1154 A.D. In France. And turn history on its head.
Well, we don’t know we did that, Jules.”
Who’s driving this thing?
Guillaume Lanval (pronounced Gi-um), a new college student of History, a part-time paramedic and the descendent of an illustrious Frenchman whose many deaths across history suggests magic at play.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to get on board with Guillaume as a character but only because he is borderline obsessed with women and sex and not always in a healthy way. That aside, he’s an intelligent, savvy and quick-thinking young man who speaks French fluently.
What’s this all about?
Guillaume is just starting his first semester studying History at college, something his father isn’t too pleased about. After realising his usual booty-call, a fellow paramedic, is serious about marrying her fiancé and never being with him again, he gets more bad news.
His beloved Uncle has died in France and he, his mother and his sister Jules travel for the funeral and spend time with his aunt and strange cousin. After the funeral, Guillaume and Jules decide to take an off-the-wall trip to a castle where one of their ancestors once lived. A man also named Guillaume.
When visiting the castle, Guillaume and Jules are thrown back in time to the middle of a war centred around the castle. After helping to save the Queen’s brother and escaping the battle, they struggle to figure out how they got there and how they can get back.
What’s so great about it?
This is a well written book for sure. We get complex character back stories, character development and vivid scene-setting when Guillaume and Jules arrive in the past.
The dynamic between Guillaume and Jules is great, they are a ridiculously accurate example of a brother and sister relationship and hilarious at times, too.
What’s not so great about it?
We get a lot of setup for Guillaume as a character but only the last few scenes have anything to do with time-travel. As a historian, I thought Guillaume might be the one to discover the odd appearances of their ancestor throughout history but it’s his sister Jules that brings it up.
It’s my only real criticism, that the story doesn’t really get started until really late in the book and then it ends when things are just starting to get supernatural.
Should I get it?
You sure should, it’s looking like a great setup for an interesting series. I’m already looking at book two.
I’m really interested to know, do you prefer a good character setup before launching into the story? Or do you like it better the other way round?
Thanks for reading my book review!