From the Publisher
“Rife with dastardly struggles, smoldering, illicit passion, and cowardly insidious betrayals…Fans of Bradford’s trademark brand of panoramic, multigenerational historical dramas will have plenty to sink their teeth into as the feuding Deravenels continue their rivalry.”—Booklist
“The queen of the bestseller list still rules with The Heir.”—Miami Herald
“Bestseller Bradford’s dynastic epic spanning the 20th century should tide over her fans…”
“Bradford’s characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better.”—USA Today
“A juicy family saga….”—BookPage
“Barbara Taylor Bradford triumphs once again.”—Fantastic Fiction
“This expertly crafted epic novel further explores the triumphs and tragedies of the Deravenel family. It will enthrall readers with its vivid characters and fast-paced, larger-than-life plot.”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews (4 ½ stars)
Bestseller Bradford (The Ravenscar Dynasty; Voice of the Heart) presents the serviceable second chapter in her Ravenscar trilogy, a dynastic epic spanning the 20th century. In 1918, 14 years after assuming control of the family company, 33-year-old Edward Deravenel has "built it into the greatest trading company in the world," with business interests ranging from French wine to Persian oil. Edward is also blessed with the sprawling Ravenscar estate and a son he hopes will eventually take the company helm. However, Edward has enemies on all sides, most notably his "treacherous" younger brother, George, and jealous wife Elizabeth. Even Edward's trusted youngest brother, Richard, may not be all he seems. A series of scandals threatens to ruin Edward's heirs' claim to the company, though much of the action feels muted. The plot gains much needed direction and momentum after Edward is felled by a heart attack, his two young sons disappear and the company's fate falls on the shoulders of his oldest daughter, Bess. The last third carries the book and makes up for the plodding earlier sections. This isn't one of Bradford's better books, but it should tide over her fans. (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
This second novel in the insipid trilogy that Bradford started last year with The Ravenscar Dynastypicks up where Dynastyleft off in 1918. Edward Deravenel is now in his thirties and running his family's business empire. The premise sounds good: family saga, rivalries, lust, riches. Unfortunately, the writing is no better than what might be found in a beginning creative writing class; most of the dialog is dreadful. Not a single character is sympathetic; Harry's fixation on creating an heir almost repels the reader. It was a chore to get through this long novel, and those thinking they will get a book on par with Bradford's stronger earlier works (e.g., A Woman of Substance) will be disappointed. Recommended only for large libraries because of Bradford's name. [See Prepub Alert, LJ7/07.]
Second in the Ravenscar trilogy (after The Ravenscar Dynasty, 2007) draws more tortured parallels between the uber-rich Deravenel clan and the Plantagenet and Tudor monarchs. After wresting control from the Lancaster Deravenel-Grants, Edward "Ned" Deravenel is firmly at the helm of Deravenels, the family's global trading company, and, like any effective totalitarian, he's restored a modicum of peace to the organization. On the surface, his amply staffed households, including Ravenscar, the family's ancestral Yorkshire castle, run smoothly. World War I has just ended, and Deravenels forecasts an even more profitable peacetime. But beneath the opulence is the reality: Ned's beautiful wife Elizabeth is an enervating shrew, but an alluring one-witness their ever-increasing brood, including the obligatory male "heir and spare," and level-headed elder daughter Bess, the designated alternate heir. George, Ned's younger brother, is a dissolute lout who runs up gambling debts and embarrasses the firm. Ned manages to contain these threats, until Elizabeth tars his family with vicious gossip, and George claims to be the true heir to Deravenels. Elizabeth is easily cowed, and George is exiled to the Burgundy branch of Deravenels, where, like his Plantagenet predecessor George, Duke of Clarence, he's done in by killer wine barrels. Edward succumbs to a heart attack, and youngest brother Richard becomes conservator of Deravenels until Edward's heirs reach majority. Emulating his avatar, Richard III, he exploits his regency to launch a corporate bloodbath. Edward's young sons disappear while fishing off Ravenscar's cliffs. And tramping Ravenscar's grounds, Richard runs into serious trouble. Bess,meanwhile, agrees to cede her birthright to her husband, Henry Turner (aka Tudor), scion of the supplanted Deravenel-Grants. Cut, vertiginously, from 1928 to 1970, with only cursory mention of interim cataclysmic events. Harry Turner, analog of Henry VIII, still can't get a divorce. Bradford's plodding exposition-she's no exponent of late-in, early-out scene-crafting-makes for novelistic terrain almost as rock-strewn as Ravenscar.
Rife with dastardly struggles, smoldering, illicit passion, and cowardly insidious betrayals…Fans of Bradford's trademark brand of panoramic, multigenerational historical dramas will have plenty to sink their teeth into as the feuding Deravenels continue their rivalry.
The queen of the bestseller list still rules with The Heir.
Bradford's characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better.
A juicy family saga….
Barbara Taylor Bradford triumphs once again.
Romantic Times BOOKreviews (4 ½ stars)
This expertly crafted epic novel further explores the triumphs and tragedies of the Deravenel family. It will enthrall readers with its vivid characters and fast-paced, larger-than-life plot.