When Kitty Farrell is offered a trinket by a street urchin, her impulsive response will change both of their lives forever, and place an unexpected strain on Kitty’s marriage. For the past four years, she has sailed the high seas on the trading vessel Katipo with Rian, her wild Irish adventurer, but when they return to the Bay of Islands in 1845, they find themselves in the midst of a bloody affray.
Their loyalties and their love are sorely tested, and Kitty’s past comes back to haunt her when she encounters the bewitching child she names Amber. As the action swirls around them, Kitty and Rian must battle to be reunited as they fight for their lives and watch friends and enemies alike succumb to the madness of war and the fatal seduction of hatred.
Amber is the first book by Deborah Challinor that I have read. I purchased this novel in New Zealand, wanting to read a novel written by a New Zealand author.
Unfortunately, the description of the novel does not match the contents of the novel. It appears that the blurb focuses on Amber, as does the title of the novel, yet there are many battles, different relationships and the reader doesn’t meet Amber until closer to the end of the novel.
The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the way in which Kitty pushes the boundaries of her time, staying true to herself. I did question whether at times her character pushed the boundaries too far, considering the time in which this novel is set. I am, however not a historian, unlike the author. I merely lost a sense of time when reading parts of the novel. I was interested in the connection between Kitty, her mother and Rian. The first few chapters drew me in and I would have happily read more about Kitty’s mother.
Deborah Challinor appears to have great historical knowledge of New Zealand and I enjoyed reading some sections in which Deborah discusses Maori languages and significant historical events.