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The Honey and the Sting by E C Fremantle


The Honey and the Sting by E.C. Fremantle
UK Publication Date: October 2020
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Penguin Michael Joseph UK  (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

BEES!! Need I say more?

Synopsis from Goodreads: Three sisters.Three secrets.Three ways to fall . . .

England, 1628.

Forcibly seduced by the powerful George Villiers, doctor’s daughter Hester is cast aside to raise her son alone and in secret. She hopes never to see Villiers again.

Melis’s visions cause disquiet and talk. She sees what other’s can’t – and what has yet to be. She’d be denounced as a witch if Hester wasn’t so carefully protective.

Young Hope’s beauty marks her out, drawing unwelcome attention to the family. Yet she cannot always resist others’ advances. And her sisters cannot always be on their guard.

When Villiers decides to claim his son against Hester’s wishes, the sisters find themselves almost friendless and at his mercy. But the women hold a grave secret. The question is, will what they know be their undoing or their salvation?

Because in the right hands, a secret is the deadliest weapon of all…

My Thoughts: Historical fiction is genre that I don’t explore very often however the supernatural elements in the description meant this was one book I had to try. Of course I never judge a book by the cover but BEES!!!

As well as loving the cover I also loved the way the bees form an integral part of the story and the affinity Melis has with them.

The story moves along at a suitable pacing for the time period it is set in and the author manages to keep the reader off balance for the entire journey. Who is really responsible for certain things that happen and why oh why do certain characters behave as they do. Without giving away any spoilers there were two characters I really wanted to do better for two totally different reasons and it was these characters who kept me on the edge of my seat and prevented me from ever fully relaxing and thinking things are OK now.

I really appreciated the afterword where Fremantle explains which parts of the book are historical fact as opposed to fiction and how her female characters are drawn from real life women of the time but blended together to make totally new people.

Who would like this? Historical fiction fans and those who appreciate a female centric story even if said females do at times make completely stupid decisions, well it was the 1600s so bless them…

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I read the book in 2010 and while I enjoyed it, I liked her previous novel – The Poison Bed – more.


    October 7, 2021

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