Official Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
unamilagra
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1152
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 245
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Official Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

Post by unamilagra »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Ferret" by L.K. Samuels.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Sean O’Neill, also known as Ferret, is heir to the royal throne of Ireland. That lineage no longer matters in 1697, however, when the young boy’s father is killed by English soldiers. His death means the end of the Irish rebellion against the invasion and “colonization” of Ireland by the English. Ireland’s localized, clan-based political system is no more, and the Irish are no longer free to practice their Catholic faith. Ferret’s father is killed right before his eyes. In revenge, he slashes the face of the English army’s General Winston Cromwell with his dagger before escaping.

Now newly orphaned and a fugitive of the law, Ferret finds himself in the company of a highwayman named Strongbow and a small child he comes to think of as his little sister. They wander the countryside, evading the law and dreaming of the freedom Ireland once had. As Ferret grows, so does his quest to be free of the exploitative rule of Cromwell and the English. At the same time, his almost instinctive need to lead also grows, perhaps driven by his royal bloodline. Ferret begins to question what it means to rule. Is it possible to lead one’s people without becoming a tyrant, or is the lure of ultimate power inevitable?

Ferret: The Reluctant King by L.K. Samuels is a historical fiction novel that follows Ferret from his youth into his old age. It covers the time period of England’s conquest of Ireland, as well as the early colonization of the New World. The book is told in third-person narration, mostly from Ferret’s point of view, but occasionally shifting to that of his arch-nemesis, General Cromwell. As the book covers about 50 years, there are a lot of characters, and it can sometimes be difficult to remember who everyone is. However, the major characters are well-developed. It is easy to see each one’s beliefs and motivations in a way that makes it possible to understand his actions, even the reprehensible ones. Ferret struggles with many moral dilemmas, including how to effectively lead while still allowing individual freedoms, and how far he can justify his actions in order to support a noble cause.

I loved the way this book was written. The descriptions set the scene brilliantly, from the beautiful but desolate backcountry of Ireland, to the bustling city of Cork, to the unspoiled wilderness of the early American settlement. I could see how the characters looked and the way they were dressed. The disparity of wealth between those who did business with the English and the common people was obvious in the way they were described. The author also did a fantastic job of explaining the ongoing struggle between the English and Irish, the frustrations on both sides, and the historical and cultural reasons why it was so difficult for the English to bend the Irish to their will.

My only complaint about this novel was that the pacing was sometimes off. The book was over 400 pages long and covered a lot of history, but there was not a lot of action. There were some parts that were very exciting, but at other times, I felt like the story was dragging. Some points of Ferret’s life were described in minute detail while others felt rushed.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars, with only the pacing issues holding it back from a full score. I noticed a handful of minor errors, but they did not detract from the reading experience. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction stories and thought-provoking novels. Those who are looking for action-packed plots might not enjoy the book as much as I did.

******
Ferret
View: on Bookshelves
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9848
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 330
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Kyle and The Key by Pam Dabon

Post by kandscreeley »

Despite the pacing issues, it seems like a pretty well written story. It reminds me of a movie that I can't think of at the moment. The number of characters would be overwhelming. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

kdstrack
Posts: 4513
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Homecoming
Bookshelf Size: 348
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: No One Has More Love Than This... by Warren Robinson

Post by kdstrack »

The setting and descriptions sound amazing. In a historical, the pacing and overload of characters are understandable. This looks informative and interesting! Thanks for the insights and the recommendation!

User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 7823
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 106
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 158
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading: A Stained White Radiance
Bookshelf Size: 602
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miriam-molina.html
Latest Review: Colors of Love by Adeola Oyekola
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Miriam Molina »

It would be interesting to read about this part of Ireland's history. I wonder why King Sean was called "Ferret," a seemingly odd name for royalty.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2456
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: The Wicked Sister by Virginia Barlow

Post by gen_g »

This sounds like a pretty good book, although I'm sure the pacing issues could be ironed out easily with the help of an editor. Thanks for the insightful review!

User avatar
Nerea
Posts: 1466
Joined: 11 May 2018, 05:13
2019 Reading Goal: 15
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 166
2018 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Currently Reading: The Attuned
Bookshelf Size: 366
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nerea.html
Latest Review: Devil in False Colors by Jack Winnick

Post by Nerea »

Ferret's story is heartbreaking. I will read the book to find out how he endured being a fugitive and if he ever got hold of power to rule people. Sorry about the faults you found in the book.
Lovely review.
"Regular reading improves your grammar."

User avatar
Tavaiel26
Posts: 184
Joined: 09 Jan 2020, 11:49
2019 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tavaiel26.html
Latest Review: Mixed Blessings by J.M. Muse

Post by Tavaiel26 »

My husband got really interested in Irish history ever since he picked Dubliners, and the period he must be intrigued the most by would be precisely this one. Do you feel like it gives a good insight of Cromwell's persona, with the time he's given on the narrative?

Thank you so much for such a review.

User avatar
Charlyt
Posts: 498
Joined: 09 Oct 2018, 00:48
Favorite Book: The Night Circus
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 99
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-charlyt.html
Latest Review: Containment Breach by Wm. A. Yandell

Post by Charlyt »

I don't know much about the history of Ireland, but the premise is really interesting for me that I might want to read it even if it is 400 pages long. Thanks for a great review!
"It is neither fair nor unfair, Nobody Owens. It simply is." -NG

User avatar
Gifted Soul
Posts: 44
Joined: 14 Mar 2020, 10:25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gifted-soul.html
Latest Review: Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery

Post by Gifted Soul »

The fact that I can easily follow Ferret throughout the narrative convinces me to give the book a try.
Thanks!
Just do it!

User avatar
espo
Posts: 446
Joined: 23 Nov 2019, 13:04
Currently Reading: Live from Death Row
Bookshelf Size: 406
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espo.html
Latest Review: Ripcord Recovery by T.T. Sawyer
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by espo »

This sounds like a book with a lot of historical perspective. Although I love history, I can understand that action is needed in historical fiction to keep the reader interested. I totally understand your decision to not give the book a perfect rating based on this criticism. Thank you for this well-structured and insightful review, great work!
The strongest impetus a man will ever have, in an individual sense, will come from a woman he admires.

- George Jackson, "Soledad Brother"

User avatar
unamilagra
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1152
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 245
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by unamilagra »

kandscreeley wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 18:14
Despite the pacing issues, it seems like a pretty well written story. It reminds me of a movie that I can't think of at the moment. The number of characters would be overwhelming. Thanks.
Yes, I enjoyed the book overall. Thanks for commenting!

kdstrack wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 19:10
The setting and descriptions sound amazing. In a historical, the pacing and overload of characters are understandable. This looks informative and interesting! Thanks for the insights and the recommendation!
Thanks for stopping by!

Miriam Molina wrote:
20 Mar 2020, 20:49
It would be interesting to read about this part of Ireland's history. I wonder why King Sean was called "Ferret," a seemingly odd name for royalty.
Apparently ferrets were pets of royalty at the time, so they were well-regarded animals. Thanks for your comment!

gen_g wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 00:20
This sounds like a pretty good book, although I'm sure the pacing issues could be ironed out easily with the help of an editor. Thanks for the insightful review!
Thank you for commenting!

Nerea wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 03:10
Ferret's story is heartbreaking. I will read the book to find out how he endured being a fugitive and if he ever got hold of power to rule people. Sorry about the faults you found in the book.
Lovely review.
I hope you enjoy the story! Thanks for stopping by!

Tavaiel26 wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 04:59
My husband got really interested in Irish history ever since he picked Dubliners, and the period he must be intrigued the most by would be precisely this one. Do you feel like it gives a good insight of Cromwell's persona, with the time he's given on the narrative?

Thank you so much for such a review.
Yes, I understood Cromwell's intentions and the way he viewed himself with the time he was given. It is definitely one of those situations where "everyone is the hero of their own story." Thanks for your comment!

Charlyt wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 05:06
I don't know much about the history of Ireland, but the premise is really interesting for me that I might want to read it even if it is 400 pages long. Thanks for a great review!
I hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick it up. Thanks for commenting!

Gifted Soul wrote:
22 Mar 2020, 03:15
The fact that I can easily follow Ferret throughout the narrative convinces me to give the book a try.
Thanks!
I hope you like it! Thanks for commenting.

espo wrote:
22 Mar 2020, 04:40
This sounds like a book with a lot of historical perspective. Although I love history, I can understand that action is needed in historical fiction to keep the reader interested. I totally understand your decision to not give the book a perfect rating based on this criticism. Thank you for this well-structured and insightful review, great work!
Thank you for your comment!
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

Shabram22
Posts: 272
Joined: 27 Nov 2019, 03:41
Currently Reading: One Way or Another
Bookshelf Size: 25
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-shabram22.html
Latest Review: Breaking the Chain by Patricia Rossi

Post by Shabram22 »

I am moved by the story you described. I don't know much about the history of what happened between Ireland and England. Ferret's story also sounds very traumatic. This sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy, even the slow pace doesn't scare me. Thank you for an excellent review!

SomeoneInTheWorld
Posts: 388
Joined: 13 Sep 2019, 06:41
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-someoneintheworld.html
Latest Review: Elvenfold Hammerquest by Brex Francorum

Post by SomeoneInTheWorld »

It seems that Ferret came under a difficult situation and now he has to make some difficult choices. Thanks for the great review!

KimberlyS88
Posts: 51
Joined: 01 Jan 2020, 15:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 3
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimberlys88.html
Latest Review: Adrift by Charlie Sheldon

Post by KimberlyS88 »

I admire the amount of history is in this book that I can tell by reading your review. Ferret seems like a strong character that I look forward to reading about.

User avatar
unamilagra
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1152
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 245
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by unamilagra »

Shabram22 wrote:
22 Mar 2020, 12:36
I am moved by the story you described. I don't know much about the history of what happened between Ireland and England. Ferret's story also sounds very traumatic. This sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy, even the slow pace doesn't scare me. Thank you for an excellent review!
I hope you decide to check it out. Thanks for commenting!

SomeoneInTheWorld wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 16:46
It seems that Ferret came under a difficult situation and now he has to make some difficult choices. Thanks for the great review!
Thank you for your comment!

KimberlyS88 wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 19:31
I admire the amount of history is in this book that I can tell by reading your review. Ferret seems like a strong character that I look forward to reading about.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! Thanks for stopping by.
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”