Book: A Valley of Betrayal
Author: Tricia Goyer
My Rating: 5 Courageous Stars
Hey bookworms! It’s the beginning of May, and I’m wrapping up a month of reviewing works by local authors. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book! So far I’ve read a contemporary clean romance, a political thriller, a family biography, and a compilation of newspaper articles. All of them so different, and so good for their own reasons. Today I’m reviewing A Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer.
I love history, y’all. My dad turned me into a tiny history buff when I was a child and I never grew out of it. So, it makes sense that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. That being said, because I’m such a fan of history, I can be kind of critical when I sense that something is inaccurate. But I had nothing to worry about with this one! And I have found that’s the case with all of the books I’ve read by Tricia. She writes excellently researched books.
This book actually made me do my own extra research while I was reading (always a good sign, in my opinion). Set in the Spanish Civil War, but told from the viewpoints of Americans, I was immediately hooked. I am slightly embarrassed to say I barely knew anything of this war, which is why it prompted me to learn more. I always love a story that pushes me to learn new things!
Enough about historical setting and accuracy. Let’s talk characters and plot. There is a large cast of characters whose stories slowly start to cross and connect. It’s a type of storytelling that I immensely enjoy. There’s just something satisfying about seeing a bunch of moving parts and then revealing the big picture that they’re all working together whether they knew it or not. Sophie is a young woman determined to take a risk and find her fiancé, Michael, even if it means traveling through a foreign country alone (or with a stranger). I loved Sophie, she was sweet but determined in every situation. Now, her traveling companion, Walt, him I was suspicious of at first. But by the end of this book, I think I liked him? (I guess the jury’s still out for me.) As Sophie gets closer to Spain she finds that the journey might be more dangerous than she imagined as war begins to spread. Simultaneously, there are also two athletes in Spain for the “Worker’s Games” Attis and his trainer Phillip. Attis is much more idealistic than Phillip, and so the idea that they’re in a foreign country on the brink of a revolution is exciting to him while Phillip is just kind of along for the ride at first. Will they stay and help or should they just try to get home safely? Once the civil war begins in earnest, all of the characters get swept into war and espionage and that never ending struggle between good and evil. I loved it!
There are so many more characters and plot lines I’m not mentioning here because frankly it’s not easy to explain them all without just giving you a detailed recap of the entire book. But suffice it to say this trilogy has a sweeping ensemble of characters from all over the world and each of them will make you feel something.
Now, this is the first book in a trilogy. I didn’t immediately start book two when I finished this one, but I think that has more to do with how busy I am and not a reflection of how good the story is. Books two and three are currently burning a hole in my kindle as I write this. So, I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of historical fiction. But beware, you’re probably signing up to binge two more books after this one!
Krystle Goodman is a crazy cat lady, who loves to drink exorbitant amounts of coffee, and read a shocking amount of books. She lives in Benton with her husband Josh, her son Roman, and their two cats Roxanne and Abby. When she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cooking, painting, or watching true crime shows. Watch for Krystle’s book reviews every other Friday. Send fanmail to: [email protected]
See more of Krystle’s reviews at www.mysaline.com/krystle.