About ‘The Fires of Treason’ by Michelle Quirke::
Genre: Historical Fiction
Princess Elizabeth has always idolized and supported her older brother, but when Greg is accused of treason and banished, her loyalty to him is tested in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she leaves her luxurious lifestyle behind to join him in exile, she must learn to cope with the everyday struggles of the working class, all while keeping her true identity a secret. Facing new hardships and the looming threat of execution, Elizabeth will need to toughen up if she has any chance of surviving outside the palace walls.
Prince Gregory spent his entire life trying to prove himself worthy of the crown until his banishment releases him of all the pressures and obligations that have chained him down. Although he has no intention of raising an army to defend his birthright, he soon learns that not everyone is content to let him walk away from the throne. With his sister’s safety and well-being to consider, Gregory must make a decision that will change both their lives forever.
Roll back the clock to a world of royalties, sword battles, and honor. In this historical fiction, you’ll find that last word vital. Centered around Princess Elizabeth and Prince Gregory, this story explores their life-altering adventure from royalty to peasantry where their ideals are tested at every turn. In contrast to their father, older sister, and even uncles, these siblings harbor a compassionate nature that is lost on the rest of their esteemed peers. While the two see honor in kindness with loyalty a thing to be earned, the rest of the court views honor in violence to maintain their stature and wealth as loyalty is to be bought with riches or by fear.
Gregory has always been the most important person to Elizabeth so when he is banished by the king for his moral ‘weakness’ in battle, she soon joins him of her own volition. However, the combination of living constantly afraid of being found and the daily grind of working class life puts an immense strain on their relationship. They both do their best to adjust, but having been accustomed to a lazy life of luxury since birth (especially Elizabeth)…it just might prove to be too much.
Should she return to the kingdom? Could she possibly abandon her brother in his greatest time of need? Does going back to a vile father who raised her by beatings and threats to her very life even need to be considered? Meanwhile, Gregory fights with his own fears of inability to protect Elizabeth from the dangers they now both face as traitors. But these aren’t even the beginning of their problems. The siblings’ most difficult decision is not if they can ever be free or if their relationship will remain in tact; it’s the decision whether or not to compromise their moral standards in the interest of their own survival and the well-being of others.
Gregory and Elizabeth are barraged with the choices to steal or starve, kill or be killed, lie or die, and fighting for the throne with their allotment of supporters or spare these people grave risks by remaining passive. Neither believe in violence. They certainly don’t believe in putting people in harm’s way for their own advancement and Gregory raised his sister with the integrity to never take from others, but share with them their own good fortune.
The author did an amazing job portraying their struggle to maintain their morality and their identities. At each difficult decision, the siblings question the right path to take. Were they naive to think that they could live in a world without sin? Was it not acceptable to do wrong by others in order to survive? or perhaps for the good of the many? I had to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how the characters handled each looming threat and every new decision. ‘The Fires of Treason’ is a very real tale with a strong message that for many will be hard to swallow. It was for me.
Michelle Quirke can be found on:
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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