I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on February 11th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Buy on Amazon.co.uk | Buy on BookDepository
View on Goodreads
Of all the dangers she faced, the greatest was discovery...
When Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh's husband is taken for a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough's regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. Risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer, Captain Ross.
But even when she dresses once more as a woman to evade capture, the war is not over for Kit. She catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French.
Torn between Captain Ross and her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit's life will be in more danger now than on any battlefield.
I have to say I loved this book. It follows the story of Kit Kavanagh, an Irish woman, who dresses up as a man to try and find her husband who has been “press ganged” into being a soldier. She embarks on a tremendous journey across Europe, fighting on the battlefields during the Spanish War of Succession. When she unearths the truth about what’s happened to her husband, she is placed in even more danger by being brought into the circle of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her as a spy.
The book is split into two halves. The first covering Kit’s adventures on the battlefield, and the second covering her time with the Duke of Ormonde. I have to say the transition between the end of the first half and the start of the second wasn’t exactly smooth, and I felt that the pace that had built up through the first half just disappeared at the start of the second. It took a little while for the pace to pick back up again. But this didn’t remove from the overall enjoyment of the book.
It’s even more astonishing when you realise this is based on a true story. It just goes to show that feminism was alive and well in the 1700’s!!
As usual with historical fiction my main niggle is when historical facts get incorrectly reported. I’ve been known to have a wobbly over Philippa Gregory’s premature introduction of the potato into Britain!! This book isn’t perfect on that front (Kensington Palace, not Buckingham Palace, was the main seat of royalty in the 1700’s!). But again, it didn’t distract from the utterly fantastic storyline.
I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction. It’s a genre I like and enjoy to read now and again. But this was an absolutely brilliant book! I have to say it’s the first book by Fiorato that I have read, but I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Huge thanks to Hodder and BookBridgr for this fantastic book.