Review of “The Locksmith’s Daughter” by Karen Brooks

Brooks, Karen. The Locksmith’s Daughter. 2016. New York: William Morrow, 2018. 

Paperback | $16.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-006286572 | 565 pages | Historical Fiction

4 stars

I picked up The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks on a whim, because the premise sounded intriguing, especially with its Tudor/Elizabethan setting, something I don’t see a lot of, apart from the occasional book about one of the monarchs or their consorts. And for the most part, it was a pretty solid read. My one complaint is that it is a little slow in places, and Brooks is a little heavy handed with the use of language, but on the whole, it contributed to an accurate reading experience that immersed me in the period.

I love the layers of Mallory’s story, especially the more I learned about the traumas and abuse she dealt with as a result of making one rash choice. Even though the environment was much more biased against women than today’s world is, I was moved by the way her reactions to what she suffered and felt that part of her character was incredibly well written. And in general, I love the other ways in which she proved her strength and intelligence as a lock-pick and a spy.

I was sure I wouldn’t like Nathaniel as a love interest at first, but his development over the course of the book changed my mind. He goes from being a bit nasty and boorish to Mallory to being one of the few people she can trust when Sir Francis comes to see her as a threat.

I would recommend this to people who are fans of richly researched historical novels.

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