Review of “Tyburn” (The Southwark Saga #1) by Jessica Cale (Re-Readathon)

Cale, Jessica. Tyburn. 2014. [United States]: Corbeau Media, 2017.

Paperback | $12.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1503292215 | 305 pages | Historical Romance

5 stars

Read the original review here.

I went into this year fully intending that I would reread the Southwark Saga, but I just didn’t know when I would do it, given my tendency to not reread, especially lately. But then I heard about this Re-Readathon going on this week, hosted by a few BookTubers I watch, among others, and it provided the perfect excuse for me to finally get around to doing a reread of Tyburn (and hopefully get around to rereading the others in the near future as well). This book fulfills the Recent Favorite and Game Changer categories.

Now, as for the book itself, my general impressions are more or less the same. I still very much love both Nick and Sally as characters, and rooted for them in spite of knowing how it would turn out. I also felt much more attuned to the subtle hints about who they both were than I was the first time around.

Jane is definitely a character who I liked a lot more upon rereading, due to having a greater understanding of her situation this time. She does still lean a bit on the impulsive, TSTL end of the spectrum, but I definitely did not find her as irksome, especially when I thought about the awful things her father had his hands in in this very book more deeply.

I would like to conclude this review with a discussion of why I think this book is a personal game-changer. One of the most important reasons is that it and its sequels are among the most original books I’ve read in romance. I love its gritty realism and the way Jessica Cale clearly put in effort to present an authentic feel for the period, something I’ve started to find increasingly lacking in a lot of historical romances. I also love that she focuses on characters who’ve been through hardship, but presents them as people you can root for, which is a rarity in my opinion, especially with the popularity of broody, angsty heroes. And, most importantly, it demonstrates that a historical involving commoners can have a beautiful HEA.

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