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You're not wrong about Anunciata. I couldn't even bring myself to love to hate her (ala Undine Spragg) because I sensed that she was being couched as a great heroine and not a spoiled brat. But her role gets more and more reduced over the next few books. I forget when she disappears entirely, but The Chevalier may be the last one where she's important.

I just got book 33 from the library the other day. I'll be sad to see the series end as I've enjoyed it very much.


Teresa--Three books for one character seems a lot, though I suppose there was just a lot to write about for this period. At least there will be new characters coming of age in this book so maybe it won't be so bad to read about her one more time! Unlikable characters aren't always so bad, but she has certainly rubbed me wrong! I wonder if the author will finish the series with book 34? And how do you finish such a story as this?! I have a feeling that once I get past this next book I'll not want to put them down! How many years has it taken you to get through the books?


I can really see why this would appeal but I'm afraid this wouldn't be a book or series for me.
I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Liz F

I read, and loved, the first four books of the series back when they first came out, but I got stuck on The Black Pearl and never got beyond it.
Can't remember why I didn't like it and I keep thinking that I should go back to the beginning and start again but since I have had the same thoughts about Georgette Heyer's books and R F Delderfield's, I could be setting myself up to fail!
Oh if only I had nothing to do but read - even for a week or so!


I have wanted to start this series forever. I used to notice it all the time at the second hand bookstore, but it is just so long! It is a bit daunting!

Joan Kyler

I loved the Common Reader and was so sad when they folded. Their catalog was chock full of unusual and interesting books. I always had every other page dog-earred for books I wanted. I miss them.

One of my main sources for books now is Daedalus Books in Columbia, MD. Their books are deeply discounted and never marked as such. They have catalogs and you can order / see their catalogs on line. But their books usually aren't the hard-to-find books that Common Reader had.


I have The Long Shadow sitting in a pile and have started it twice, so am very glad to hear that I am not alone in finding this book unappealing. I will finish it because I really have enjoyed the previous books and want to continue with the series. I think that The Founding is the best, with the attention to detail about life in that era, which I knew little about. The early books are hard to find and I tend to get them from Amazon when I want to bring an order up to the 'free shipping' mark. Thanks for your review, Dani, it will get me going again.


Following the same family through hundreds of years, talk about epic! Sounds like fun though. have you kept up buying the books in the series after the splurge on the first 25? I bet they fill up a bookshelf nicely.


I admire your staying power! I know what you mean about struggling through a book when you don't like a character. There have been several books I've put aside because I actively disliked the main character(s) and did not care what happened to them!


Caroline--If you are into English history then this is a fun series to read, otherwise it probably wouldn't appeal quite so much! :)
Liz--Anunciata probably put you off The Black Pearl--she's right there in the first chapter being a real stinker! I loved the first few books and I think the others are going to be good as well, just need to get past this particular character and era! A free week to read would be nice indeed!
Kailana--I try not to think about all the rest of the books in the series, though I am looking forward to reading about certain periods. The books are really easy reads, though, so once you pick one up it reads pretty fast.
Joan Kyler--Yup--my catalogs were the same. I might even still have one or two somewhere. I used to get those Daedalus catalogs--I even have one of their bookbags! I should look them up online--they do have great prices--thanks for the reminder!
Cathy--I am so glad to have gotten past The Long Shadow. I think this next one will be better and hopefully there will be more focus on other characters--I'm just going to try and read it fast to get it over with--that sounds awful, but I hate skipping. I liked the earlier books a lot, too. If you do pick it up, maybe we could read the other books in tandem if you like. Sometimes it helps to read along with someone to keep the momentum up! :) Sourcebooks is reissuing the books, but they are still at the beginning--maybe you can find cheap used copies?
Stefanie--I have been buying them as they come out in paper so I have them all. If I wait until I get that far into the reading they may well be out of print! ;)
Kathy--Well, since I bought these in 2005 I've not made much progress! But I really do enjoy the books (or at least the ones without Anunciata) so I want to keep going. I think I would have been much further along had it not been for her as I kept setting this book aside. Now I just need to persevere with the next and I think things will get more interesting!


It's funny to think these novels are British as I can't think of a single time when I've spotted them in a bookstore. And I've been looking as there have been several good reviews of the series in the blogworld. I'm sure these are just the sort of books to relax with, when you want to get caught up in a story. I don't read enough historical fiction - I always enjoy it when I do, but hardly ever think to pick it up.


Litlove--I wonder if the earlier novels have gone out of print? I believe she lost her publishing contract, so I am not sure how many more books there will be and whether the one forthcoming is the last. I'm really enjoying these--not terribly taxing sorts of reads, a good way to get a bit of history and of course a nice dramatic family saga to get caught up in. I really like historical fiction, but I've not read much of it this year, which is perhaps why these books are so appealing at the moment.


I thoroughly enjoyed the first few books in this series, but I have borrowed The Black Pearl a few times now and still haven't started it. Thinking about it, I don't think I have read a book from this series all this year!

I have read her Russian trilogy, so haven't neglected CHE completely this year.


Marg--Same here! Good intentions and all that. I think the last book (well, before this one) was read in 2009! At that rate I will never finish reading all the books. I am lucky as at least I have all the paperbacks since I bought the set cheap years ago. I am now at the beginning of the next book and so far so good. Anunciata is still in the story, but it seems to be centered more on her children and grandchildren--yay. I knew she wrote mysteries as well, but I didn't know she had another series--I will look it up--she is a busy writer!

Betty Francis

The Common Reader was my go-to source for good reads. I too ordered the complete set of the Morland dynasty, but I returned it because I found it disappointing. Too plot driven. I was hoping for something more like Dorothy Dunnett's series.


Betty Francis--Yes, the stories are very much plot driven--I guess they almost have to be in order to cover so much ground? I have the Dorothy Dunnett books as well--I am a little intimidated by them as I know there are loads of historical, literary, etc references, but I bet if I started them I would love them. Maybe next year I will pick up the first one!


Long reading projects like this always get my reader's heart pumping: I've picked up books from this series countless times, but haven't gotten to collecting them yet.

(Probably because I have collected several of Dunnett's and haven't yet begun, which as you've said, is a rather intimidating task too, not only in terms of time invested.)

I wish I'd started some projects like this when I was a younger reader, so that I could be enjoying the sense of completion (twinned with the "all done? what now?" feeling that you get at the end of a long series) now and be inspired to add more reading like this to my reading year(s).

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