David Pilling,
John Swale Chronicles #5:
The Black Lion of Forbes

(Musa, 2012)

The Black Lion of Forbes destroys John Swale's ancestral home and thrusts the survivors onto different life tracks. This piece of David Pilling's long-running saga introduces Richard Swale's point of view and reveals what became of John's missing sister Margaret.

Centered on flashbacks of the Black Lion of Forbes' attack, this book includes a lot of graphic detail, necessary to understanding the drastic consequences of that night. This work is all about revealing the Swale siblings and connecting their present positions to their shared tragedy with John, like showing the same light source reflected in different colors of glass.

It's a skilled short story that expands the horizons of The John Swale Chronicles into new environments, while intensifying the personal, emotional world of John's family.

book review by
Whitney Mallenby

2 March 2013

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