Legend of the Jewel
N. C. Allen
Covenant Communications, 2008
The general setting of this book is unique. It is placed in post-Civil
War times and has three Americans for the main characters, but it takes
place in England and India. Each of the main characters is dealing with
a personal problem: Isabelle is recovering physically and emotionally
from trying, and failing, to rescue President Abraham Lincoln from being
shot; Sally, her traveling companion, is from the South and is adjusting
to having both of her parents die in the war; while James, a Mormon
blacksmith from Utah, is searching for his lost brother.
There are plot twists and surprises enough for the seasoned mystery
buff, and the reader gets to experience well described aspects of India
as well. Part of the plot involves an English/Indian uprising called the
Sepoy Rebellion that will appeal to the historians in the crowd. The
descriptions and the way people behave in the aftermath of the rebellion
are also well written and very telling. The reader can see the effects
of man’s inhumanity to man.
The book was a little slow starting. However, she made up for it in the
adventure that came later. It was interesting to get to know the main
characters and watch the romance develop. It will be fun in later books
to see where we go with the personalities and backgrounds of the people
we meet here.
There was one place where the first really important event took place
where there wasn’t enough detail in some ways and too much in others.
About 45 pages in, some bad guys are getting rid of a character for
someone. The reader could have been left more in the dark and been left
to wonder, along with the rest of the book’s characters, what happened
to her. Since it is all explained later on, this would have been okay.
Or the author could have explained better what was going on.
This was a fun book to read. We get to take post-Civil War trains and
boats and visit jungles and things. The ambiance was good. The story
line was well organized and cohesive. This being the first of a series,
the ending left a couple of loose ends, but there are enough satisfying
answers to questions by the end of the book that the reader can wait
patiently for the next installment.