Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (08/17)
In Roger Davis’ novel, “Greywycke,” Kaline de Belmar is depicted as a carefree, young woman who is ready to meet destiny head on. We follow the progress of this young character as her doting grandmother, Dowager Duchess Catherine de Belmar, and godfather, John Norlington, Duke of Wakesby, introduce her into Scotland’s noble aristocracy. Together, they plot a way for Kaline to enter into her best possible match so that she can secure the utmost advantage for herself in society. Little does she know that evil plans are underfoot. It will take all the wits and fortitude that Kaline can muster to preserve through the twists and turns of one eventful weekend.
The author’s history background is well demonstrated with the references of fashion, food, customs, and developments leading up to and during the period of this novel. Two major settings, Castle Belmar and Castle Greywycke, are where we find most of the story’s action. Although the actual places and events are fictional, the details conveyed create a perspective of grandeur and a feeling that each castle has a real presence. What remains clearest in my mind is the vision of the keep, or castle tower, set at the edge of Greywyke’s sea cliff. When the author gives a nod to the keep’s past history and usefulness, it creates a genuine sense of place for me, so that as Kaline ventures within its stone walls, I truly feel its ancientness. Even the castle’s vast surroundings are described well and evoke a picturesque quality as exhibited in this passage, “Wisps of clouds that barely move in the distance stretched across the azure plain. The scene reminded her of a famous landscape painted by a great master…”
While I enjoyed the plot and many of the details associated with the setting, there were times when the story’s repetition prevented me from getting absorbed in its narrative. At the same time, there were other instances when I thought that more information could have been added to character development and the general order of events. There were a multitude of personalities introduced in this 157-page read. I felt that I would have been more invested in the account if I had more time to get to know the actors.
All in all, “Greywycke” by Roger Davis is a fun read with just enough suspense and evil-doings to keep the reader’s interest. I would recommend the book to those that enjoy a mystery and appreciate the details of formality from a time period long past.