Review of Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding, a sapphic historical fiction around The Great War

*I received this book free from NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.*

When the writer suggested my participation on this blog tour, I checked the synopsis and classification first. I have to say I was already into it after having a look at these, but my excitement grew considerably when I was given the link to the book on NetGalley and saw this incredible cover!!! Isn’t it stunning?!

Thanks to Annabel Fielding who kindly asked me if I wanted to participate on this blog tour.

4 stars.

Agnes comes from a modest background and seems to be a sweet girl who doesn’t understand the dark secrets of the Bryants, an aristocratic family she comes to serve as an archivist to document the complete family history and bloodline at the end of the 19th century. As the story develops, mysteries and evil intentions are unveiled, which takes us to find out everyone carries their burden and most of them do not even care; including our sweet Agnes.

This historical fiction story depicts the years that lead to The Great War and those who came after this event, places in several European countries and life in England at the time, perfectly, taking the reader back in time to those settings and occurrences that changed the world.

I started this book completely lost. I was directly thrown into the story and could not comprehend Agnes Ashford’s motives. I could only discern there was a sweet girl working for a rich family in England, but her thoughts did not make sense to me at all. However, about 25% into the book, there are some discoveries that make the whole story come together and allow the reader to grasp the reasons given by our main character on the first chapters.

I’m not keen on spoiling books, so I’ll try to keep it as non-specific as possible. There’s a sapphic love story that made me smile many times throughout this book and also made me feel disgusted. The tragedy that love and life are are depicted masterfully. Everything has an end and it’s regularly a bittersweet one. This and the loyalty to historical events gave me that sense of reality and allowed me to immediately dive under the skin of one of the characters.

Characters are deeply developed, their backgrounds and motives understood. They’re relatable and coherent, unreliable, variable and as extreme as all humans are; especially since they reflect the society of those times from their corresponding social status.

The plot is full of twists and turns learnt not a bit too soon and the ending is one of my all-time favourites on a historical fiction.

If you like intrigue, historical fiction and LGBTQIA+ romance, this book is for you.

Hope you let me know in the comments if you get to read it!

Bear hugs!

Anne

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