Immortality: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz #BookReview #Historical #Fantasy

Hazel Sinnett is alone and half-convinced the events of the year before—the immortality, Beecham’s vial—were a figment of her imagination. She doesn’t even know if Jack is alive or dead. All she can really do now is treat patients and maintain Hawthornden Castle as it starts to decay around her.

When saving a life leads to her arrest, Hazel seems doomed to rot in prison until a message intervenes: Hazel has been specifically requested to be the personal physician of Princess Charlotte, the sickly granddaughter of King George III. Soon Hazel is dragged into the glamor and romance of a court where everyone has something to hide, especially the enigmatic, brilliant members of a social club known as the Companions to the Death.

As Hazel’s work entangles her more and more with the British court, she realizes that her own future as a surgeon isn’t the only thing at stake for her. Malicious forces are at work in the monarchy, and Hazel may be the only one capable of setting things right.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Immortality: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz is book two of a historical fantasy duology that explores what happens when a woman decides to become a doctor in pre-Victorian Scotland. The story contains mystery, thrills, a light romance, a reimagination of history, and the solution to how one can live forever.

My Reading Experience:

I loved book two, Immortality, even more than book one, AnatomyAnatomy had large sections in the middle that tended to drag a bit. Yet, Immortality was fast-paced from beginning to end. I couldn’t have put the book down even if I had wanted to because the story kept moving from one dire situation to the next. 

I also loved the look at what would happen if a woman dared to try to enter the role of a physician. The reactions in the different situations and how Hazel handled the turmoil that went with going against the grain of society felt so real. It is detailed in a very authentic manner with a heroine who could withstand the heat, and who doesn’t love a heroine who will consistently stand up for herself?

There is a relatively light romance that’s perhaps more heated than the period would have been comfortable with, but it is not the main flux of the plot. And it is joined in Immortality by another romantic entanglement that is much more modern but still feels very authentic and provides an exciting twist to the story.

Characters:

I love Hazel, the main character. She is independent, intelligent, and driven. She is everything I’ve aspired to and more. She is also kind and compassionate, always taking a more holistic approach to her patients. Hazel is a heroine that deserves to have every reader in her corner cheering her on.

All of the characters – historical and created by the writer – are so well fleshed out that they practically leap off the page. They never act in the run-of-the-mill, stereotypical fashion but instead exhibit the many dimensions and layers of a natural person. I’m awed by this, especially when taking in Jack’s story.

Narration & Pacing:

The narration is in third-person limited, focusing solely on Hazel from start to finish. The use of the third person rather than the first worked to establish the boundaries of the society, keeping the reader close but not too close. The first-person might have made for an even more exciting and intimate story, but the third-person works very well.

The pace was fast from start to finish. I never experienced lulls or lags as I read, which I appreciated.

Setting:

Pre-Victorian Scotland and England is the setting for this story. It was interesting to see the differences between the two geographically close areas. They worked exceptionally well for this story. They have populated enough areas that a woman doctor could conceivably find patients but areas that also help firm to social conventions and norms.

Read if you like:

  • Historical Fantasy
  • A female lead who is inspirational
  • Plenty of mysteries and thrills

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Originality9
Writing Quality9
Pace8
Character Development5
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness8
Use of Setting7
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

20 Replies to “Immortality: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz #BookReview #Historical #Fantasy”

  1. Excellent review, Tessa. I love historical fiction and strong female characters, so this books and duology call to me. Of course the setting of Scotland is also a draw. I found both of them on Scribd so have added them to my wish to read list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might like this one, Carla. It’s more historical than fantasy. Actually the fantasy is very light. It’s a very good story!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your review, Tessa. I’m intrigued and hopping over to Amazon to check it out. Congratulations to Dana!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a great duology, Tessa, especially the second book with its faster pace. What really nabbed me was your description of the characters: “All of the characters … are so well fleshed out that they practically leap off the page.” The nuance and layers appeal to me. And I like the setting. I haven’t read a good historical fiction (with fantasy) in a while. Thanks for the great recommendation. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d be curious to see what you think. I think it would appeal to you very much. I believe it’s considered YA but I wouldn’t classify it as YA at all though the main character is on the younger side of adulthood.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The covers for this series are absolutely stunning and it’s good to know the content is just as good.

    Liked by 1 person

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