Severed Knot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

This is the first book I have read by Cryssa Bazos but as soon as I had finished it I was straight onto Amazon to look for more.  

Set in 1652, Severed Knot is an epic novel. It is such a well researched and well written book, the characters are well drawn, the detail is authentic and the plot is unique.

I highly recommend it to everyone who loves historical fiction!
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Severed Knot by Crystal Bazos was one of the most emotionally gripping books I have read in ages. The author was talented in really making us feel for the Scots and Irish that were sold as indentured servants while showing how carefully and accurately she had researched the time period. The political turmoil of England in the 1650s was a cut throat world where romance still could blossom. From England, Ireland, Barbados, and to the Netherlands this journey will keep you on the edge of your seat
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1652, the English Civil War has ripped over the land and torn apart families. Iain Johnstone and his Scottish soldiers have been captured and are being held captive by the English, barely alive. They are eventually put on a ship in order to be sold into servitude in Barbados. Mairead O'Conneil is supposed to be kept safe at her family farm in Ireland, but when the English descend on the farm, they kill the men and capture the woman to be sold into slavery as well. After surviving the voyage Iain and Mairead are both bought by the McVale plantation. While enduring hard labor, humiliation, and heartbreak Mairead and Iain find comfort in one another and Iain hatches a plan to escape the island. 

Suspenseful, romantic and emotional, Severed Knot reeled me in with amazing characters and intriguing plot. Iain is incredibly, strong, reliable and caring but packaged in a hard exterior. Mairead is confident, compassionate and has a powerful constitution wrapped in a small frame. Both Mairead and Iain suffer insurmountable losses and hardships through their life and on the plantation. Their love develops slowly and carefully in the harsh landscape. Through the writing as well as Iain and Mairead's experiences, the cruel reality of the Barbados sugar trade is brought to life as the entire island is forced to realign itself for sugar. Hope and love continually surface as traits to help people survive. As the conditions worsen, escape becomes the only option. Suspense increases as plans are hatched, executed and interfered with for a satisfying ending. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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Fantastic....this novel has all the right elements for a wonderful piece of historical fiction.  The writing was excellent and the research was on-point.  The time period was one that was different for me, but nonetheless, and probably more so, I enjoyed everything about this novel.  I have never read anything by this author before, and I will now go and read the first book , "Traitor's Knot."   My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really didn't realize that Scottish and Irish Christians were indentured to plantations in the West Indies in the 17th century.  It becomes clear that the author did a lot of research for this book as the detail of the day-to-day lives of  the Scottish hero and Irish heroine make you feel as though you are there.  It was disturbing at times to read of the entitlement of some, while they abuse and mistreat others that had no control over their circumstances.  I was captivated by the building romance between Iain and Mairead, and with their resilient spirit that kept them going through many trials and tragedies.
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A captivating adventure in the 17th-century historical romance. Follow these strong characters in their journey. Well-written book, it's a pleasure to review. I liked reading this advanced reader's copy of this book. I am leaving my voluntary review.
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'Severed Knot' is Cryssa Bazos's second novel and just as impressive as her debut 'Traitor's Knot'. This is not historical romance where the historical is 'wallpaper' and the romance is sex. This is more romantic historical fiction with the emphasis on the historical and the romance playing a defined role, but in the .background.

Set mainly in 17th century Barbados, this is often a depressing and difficult read of indentureship for the two protagonists Iain Johnstone, a Scottish prisoner=of-war and Mairead O’Coneill, an Irish woman. The evident research, the realism of the life of servitude and the slowly building friendship and romance of Iain and Mairead, assures this author a place on my favourites' list, with the few but talented writers of romantic historical ficition and historical romance.
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4.5 stars

Severed Knot was the first book I have read from this author. I would like to start this review by saying that when I read a book under the romance category I want that story to be heavy on romance. This book was completely lacking in a traditional romance because of the circumstances. The story was heartbreaking to me and honestly hard for me to enjoy. I was sad and the day to day life had me very anxious while reading. Now with that said I couldn't rate this book any lower than I did because it was fantastically written. The author created a landscape that had me feeling like I was right there with the characters and suffering along with them. Although the story was depressing the desire to escape and survive had me glued to my Kindle and anxious for a HEA. Now that I know what to expect from this author I would definitely consider reading another book.
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I absolutely loved this novel.  It is set after the English Civil War when a band of Scottish royalists is imprisoned by Cromwell's government following the Battle of Worcester.  They are sent as indentured servants to Barbados. We meet the main protagonist and leader, Iaine Locharbaidth, who is determined to lead his men out of slavery to safety, We are also introduced to delightful, determined, faery like Mairead O'Conneill who along with her beautiful cousin is transported when Cromwell's army invade Ireland. She, too, intends to return home. This story concerns sea journeys; terrible treatment at the hands of a very cruel plantation owner and her dissolute son; cruel overseers, enemies within the band of Scotsmen; to plotting, spying, plantations, to Prince Rupert, The Anglo-Dutch war and above all we read an exquisite and actually quite unpredictable love story. 


The narrative is fast moving and the novel's characters are beautifully realised. I cared about most of them. Those I was not supposed to like certainly were distasteful. The book is excellently plotted and had me engrossed from the very beginning to the very last page. I could not stop reading it. The research in this book reveals a lesser told and horrific historical moment- that of Christian slaves sent as indentured servants to the colonies, their experience, treatment and above all their longing for freedom. It is a beautifully written novel and the set pieces in the book are exceptional and vividly described.  Some scenes are grueling. Some are tender and extremely moving- I loved the violin playing, the ballads and the determination of characters to rise above utterly destructive situations outside their control. It is a life-affirming novel.. Other moments are thrilling scenes to make the heart pump faster.  There is a great feel of balance within the novel of tender moments and danger. This is a superb novel, Historical Fiction at its best, and I highly recommend it..
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Good book!  The amount of history is worth the read,  but good story line about this time period is makes it better! Thanks for letting me read!
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This is an epic novel!
Severed Knot is one of those novels which will leave you nursing over it for days after you have read the last page. The story shows you the best and worst of people and leaves you with a lingering sense of how men - and women - can be so cruel to those brought low by circumstances.
This is a novel that takes the reader on as adventure from England and Ireland to the West Indies and the searing heat of Barbados. Cryssa Bazos wonderfully recreates 17th century Barbados with vivid detail, from the vast expander of sugar field to the terrifying slave markets,  from the luxury of the plantation owners to the misery and desperation of the slaves and indentured servants. The author writes with such passion, that i defy anyone to read this book and not experience the full depth of their emotions.
The characters are incredibly colourful and full of vitality; their experiences all the more touching when you realise that events of this type actually happened.
This was a wonderful story to read and devour and leaves the reader with the impressing that they have witnessed something quite incredible. As with any servings book from an author, you open it with trepidation, hoping that the author can live up to the promise of their first novel. Cryssa Bazos has far surpassed that promise and created a story that is an experience in itself.
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I could not put this book down!! Severed Knot is an incredible story filled with seemingly unconquerable circumstances that will keep you riveted. Clear your schedule because you will not want to stop reading once you start.
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