Adult Fiction,  review

Book Review: The Maiden by Kate Foster

Kate Foster’s debut novel The Maiden caught my eye when it was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year. It stood out to me from the other titles because I do love historical fiction AND I was interested in reading books set in Scotland – Edinburgh in particular – in the lead up to our holiday there.

As always, I’ve popped the synopsis here, and then my thoughts below.

Synopsis of Kate Foster’s The Maiden

In the end, it did not matter what I said at my trial. No one believed me.

Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.

Only a year before, Lady Christian was newly married, leading a life of privilege and respectability. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn’t the only woman in Forrester’s life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead. . .

My review of The Maiden

I really enjoyed this book! I felt really swept up by the story and liked that the plot unfolded from several points of view, and I got along well with both voices. I found it immensely readable and thought there was enough tension maintained in the story to keep me turning the pages for ‘just one more chapter’, which I think is extra impressive since we sort of start the story at the end.

I’m really looking forward to reading Foster’s next novel, The King’s Witches, which is historical fiction that deals with Scottish witch hunts and Princess Anna of Denmark coming to Edinburgh to marry King James VI – it sounds like the most perfect blend of some of my favourite topics! I’ve popped the blurb for that one below too, in case you’d like a bit more info.

I’d love to know if you’ve read this one, or plan to – let me know in the comments!

xo Bron

The Maiden by Kate Foster
Out now from Pan Macmillan Australia
Source: I bought this after seeing it on the Women’s Prize for Fiction long list.
Category: Historical Fiction

The Maiden on Goodreads
Love historical fiction? Check out more of my reviews here.

Blurb for Kate Foster’s The King’s Witches:

Women whisper secrets to each other; it is how we survive.

1589. Princess Anna of Denmark is betrothed to King James VI of Scotland. Before they can wed, Anna must pass the trial period: one year of marriage to prove herself worthy of being Scotland’s new Queen. Determined to fulfil her duties to King and country, Anna resolves to be the perfect royal bride. Until she meets Lord Henry . . .

By her side is Kirsten Sorenson, her loyal and pious lady-in-waiting. But, whilst tending to Anna’s every need, Kirsten has her own secret motives for the royal marriage to succeed . . .

Meanwhile, in North Berwick, young housemaid Jura practises the healing charms taught to her by her mother. When she realizes she is no longer safe, she escapes to Edinburgh, only to find herself caught up in the witchcraft mania that has gripped not just the capital, but the new queen . . .

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