Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: The Southeastern United States in the 1840's.
First Sentence: Bertha Maude Anderson. I never liked my given name.
This novel is the first in the author's Inzared series.
Bertha is a self-described hillbilly. She lives with her Ma and Pa, and her brother Ezra. on a hard-scrabble farm in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina.
Life is hard, and the family works hard to make ends meet. So, it comes as a great shock to Bertha that her Ma buys tickets to see the traveling circus.
At the circus, Bertha immediately falls in love with the elephant and its trainer. It doesn't take much encouragement to get Bertha to run away with the circus. Bertha has a natural talent for riding the elephant, and soon she has earned a new name: Inzared, the Queen of the Elephant Riders.
The story is told through Bertha's eyes. The author gives her a unique voice. Bertha sounds like a hillbilly without resorting to stereotypical dialect.
Additionally, I must congratulate the author on choosing the high road
when describing Inzared's love life. She and her love interest have a
lot of chemistry. Yet the author chose not to include unnecessary
graphic depictions of their romance.
I liked this book. It was not what I expected, but pleasantly so. Part historical fiction, part mystery and part romance. The pages flew by as I read to discover what adventure Inzared and her elephant would have next.
The First Book of the Series The Second book of the Series