Anne-Sophie's life is full of frustrations. These include working alongside overly protective Frenchmen in the Sarafin as well as being in love with Jean-Marc, who hardly seems to notice that she exists...
When a perilous assignment crops up requiring one of the Sarafin to travel to Elizabethan England in a parallel dimension she insists on being chosen for the job as her right. She realises that she has bitten off more than she can chew, however, when she is transported into the role of a powerless woman of that era and has to find some way to get from a dangerous Scotland to the even more dangerous court of Elizabeth I.
Anne-Sophie finds herself marrying against her wishes and sharing a bed with a man she met only days before and in the process finds out more about herself than she was ready to know.
A sweeping tale of love, loss and friendship, The Journey will make you laugh and cry.
The Journey is the third story in the Sarafin Perigord series. The books can be enjoyed in any order as each is a stand-alone novel in its own right.
I am so glad I got a chance to read this series as I have really enjoyed every book in it. It has taken me a while to complete this book though, due to other commitments distracting me but last night I forced myself to sit still and finish the last 80%. The narrative kept me hooked and it immersed me in the story so completely that it managed to keep me occupied until around 4am without my mind wandering to other things I should be doing.
Once again A.J. Scott-Ryder has created interesting characters and a captivating romance that keeps you on an emotional roller coaster. I loved how the relationship between Anne-Sophie and Gascon was kept interesting with the twists and turns/ups and downs. The reader is always questioning whether they will get a happily ever after. As well as this with the conflicted emotions felt by Anne- Sophie about Armand and Jean-Marc it added a sense of reality and more depth to the background story as it felt like there was always an obstacle to overcome. It also helped engaged the reader more (emotionally) as there was always a sense of loss and gain throughout the book.
Scott-Ryder didn't reveal everything straight away in this book and it started in the middle of the events, which may sound confusing but I enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of books that give a long back story before getting to the action and with this book the questions I had enticed me to read on as I wanted to find out who the mysterious man described was. I would suggest you read at least The Secret before starting this book though as it will clear up a lot of language and paranormal aspects even though there is a glossary at the back.
I love the romance in these books and the language used to describe everything fits perfectly with the time periods. It also creates vivid images in your mind that immerse you fully in the book, as if you are really there. Scott-Ryder's writing flows naturally and you can't help but fall in love with her characters too. The idea of 'The Game' was original and refreshing too. It was an easy concept to figure out and for me it added a slightly darker dimension to the book as I imagined the chess board to be more of a dark, gothic thing rather than anything else.
Although I love this series and thoroughly enjoyed reading The Journey, it is probably my least favourite of the series and I did have a few problems with it. Besides there being a few more typos and mistakes than the other books the ending also confused me slightly. Unlike with the other books I found myself with some unanswered questions that broke up the continuity and left me wanting more of the novel to gain a better resolve e.g I don't remember Gascon informing Anne-Sophie of what he really was, except he wasn't a dark elf.
I was reading the book at a fast pace until around chapter 22/23. At that point I had to slow and really focus on the book as there was a time period shift, but it came on so quickly and without any explanation that I found myself reading back to check I hadn't missed something. By the end of it I think I understood what have happened but maybe it would have been easier to grasp if the events had been written or a subheading on the chapter stating the date would have made it clearer that Anne-Sophie had either gone back/forward in time (I won't giveaway what happens as it's the ending).
However even though I did have problems with this book I still really enjoyed reading it! The characters are brilliant, the story line was interesting, engaging and original and Scott-Ryder's language immerses you in the past and present worlds with paranormal differences. I would highly recommend the whole series to any romance lovers as a must read.
Rating: Somewhere between 3.5- 4 due to the issues I had but I'd put it nearer to 4.