RogerBW's Blog

Carry On, Celia Lake 13 December 2023

2020 romantic fantasy, first of a new loose series. In the spring of 1915, Major Roland Gospatrick is recovering in hospital, though nobody will tell him what's wrong with him. Elen Morris is assigned as his latest nurse, though he doesn't expect her to last any longer than the others.

The mystery of what's going on with Roland's treatment is solved, but largely off-page; Elen finds out some things, but it's definitely a group effort to put it all together and assemble enough evidence to cause action to be taken. The meat of the book is less that and more the details of how he and Elen move from an unpromising start to a friendship, and later a romance – with a strong side note of how healing works in this hidden-magic setting, combining magic with plenty of real physical therapy rather than using it as a miraculous instant cure.

There's also some material on the religions of Albion - rather than a full syncretism, various healing deities are held to have their own specialisations, and Elen's particular patron Sirona is a goddess of long-term healing and rehabilitation.

As usual for Lake it's all quite gentle. I wouldn't want to read these all the time, but I do enjoy them turning up on the book-selector once in a while.

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