Under the Emerald Sky is a Historic Romance with beautiful settings, emotional depth and a fierce main character that I truly loved.
Title: Under the Emerald Sky
Series: Book One – The Irish Fortune Series
Author: Juliane Weber
Release: October 2020
Genre: Historical Romance
It’s 1843 and the English nobleman Quinton Williams has come to Ireland to oversee the running of his father’s ailing estate and escape his painful past. Here he meets the alluring Alannah O’Neill, whose Irish family is one of few to have retained ownership of their land, the rest having been supplanted by the English over the course of the country’s bloody history. Finding herself drawn to the handsome Englishman, Alannah offers to help Quin communicate with the estate’s Gaelic-speaking tenants, as much to assist him as to counter her own ennui. Aware of her controlling brother’s hostility towards the English, she keeps her growing relationship with Quin a secret – a secret that cannot, however, be kept for long from those who dream of ridding Ireland of her English oppressors.
I’m not crazy about romance but I enjoyed how this story was presented. I loved the idea of the spunky, self reliant heroine. Dealing with the blatant misogyny of the times illustrated in the book, having such a head strong character is actually refreshing. Books based in bygone eras that that deal with themes of sexism and inequality often have demure, weak characters who grow into their bravery and strength. This can be fun and triumphant, but I prefer the way Weber presented Alannah throughout. She was pre-packaged with a resilience that is very relatable to a modern day rebel like myself, but she was also vulnerable and emotionally open to the reader.
Alannah was my favorite character but I did truly enjoy Quin. The character development in the story was well done and even the characters that I didn’t prefer were well fleshed out and felt real! Weber also excelled at making settings feel real. I loved the descriptions of places in the world she built but what really stood out to me was the emotion she attached to some of the locations. The feelings of pride for ownership, or the memories a place held were just as important as the place.
I found the book easy to read and loved the little touches of culture that Weber shared through the story. I loved the Irish and English ideals colliding and seeing Alannah and Quin navigate the expectations put on them by others, as well as themselves.
Overall, I enjoyed this story! I would recommend it to history buffs and readers who enjoy romance with some adversity mixed in.