The Fate Of Pryde is the second book in the series The Trilogy Of Remembrance. In book one The Drawing Lesson the reader was introduced to Turner Prize winning painter Alexander Wainwright. You can read the review here.

The Fate Of Pryde once more takes the reader into Alexander’s creative world. Famed as a landscape artist Alexander finds himself with a very strange commission from an equally strange benefactor, Jonathon Pryde. The quest ostensibly is to take the painters wonderful creativity into the world of stained glass. A medium far different from oil paints and canvass.

I enjoyed The Drawing Lesson a great deal, and I was not really sure that Mary Martin could maintain the momentum with The Fate Of Pryde. Well, I was wrong! This book is even better. The reader is transported into the surrealistic world of the creative mind.

Art is the backdrop for Mary Martin, but (pun intended), art is merely the blank canvass on which she weaves her very rich tapestry of words.

The Fate Of Pryde once again follows the innermost workings of Alexander Wainwright, but to me it is a far different work than The Drawing Lesson. The Drawing Lesson had a very clear cut ‘villain’, or maybe adversary might be a better term, in Rinaldo. The Fate Of Pryde is a much more subtle and haunting exploration of the human psyche. Skin deep Jonathon Pryde is a benign and benevolent benefactor to the art world. Yet the more we learn about Jonathan the more apparent it becomes that beneath the veneer lays more darker forces.

Mary Martin also runs an interesting and very relevant parallel sub-plot concerning writer Peter Cummings and his aging mother. While it takes up just a scant few pages it is masterful in its construction and execution.

The Fate Of Pryde is one of those books that leaves you with far more questions than answers. It would be a gross misinterpretation to say that this book is about Good vs Evil. Yes, there are elements of that theme, but I see it more as a quest for knowledge and understanding.

I must compliment Mary Martin not just for her excellent Character and Plot development but also the very clear attention to detail in matters of art, music and locations. She is a lover of the arts in her personal life, and certainly comes out through her writing. What I really enjoyed was that she is able to do this in an unpretentious manner. If you are an art lover you will catch the occasional subtle dig, but it is not intrinsic to the plot, it is more like a hidden Easter Egg.

It will be interesting to see where Mary Martin take The Trilogy Of Remembrance in the third and final book. I see unfinished business with Rinaldo and also with Jonathan Pryde. Or will she introduce us to a new protagonist? The only thing I know for sure is that I will be reading it!

You can order your copy of The Fate Of Pryde from Amazon by using the link above, and I also recommend that you visit her web site remembrancetrilogy.com.

Simon Barrett

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