About the Book
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Release date: June 13, 2023
Can a family bond stand the test of time? Lady Tiliani Forelli is the epitome of the She-Wolves who raised her, an adept archer with a mind of her own. It is long past time for her to wed, but she deems each young lord who comes to bid for her hand lacking. With battles upon their border, and rumors of war growing louder on every front, Lady Forelli’s decision could secure her kingdom’s peace… or bring about its destruction.Centuries later, history major Luciana Betarrini takes a summer job alongside her twin, Domenico, as a period actor at Castello Forelli in Italy. As incoming college seniors, this might be their last chance to spend meaningful time together, so she’s soaking up every minute. But when Nico’s theory that their lost Betarrini relatives have traveled through time becomes potentially real—and they might be able to follow—Luci fears they’ll be forever divided.
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Estuary is a thrilling fantasy tale with time-travelers, romance and faith. There was much I enjoyed about this book, but the setting and time period of it would have to be my absolute favorite part. I know absolutely nothing about 1300s Italy, but reading this novel made me want to know more.
The plotline itself also intrigued me. Time-travel? War? Arranged marriage? Why wouldn’t anyone want to read something like this? Bergren does an excellent job of keeping the readers interested and turning the pages, needing to know what happens next.
While I loved the setting, the time period, and the plotline, I had a hard time connecting with the characters, and I am unsure as to why. I really didn’t like either of the heroines–Luciana and Tiliana. I didn’t find myself really rooting for either of them. Perhaps because I didn’t get to really know them, as they read more like two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional characters. All we really know about Tiliana is that she is a She-wolf and she has to decide between marrying Aurelio and saving the Castello or her heart. And Luciana…besides the fact that she’s close with her brother and is a history major, I feel we don’t get to know much about her.
However, these are just my personal opinions. There is a lot to this story that I really enjoyed that kept me reading and overall, if you like fantasy and time-travel, I would recommend this book.
I had received a copy of the book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review.
About the Author
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Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over sixty books spanning a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to women’s historical fiction to supernatural suspense and time travel. She lives with her husband and three gradually-flying-from-the-nest young adult children.
More from Lisa
NEVER GO TO ITALY! BUT IF YOU DO…
Never go to Italy, I tell everyone, because it gets under your skin and then you have to go back! I’ve been six times over the years. Once with Tim and our BFFs, once with my extended family, twice with a daughter in tow (doing research in Rome and Venice), once to Tuscany alone for a romantic ten days with Tim, and this last summer, with extended family again. It was our 30th anniversary and so we went as far north as the Dolomites (jaw-dropping, Italian Alps). And in the future I want to explore the whole coast of Italy—on both sides!
As a writer it’s glorious, because you get to see remnants of history all around you! I get super excited when I get to walk through the remains of a castle or Roman ruins or even among vineyards, soaking up the smells and sights and cataloging details I can put in my novel so readers feel like they are there too. My family is patient with my sign-reading and desire to take extra long walks, trying to outline what it would be like in medieval times. The food, the views, the people make them pretty happy travel companions.
I am frequently asked what I would recommend for a travel itinerary for people going for the first time. Here’s what I tell them:
THE INTRO TO ITALY ITINERARY
If possible, I highly recommend you go late-Spring or in the Fall. Summer is SO much more crowded and winter can be cold/rainy/snowy!
Day 1: Using an “open-jawed” ticket (arriving from one airport, departing from another), fly to Italia!
Day 2: Arrive in Rome in the afternoon/eve. (You lose some hours/time zones in transit!) Stay up until at least 9 or 10, walking the streets, eating gelato, soaking up being in ROME! The goal is to get your body in the right time zone/avoid jet lag.
Day 3: Morning Colosseum tour with a guide group that will take you to the basement, where the gladiators prepared and animals were caged, then on to the Forum. Spend the afternoon walking to quintessential sites such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona. Sit and sip something, watching the tourists and locals. Find a fun restaurant for dinner—you’ll want reservations at the most popular places, so research before you go.
Day 4: Morning Vatican tour/Sistine Chapel. Afternoon exploring other sites important to you.
Day 5: Taxi back to airport to rent a car; drive to Tuscany; check into a villa or agriturismo for five days. My preference is somewhere around Montepulciano or Siena. Many provide nightly dinners or you may want to cook!
Day 6-9: Explore a different hill town each day. My favorites are Montepulciano, Siena, Pienza. But there are so many. Just follow your nose one day!
Day 10: Return car to Rome early morning; take train to Florence for the day/night. Have advance reservations to “The David.” Consider reservations for the Uffizi if you’re a fan of classic art. Just explore the city if you’d rather not. Climb the Duomo for a fantastic view of the city.
Day 11: Train to Venice; check into a hotel on the Grand Canal or one of the smaller ones. Start getting your bearings by riding the water bus. It’s noisy but you can see the whole canal for little $. Find a great place for dinner. Again, do some research before you go and make reservations!
Day 12-13: Saint Mark’s (pay to climb to next level!); pay to go up the Campanile (tower) at sunset; walk/wander far enough to get out of the tourist zone—the old naval yard is cool. Take the water bus out to Torcello, the birthplace of Venice. Stop at Murano and Burano. Pay for a private water taxi tour at sunset or take the classic gondola ride.
Day 14: Take a water taxi to the airport. It’s a short walk from the docks and a very cool way to end your trip. Arrivederci! (Which means, “Until we meet again.” Because now, you’ve BEEN there. And you’ll HAVE to return! It’s THAT great!)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30
Texas Book-aholic, July 1
Christina’s Corner, July 2
Through the Fire Blogs, July 4 (Spotlight)
Robin’s Nest, July 4
Aryn the Libraryan, July 5
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 6
Wishful Endings, July 7
Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, July 9
Blogging With Carol, July 10
For Him and My Family, July 11
Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)
Kristina Hall, July 13
To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, autographed copy of the book and an Etsy-artist “Oceans” bookmark!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.