A Wilderness of Sin by M J Logue [Book Review]
A Wilderness of Sin
Two years have passed since Command the Raven. Hollie Babbitt is now a Colonel of Horse in the New Model Army and a father. A Wilderness of Sin picks up in the aftermath of the Battle of Naseby. Thankful Russell has been blinded by a shot to the head and Luce Pettitt is in love.
As with the previous two in the series these are social histories. A Wilderness of Sin features birth, marriage and death as well as love and tragedy. Pestilence is more of a danger than war, but the politics of the army are a clear danger for Babbitt.
The depth of the author’s research is clear in A Wilderness of Sin. We have a thread with Babbitt and the army, with the changes since the new model army becoming clear. There is a thread of professionalism in the soldiering, but also of bureaucracy and a stifling of dissent. The earlier freedoms are being lost, and the pay is late. For those that know their history there are many teasers in A Wilderness of Sin, especially with Colonel Rainsborough and the army politics.
As you would expect from the title religion and sin feature in A Wilderness of Sin too. The anabaptist leanings of Hollie’s troops becomes stronger, despite the lay preaching from the ranks being banned by the army. Sin too, Luce Pettitt is in love with Trooper Gray, and people are starting to notice. In part this is what lead to Hapless Russell’s head wound at the hands of Captain Chedglow.
Russell is taken to live with Het at White Notley for his recovery. This allows us to see a lot more of the social civilian side of things in A Wilderness of Sin than we saw earlier. There’s a constant thread through the book on how Russell, Het and the others in White Notley are doing. We learn a little of social mores, courtship and child rearing as well as about Russell and Het.
Overall this is the best yet in the series, if you have any interest in social history, the english civil wars or just like a good story then you should go read all of these.