I have to say I am really excited about this excerpt, as this is one of (if not at the time of writing) my favourite book by Mandy. Who does not love a feud that spans centuries!! It is fab!! I still get excited thinking about this book and everything that happens in those pages.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. .The Feud by Amanda James
Published by Bloodhound Books on April 15, 2019
Also by this author: Rip Current, The Cornish Retribution, Another Mother, The Feud, A Stitch in Time, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Dancing in the Rain, Cross Stitch, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, The Calico Cat, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud, Dark Deception, The Cornish Connection
Matthew Trevelyar leaves his job in London to return to his Cornish roots in the village of St Agnes. After losing his wife to leukaemia, he wants to make a fresh start.
His new life is going well until Matt returns to his cottage to discover a grim warning on his doorstop. The message is clear – Leave now and go back to London.
Not wanting to give up his new life, Matt eventually discovers that there has been a 200-year-old feud between his family, the Trevelyars, and another local family, the Penhallows.
When Matt learns that one of his ancestors burned down a barn belonging to the Penhallows, and that a child died in the fire, he understands why his family name is mud. But why is Matt paying for the sins of his ancestors now? And is there more to the feud than meets the eye?
Without further ado……
✮ Excerpt ✮
Smoke snakes into his nostrils, an insidious herald of destruction. Kenver Penhallow paws at his face as he slowly drifts from the depths of sleep. Fire… he’s dreaming of fire. Ferocious tongues of yellow and red lick high along tinder-dry wood, leaping after stars sharp against a navy night sky. Smoke wraps itself around his lungs and squeezes until he wakes fully with a jolt. He’s up and out of bed retching, choking, gagging. The room’s glowing red.
This is no dream!
His wife wakes too, coughing and clutching at her chest. Her eyes are wide and fearful, her face amber-lit from the inferno outside.
‘Oh my Lord! Ken… what’s ado?’ She joins him at the window.
‘Fire, Wenna. Fire! Look, the barn is almost lost to it, and the outhouse too!’
Kenver runs to the bedroom door, pulling Wenna behind him. ‘Get the children. Run to the well, form a line! We need to vanquish this devilry before it consumes the house!’
In his nightshirt, Kenver runs to the paddock, a scarf around his mouth to protect against the thick acrid smoke. It proves no barrier and soon he’s on his knees by the well, coughing so hard he feels his lungs will collapse. Somehow, he pulls up a bucket of water and runs at the barn, hurls the water at the wall of fire and staggers back a few paces as the flames force a retreat. A bucket of water against this? It’s like a teardrop. There is no hope.
He raises his arm to shield his eyes and watches his family of six mustering by the well to form a human chain. They pass hand over hand – bucket to hand to bucket to fire and back. The fire mocks them. It’s too little too late. Kenver hurries to his wife and children. ‘It’s no good. We are beaten. Come, we must take the horses and flee. The farmhouse will burn, and us along with it if we stay much longer!’
Wenna shakes her head. ‘I can’t go until we’ve found Jago. He’s nowhere in the house!’ His wife kneels on the ground, sending a wail from her throat keening up to the sky. Kenver is reminded of a wounded animal he once heard caught in a trap. She must be deranged given the calamity, because no one is missing. His children are all here. He sweeps her up into his arms and yells at his children to follow him to the hill at the top of the field behind the house.
Once safe from danger, he set his wife down on the grass. Then he looks at his clinging huddle of children and counts only four… not five. Wenna’s right! He must have been mistaken when he watched them form a chain! But where is their youngest son? Where is Jago? He flings his arms to the side, demands of his brood, ‘When did you last see your brother?’
His next youngest, Tilda, rubs streaks of soot from her eyes with the back of her hand and sobs, ‘Father, I am sorry to tell ’ee that my brother went to the barn to be with the ailing pup. He said not to tell ’ee in case ’ee were mad at him for sleeping all night out.’
All eyes fix on the barn just as the last blackened wall collapses with an ear-splitting groan. Sparks chase each other to the heavens and then race along the ground to the farmhouse. Wenna sends up another wail more heart-rending than the first and the children join in, hugging each other in despair.
Bewildered, Kenver asks, ‘He went to be with that sickly scrap of a sheepdog pup that I said wouldn’t see daylight? The one I forbade him to fret over?’
Tilda’s mouth forms a square of anguish. She nods and collapses next to her mother, wailing at the sky like a banshee.
Kenver forces his legs to carry him a few feet away. He can’t let the children see him weep. They would lose all sensibility. His legs do their duty then refuse to do more and he finds himself on his knees in the grass. The roar of the fire deafens him as it takes possession of the farmhouse and right now, Kenver can’t care less if he ever hears anything again – sees anything again. He would rather be deaf, dumb and blind than to be here and witness such carnage. His little five-year-old son is gone. Taken, burnt, consumed in hellfire.
‘Father, how can this be? It is too much to bear,’ George, his eldest, says, as he kneels next to him, puts a hand on his shoulder.
Kenver shakes his head and wipes moisture from his eyes. ‘I know not, lad. But I swear I’ll find out and avenge my youngest son. Fires don’t start by themselves.’
George gasps, takes his father’s arm, a horrified expression on his face. ‘But who would do us such evil?’
Kenver hawks smoke-filled phlegm from his throat and spits it out in disgust. ‘I have just the evil devil in mind, lad. And he’ll be sorry for what he’s done. I swear by almighty God, he’ll be sorry – and so will his sons and his line ever after. Mark my words.’
Fun fact number 4- My favourite colour is turquoise
If that does not entice you, what have other reviwers said?
Me and My Books says:- I loved the way this author took the feud to various extremes. She uses family members and friends like chess pieces and has a fabulous way of moving and manipulating them into place. I found friends were manipulated, the truth was distorted and twisted in this old vendetta. On Matt’s arrival in the village sparks off the revenge and family honour and it is just the tip of the iceberg as revenge turns in vengeance.
Jan’s Book Buzz says:- The reader feels the very strong sense of where loyalties lie, and where they’re expected to be aligned. James has created characters with a truly warped sense of loyalty though, who feel absolutely no qualms about twisting and stretching the truth until it’s unrecognisable, in order to convince whoever necessary to remain loyal to them. It’s manipulation at its evil, manic best and the author very cleverly strings everyone along so that they’re dancing to her beat, like merry little puppets!
Rubina Reads says:- You know you’re in for a treat when you read an Amanda James book. The Feud is no exception.I love a good old revenge story, where that characters go to any lengths to indulge in a bit of tit for tat. That element is clearly present in this story. I loved how Matt stood his ground and replied back as much as he could. I loved how Morvoren Penhallow kept pestering Matt and therefore kept things interesting for the readers. And the twist of the actual reason why Morvoren was so hell-bent to hurt Matt made me go, “Ah! That is why!”
Book after Book says :- The author craftily mixes various elements to create a story that it is twisty, sinister, and captivating. There is the small town atmosphere full of gossip that spreads quickly. There is a centuries-old feud between two local families that has dramatic consequences. There is a bit of magic, witchcraft, and folklore with the presence of love potion and magic herbs. There is murder and obsession. And there is a love story and love triangle as Matt has the chance to find love again with Lavander, but he has also to deal with the unrequited love of a colleague. THE FEUD has realistic characters, a brilliant storyline, and it is set in a small town in beautiful Cornwall that takes on a dark and suspenseful atmosphere for a story about love, revenge, jealousy, and forgiveness.
The Bookwormery says:- This is an easy read, with some nice twists and a clever plot…I enjoyed the relationship between Matt and Lavender, the doubts and secrets. It shows how perceived hurts can fester over years, all that emotional baggage and hate bring nothing but sadness, loneliness and pain…a very engrossing read….
Ginger Book Geek says:- Oh my word, ‘The Feud’ is one of those books that struck a chord with me in a way, because it shares similar characteristics with my own family. We don’t just have feuds with outsiders but we also have feuds within the family and that can prove problematic at family gatherings, which are thankfully rare. One feud in particular has been passed down from generation to generation and stems from one bitter and twisted individual, who I won’t name because you never know who might be watching. Our family has a saying ‘a grudge is for life and not just for Christmas’. Anyway enough of my family burblings as I have digressed so back to the review I do go.
Until next time xxx