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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Isabella Rockwell’s War’ by Hannah Parry

Northern India July 1820

It must have been the cry of vultures which brought Isabella back to consciousness. Or was it the feeling of hot grit against her cheek, caked and dusty where her mouth had fallen open? From her position on her side, she watched as one smashed the outer shell of a scorpion against a rock to get at the meat inside.

She sat up and looked at the tree nearby. Its shade, which spread so generously last night had now, in the fierce overhead sun, receded to nearly nothing. She crawled over to its trunk nevertheless, dragging her bag and rifle with her, and sat in the tiny remaining patch of shaded brown dirt. Holding her canteen up, she shook it. There was about two days water left in it, if she was careful. Putting the metal to her lips she took a sip, but she hadn’t anticipated the strength of her thirst: ….

Isabella must be quite some way from civilization if there are vultures circling overhead and she is conscious of only having two days supply of water left.

Is she running away from someone or something?

Has she perhaps been out riding and fallen from a horse?

‘Isabella Rockwell’s War’, takes me into the world of YA fiction, although the book appears to have been read and enjoyed by both adults and young people alike, has achieved nothing but 5 star reviews and is already an award winning story.

I am going to enjoy reading this story directly from the printed version, so will be able to fully immerse myself in the touch, smell and feel of the written words, as the story evolves.

If you would like to find out more about both book and author, then go here



A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?


If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?


Click here and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader


You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time.


As this was an author invitation to read and review, a print copy of  the book, was sent to me free of charge, by its author, Hannah Parry.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      As this book is next on my reading pile, I have literally only looked at those opening lines, although I do have the advantage of having the synopsis to hand also.

      I am keen to know just how Isabella has come to find herself in the middle of nowhere, with only a bag, a rifle and a canteen of water. I wonder if she knows where she is headed and has become lost, or if she has been abandoned deliberately.

      Unless you know something of British history, you wouldn’t know of the huge British Army contingent living and fighting in India in the 1800’s, in the bid to establish an Empire in that country. I am assuming therefore that Isabella may have some connection with the army.

      This sounds like it might be a good historical novel.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

    • Hi Hattie,

      I agree, I am not too afraid of small birds, but the sight of anything larger than a seagull coming towards me is sure to do it!

      I can always remember watching a very old black and white Alfred Hitchcock film called ‘The Birds’ and have never been able to see things in quite the same way since.


      The thought of being out in the open with a vulture circling overhead, isn’t great!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Lianne,

      I am assuming here, that as the author is British, the character of Isabella is also British and possibly part of the large British Army contingent in India, at the dateline we have been given.

      From my sketchy school day history lessons though, I wouldn’t have thought that a female would be travelling anywhere unescorted, so just why Isabella has landed up in the way she has, is a mystery and I would be quite worried for her safety.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      As this book started life for the YA market, I am assuming that Isabella is a young person. However, the 5star ratings and reviews have come largely from an adult audience, so I guess that the storyline is reaching out past its intended age group, to the reading public at large.

      The historical storyline transcends two continents and cities and sounds like an exciting read, which I am looking forward to starting in the next week or two.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and have a great weekend.

  • I’ll be putting this on my to-read list, thanks for sharing it.

    As for myself, I just finished a collection of short stories by Stephen King called Just After Sunset; three of them I liked (including one that combines OCD with the need to compulsively keep a vile demon from entering the world).

    • Hi Hila,

      I haven’t read any Stephen King books for some considerable time now. He used to be up there amongst my favourite authors when he concentrated his writing in the horror genre, however since his diversification into fantasy writing, I have kind of lost interest. I see that ‘Just After Sunset’ goes right back to 2008 for its publication, so would fall more firmly into the horror writing period and I have therefore added it to my reading list.

      I am especially eager to find out more about the OCD story, as I have often been told and have thought to myself for sometime now, that I might have a mild version of it. To say that I am fussy and very pernickety, is putting it mildly and to comment that I have to have attention to detail, with ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’,
      is probably an understatement.

      ‘Isabella Rockwell’s War’ has a synopsis that is really growing on me and reading it will be made all the more enjoyable, as I have been gifted a real live copy of the book, which I am sure will make the whole experience more enjoyable and fulfilling.

      Thanks for visiting Fiction Books today and have a great weekend.

  • Sounds like an incredible story! I can’t even imagine what a woman would be fighting a war in 1820.

    This is the first week in a while I’ve had time to leave comments and not just fly by. Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings on Friday!

    • Hi Gilion,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and for putting up the link for this great meme each week.

      Also, as a ‘Brit’, I should thank you for the ‘Early Bird’ link. Due to the time differences, Friday morning US time, is mid afternoon UK time, which always makes linking up to any meme that much more difficult. ‘Early Bird’ Thursday evening US time, is early morning Friday UK time and is perfect for linking before leaving for work!

      There were thousands of British troops out in India in the 1800’s, during the time of The British Raj, the British rule of The Indian sub-continent. Many families were also taken along on those tours of duty and I am guessing that Isabella is the daughter of a trooper, as opposed to actually being involved in the fighting. There are sure to be some great historical and cultural clashes, so I am really looking forward to reading this book.

    • Hi Jo,

      I am not sure just why we seem to need this ever increasing number of genres and sub-genres that keep appearing in the system.

      Some YA books are so sophisticated, that they really do deserve to be displayed on the adult shelves, rather than on improvised shelving space, within the children’s section. Some of the explicit nature of the content, would be much better kept to areas well out of the reach of the very young and to be honest, by the time a child has reached the stage of reading and understanding such material and the storylines which it accompanies, they are surely more than ready to be browsing and purchasing from the adult shelves.

      ‘Isabella Rockwell’s War’ appears to have been read and rated predominantly by adults, who have obviously enjoyed the style of writing and the storyline content, without issue.

      Thanks for the interesting comment, I appreciate you stopping by.

  • Your post catches my interest to this book. I will check out more.
    I enjoy some YA more than others. I guess I prefer those that focus on a dilemma such as dystopia and/or action, and less on teen angst and romance.
    Thanks for visiting my blog too.

    • Hi Martha,

      I am certainly not a fan of the new genre which seems to have sprung up recently ‘New Adult’ fiction, which is supposed to target an audience in its early twenties and seems to concentrate on themes of romance and relationships.

      I am just not sure why we need another layer in the book sector, most young people tend to be mature enough these days to gravitate from YA to Adult fiction, without any new intervention, surely!

      I don’t think that this book dwells on any particularly romantic themes, although I am not sure that it has any strong dystopian themes either. It is more a story of loss, hardship and making new beginnings, from what I can gather.

      I don’t know if that fits your criteria completely, but if you do decide to join me in reading ‘Isabella …’, then I hope that you enjoy it.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

  • I don’t know how anyone could read that and not want to know why/how she ended up where she is and if/how she gets out of there.

    Very interesting!

    • Hi Vicki,

      I have the advantage of being sent a physical copy of this book by the author, however, even from reading the synopsis and opening a few random pages, I still can’t piece together the story, so I guess I am going to have to wait until I read it!

      Those are some quite interesting opening lines though, I do have to agree. They tell you a lot, yet give nothing away, which is just the right combination to pique most readers interest.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always love talking with you.

Written by Yvonne