Review: The Unfortunate Son

The Unfortunate SonThe Unfortunate Son by Constance Leeds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I give 3 stars to books I enjoyed while reading, but feel like I got everything out of it in one read.

The Unfortunate Son follows the stories of fifteen-year-old Luc and of fifteen-year-old Beatrice as they meet in their 15th century French village, become separated, and strive to be reunited.

Luc is known as “the boy with one ear”, and though, some see him as nothing but a freak, he is welcomed into the home of an old fisherman and his sister and their beautiful adopted daughter Beatrice. There, he brings them good fortune until the day he’s kidnapped by slavers. The rest of the story is dedicated to Luc’s life as a slave, and Beatrice’s attempts to find someone who will help bring Luc back.

The book draws fascinating images of fifteenth century life, and the adult characters are quirky and memorable. Though, the two main characters are a little too “perfect” to be interesting. One main flaw of the book is that all the young people are amazingly beautiful and good, and all the older people are…well…old.

With all its detailed descriptions of historical life, the The Unfortunate Son reads something like a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, and the adventure is slow, but interesting when it arrives. I admit, I was disappointed in the end–the author spent the entire book getting to the answer of “who is Luc?”, then sprang another question at the end and left it hanging.

All in all, an enjoyable middle-grade read for those who like slow-paced adventure and history with a hint of romantic flavor.

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