Master of His Fate (House of Falconer #1)
From New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the first book in a stunning new historical saga.Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. Even as a boy working in his father's market stall in Camden, he was determined to become a merchant prince. Through hard work and a single-minded determination, James rises quickly through the ranks, with a loving wife, devoted children, and a lofty position in the Malvern & Malvern Company. But when back-to-back tragedies strike the Falconer home, shattering this idyllic life, it seems as though James might never recover his former glory...until a royal summons gives him the chance to prove that he truly is a master of the game.The first book in an expansive and intricately detailed new historical fiction series from master storyteller Barbara Taylor Bradford, Master of the Game is filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford's trademark cast of compelling characters.

Master of His Fate (House of Falconer #1) Details

TitleMaster of His Fate (House of Falconer #1)
Author
ReleaseNov 20th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250187390
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Adult, European Literature, British Literature, Drama

Master of His Fate (House of Falconer #1) Review

  • Laura Spira
    January 1, 1970
    When my children were young enough for me to be still suffering from baby brain I read and enjoyed "A Woman of Substance". I was surprised to see that Barbara Taylor Bradford is still publishing novels so thought I would give this one a try, courtesy of an ARC from Netgalley and St Martins Press.I wonder if BTB herself wrote it. It is phenomenally badly written. Every conversation is stilted and expository. Some of the language is oddly anachronistic - I'm sure Victorians did not describe themse When my children were young enough for me to be still suffering from baby brain I read and enjoyed "A Woman of Substance". I was surprised to see that Barbara Taylor Bradford is still publishing novels so thought I would give this one a try, courtesy of an ARC from Netgalley and St Martins Press.I wonder if BTB herself wrote it. It is phenomenally badly written. Every conversation is stilted and expository. Some of the language is oddly anachronistic - I'm sure Victorians did not describe themselves as chuffed and I'm not convinced that the term "mesmerise" would have been in wide use at the time the novel is set. The characters are wooden in the extreme and the plot is banal.If you have an interest in Victorian fashion - male and female - there are lengthy passages describing the characters' clothing and quite a lot of attention is paid to interior decor. But I can find little else to recommend this book. If family sagas are your thing, Ken Follett does it much better.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    I loved BTB's "A Woman of Substance," but unfortunately did not enjoy the author's first installment in her newest series. Review to come in Historical Novel Society.
  • Olivia Farr
    January 1, 1970
    "Master of His Fate" begins a new historical fiction series. We begin with James Falconer as a boy- already he has big dreams. He currently helps his merchant father to sell wares at the market, and he absolutely loves what he does. He dreams of owning a big shop and stores to sell wares when he is older. With an idyllic, loving family and grandparents (seriously, Hallmark quality interactions), James is already on the right path for success.Next, we meet Alexis Malvern. Her father owns a tradin "Master of His Fate" begins a new historical fiction series. We begin with James Falconer as a boy- already he has big dreams. He currently helps his merchant father to sell wares at the market, and he absolutely loves what he does. He dreams of owning a big shop and stores to sell wares when he is older. With an idyllic, loving family and grandparents (seriously, Hallmark quality interactions), James is already on the right path for success.Next, we meet Alexis Malvern. Her father owns a trading business and has raised her to take over for him (breaking the mold of the time). She's intelligent, quick-witted, and independent. In fact, she is so independent that she has decided she will not marry and have to worry about her husband's potential issues. Although her father worries that his business will then never be passed through her family, he loves her so much that he supports her in all things. Alexis is starting a charity for women with abusive husbands where they can escape to get on their feet. Between these two characters, following their lives becomes intriguing. I was much more pulled into Alexis's life at the start as James and his family just didn't feel quite real. However, over time, James really grew on me. For lovers of historical fiction and Jane Austen-era/style writing, I think this will be a big hit! Be ready to be pulled into the lives of these individuals and their amazing families.Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Sarah Davies
    January 1, 1970
    Great storyline, with a really good mix of characters. The story of James Falconer is really interesting with him growing up as a barrow boy but with the dream of working in his own arcades. His grandparents willing to help him with his dream.Then the side story of Alexis who is career minded and not interested in men and marriage until she meets Sebastian and then here world is changed upside down. Really good concept, pleasure to read, the storyline flows really nicely.
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  • Lori Winslow
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. I have always loved Barbara Taylor Bradford, and this story did not disappoint. This book is the first of a series of 4 books set in Victorian England, and introduces what I assume will be the main characters going forward. Without giving too much away, as I was reading the book, I kept wondering how these characters get together, and it was worth the wait. Speaking of waiting, I can't wait for the next book, I sure hope it is coming out soon.
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  • Karma♥Bites ^.~
    January 1, 1970
    16 Sept 2018: FYI for HF &/or Barbara Taylor Bradford fans:Currently 'Read now' @ NG: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo...
  • Dan Curnutt
    January 1, 1970
    In this Historical Novel we begin a new series regarding Merchants and the Aristocracy in 1880's England. There is quite a difference in culture between the two classes. Although things are becoming a bit closer as the Aristocracy is facing troubling times in a declining agricultural economy that is bringing a strong fiscal downturn that endangers their style of living.In this new series of novels we will be introduced to the Malvern and Travelian families who have a high standard of living base In this Historical Novel we begin a new series regarding Merchants and the Aristocracy in 1880's England. There is quite a difference in culture between the two classes. Although things are becoming a bit closer as the Aristocracy is facing troubling times in a declining agricultural economy that is bringing a strong fiscal downturn that endangers their style of living.In this new series of novels we will be introduced to the Malvern and Travelian families who have a high standard of living based upon their financial acumen. We will also meet the Falconer family who are in the lower level of the trade business as well as as household servants. The two classes are fairly far apart, but they do have some overlap.This story revolves around James Falconer a young man who is helping his father by attending to their merchants stall in the marketplace. But James has high goals for himself to rise to the level of owning a complete Marketplace of his own where others have their stalls. The easiest comparison would be that he wants to own what we today would think of as a shopping mall, as well as owning "The Anchor" store for that mall.James is highly intelligent and quite capable for a teenager. We will follow his rise in business as he makes great strides towards his goal.Then there is Alexis Malvern. The daughter of an owner of a vast Trading Business. Her father has built quite the business. But he has no son. So, one day his business will pass along to his daughter (something unusual for this time). Alexis is quite intelligent and capable. But she has one small issue. She doesn't want to marry. It's not that she doesn't like men, but she just doesn't feel the need to have a man in her life and most men are suspect of wanting her for her money.Barbara Taylor does a great job of drawing words pictures for us of the culture of England during the late 1800's. She also brings a story of many lives and situations together that eventually tie everything up in a nice neat bow. There is business, mystery, romance and intrigue. While this is not a barn burner of a story it has a very appealing quality to it that draws you in and keeps you reading. It left me with a strange desire to want to follow along as the characters grow. So, with that said, I'm looking forward to the second installment in the series.Enjoy reading.
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  • Bookfan36
    January 1, 1970
    Brief synopsis from the book cover:Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father’s market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. James quickly rises through the ranks, proving himself to be both hardworking and trustworthy, catching the eye of Henry Malvern, head of t Brief synopsis from the book cover:Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father’s market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. James quickly rises through the ranks, proving himself to be both hardworking and trustworthy, catching the eye of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. But when threats against his reputation – and his life - begin to emerge, James will have to prove that he truly is the master of his fate.Through scandal and romance, tragedy and triumph, the Falconer and Malvern family’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways in this expansive and intricately detailed new novel filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford's trademark cast of compelling characters.My rating:Story: 5 out of 5 starsWriting: 5 out of 5 starsCharacter development: 5 out of 5 starsOverall: 5 out of 5 starsReview:I have read most of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books and this is one didn’t fall short. It has everything a good book needs. It is well written, an interesting story line with the right amount of intrigue and suspense that captures you and makes it hard to put the book down. Set in Victorian England which makes it interesting read from a historical perspective. The characters are strong and well depicted this makes it easy to step into their shoes and it doesn’t take much effort to like them. Defiantly worth a read! I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.I received an ARC through Netgalley at no cost to me.
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  • Ethel (artisanwriting.blogspot.com)
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1884, Victorian England. We meet James Falconer, a young man whose greatest desire is to be a merchant. Not quite as simple as it sounds, for his desire is to own several shopping arcades and be the head of a large retail store such as Fortnum and Mason, a luxury department store (which is still going strong today). He is much loved by his family, adored by his grandparents and has a good head on his shoulders. How will he meet these goals, we have to read on and then find out as the series It's 1884, Victorian England. We meet James Falconer, a young man whose greatest desire is to be a merchant. Not quite as simple as it sounds, for his desire is to own several shopping arcades and be the head of a large retail store such as Fortnum and Mason, a luxury department store (which is still going strong today). He is much loved by his family, adored by his grandparents and has a good head on his shoulders. How will he meet these goals, we have to read on and then find out as the series continues!As we read further, we meet Alexis Malvern, 25 years old, an only child, she works for her father who is wealthy and successful in the world of retail. Vowing never to marry, she falls head over heels in lover with a man who is 15 years her senior and one of her friend's father. There again, time will tell what twists and turns Alexis will take.Set in the late 1800's we are taken into a different time, different century. Life was not easy for the poor and unbelievably grand for the rich. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the Victorian era.So there you have it, not quite in a nutshell because there is more to this story that I have read, but now it's the turn of others to enjoy these pages. I will say, however, there were not many prudes in the Victorian era as one would think, or at least in what is written here by Ms. Bradford. It has been a long time since I have read one of her books with "A Woman of Substance" being my favorite. I do not deem it necessary to compare these two, suffice it to say "Woman.....: is still my favorite. This book was a comfortable read and the first in a series. It will be interesting to see how the series advances.My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Michele Benchouk
    January 1, 1970
    I have never read anything by Barbara Taylor Bradford before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found her descriptions of clothing, jewelry, interiors, gardens, landscapes, and so on to be exquisite. I could easily picture the scene and her attention to detail was amazing in really putting the reader in the story. I enjoyed getting to know Alexis and find her to be likable and real. Her whirlwind relationship was fun to read and heartbreaking, although I found the physical intimacy to be much e I have never read anything by Barbara Taylor Bradford before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found her descriptions of clothing, jewelry, interiors, gardens, landscapes, and so on to be exquisite. I could easily picture the scene and her attention to detail was amazing in really putting the reader in the story. I enjoyed getting to know Alexis and find her to be likable and real. Her whirlwind relationship was fun to read and heartbreaking, although I found the physical intimacy to be much earlier than expected or plausible. It is because of the elaborate and well-crafted descriptions, and because of Alexis, that I would consider recommending this book to certain readers. James, however, turned me off completely by failing to admit to an affair, calling his accuser a liar publicly, actively working to undermine the career and credibility of that accuser, continuing that affair, and expressing incredulity with his mistress as to why the accuser would spread "lies" about them. Holy cow -- any interest I may have had in his ideas and business acumen now longer matters. How can James NOT know that he should admit his own poor behavior instead of falsely malign his accuser?? Ugh. I have seen way too much lying in recent years to want to spend any more time with James and won't be going back to read more about him. Were it not for the redeeming points discussed above, James would make this book worthy of only one star.I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions above are my own.
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  • Becky S
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.Why did I want to read this? The cover. I'm a sucker for covers and this one pulled my interest. And knowing who the author is and her other work was an extra bonus. I didn't go in to this expecting a detailed literary, historical fiction- her books generally teeter on the edge of literary fiction and romance genres with more on the romance format side. I know better, but I read some of the reviews before I started the book and w I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.Why did I want to read this? The cover. I'm a sucker for covers and this one pulled my interest. And knowing who the author is and her other work was an extra bonus. I didn't go in to this expecting a detailed literary, historical fiction- her books generally teeter on the edge of literary fiction and romance genres with more on the romance format side. I know better, but I read some of the reviews before I started the book and was a bit leary based on them, but I found the story to fit exactly into what I was expecting. Characters are developed but not as richly as some literary book, but when it's a romance genre they usually aren't. For those who felt the story was rushed, well, they usually are. Could she had made this a longer, multi book story? Yes, but take it for what it's worth. It's a good historical romance to read.
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  • Shivangi
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Either it's been too long and I've forgotten, or my tastes have changed a lot, but I felt like I've read much more interesting things by this author while reading this book? The story felt very flat and boring as I was reading and there was nothing exciting, nothing that made me want to keep reading - I only did it because of the engagement I had, to give the review. There were so many ch Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Either it's been too long and I've forgotten, or my tastes have changed a lot, but I felt like I've read much more interesting things by this author while reading this book? The story felt very flat and boring as I was reading and there was nothing exciting, nothing that made me want to keep reading - I only did it because of the engagement I had, to give the review. There were so many characters to keep track of, which this I do remember being something the author likes doing, but it was pretty annoying and it didn't help that it was an ecopy that I had and going back and forth to keep track of who is who was a bloody pain. And honestly, I don't even remember how it had started out by this point.I mean, other people might enjoy definitely but didn't work for me.
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  • Nina
    January 1, 1970
    I won an advanced reader’s copy of this book from GoodReads. Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Master of his Fate – The House of Falconer I have read many of books by this author and always enjoy the stories. I enjoyed this one too, but it is clear that the copy I received is an early draft. The story was very disconnected and many of the loose ends were not tied up. The anachronistic details were distracting for me as a reader. There were also errors in word choice and pronoun use. I would have like th I won an advanced reader’s copy of this book from GoodReads. Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Master of his Fate – The House of Falconer I have read many of books by this author and always enjoy the stories. I enjoyed this one too, but it is clear that the copy I received is an early draft. The story was very disconnected and many of the loose ends were not tied up. The anachronistic details were distracting for me as a reader. There were also errors in word choice and pronoun use. I would have like the characters to have been more fleshed out. It seems that some of the characters were invented at the last minute just to move the story along, when there should have been some foreshadowing. Some phrases were repeated unnecessarily. However, with that said, the plot is a good one and I look forward to reading the finished version of this novel.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    My first BTB book, and it just wasn’t for me. Considering how prolific she’s been as a writer, I was surprised that I almost bailed on this one. The characters did not feel real to me, their conversations stilted and unnatural for the most part. There were stretches of encyclopedic prose defining things that were already clear to me...irritating and unnecessary. And to be honest, I didn’t particularly like any of the characters with the possible exception of Alexis and then only because she was My first BTB book, and it just wasn’t for me. Considering how prolific she’s been as a writer, I was surprised that I almost bailed on this one. The characters did not feel real to me, their conversations stilted and unnatural for the most part. There were stretches of encyclopedic prose defining things that were already clear to me...irritating and unnecessary. And to be honest, I didn’t particularly like any of the characters with the possible exception of Alexis and then only because she was written with a nod toward more independence than most women at the time (Victorian Era). Beginning of a series that I probably won’t continue. No offense to her fans.
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  • Sarah Bowe
    January 1, 1970
    This story follows the paths of James, a Malvern market worker and Alexis, heir to the Malvern fortune. They both fall in love affairs with someone much older than themselves.I felt the most bad for Alexis as her fiance dies before their wedding. I think I enjoyed her journey more than James's journey, though I did like how ambitious he was in what he wanted.I think they might start an affair of their own in the next book of the series.*Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the free cop This story follows the paths of James, a Malvern market worker and Alexis, heir to the Malvern fortune. They both fall in love affairs with someone much older than themselves.I felt the most bad for Alexis as her fiance dies before their wedding. I think I enjoyed her journey more than James's journey, though I did like how ambitious he was in what he wanted.I think they might start an affair of their own in the next book of the series.*Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the free copy/ebook*
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  • Sasha
    January 1, 1970
    First I would like to state that I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. I really enjoy the authors writing style, the author pulls you into the book from the very beginning and makes it so you don't want to put the book down. This book was a very interesting read. The author kept you interes First I would like to state that I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. I really enjoy the authors writing style, the author pulls you into the book from the very beginning and makes it so you don't want to put the book down. This book was a very interesting read. The author kept you interested from the first chapter to the very last. I would recommend this to anyone.
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  • BP34
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in the House of Falconer Series by Barbara Taylor Bradford. A great historical fiction story based in Victorian England. There was definitely a class system there and a wide divide between rich and poor. Complex characters, secrets, tragedies and plenty of drama. A compelling story that I read as a reader copy via Net Galley and voluntarily chose to write a review. The book started off a little slow but otherwise a good beginning to the series.
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a huge fan of Barbara’s longer than I can remember! That being said I was given this book to read it, rate it and review it! I found it at first to be a little slow, but I once I got to know the characters, it took right off! I got to involved with it I couldn’t put it down! Barbara has another winner! The next one on the series can’t come soon enough. If you are a big fan of her books as I am you will not be disappointed! I just loved it!
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  • Melissa Eddy
    January 1, 1970
    Mrs. Bradford has done it again, and with a new series. This book the " Master of His Fate", shows us once again how this lady can write! I could not put this book down. It was a excellent book to read, and I hope she continues with a series. I have read some of her other series, and I bought them all, and I will buy, this series, if she writes more on this book.
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  • Miss W Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Master of His Fate is the first book in a new historical saga by the amazingly talented Barbara Taylor Bradford. This story is set in Victorian England and the writing was superb. This book is a winner! This will be on everyone's TBR! Great read!!!
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from a goodreads giveaway and thought it was a very good book. Looking forward to the next one. I would highly recommend it.
  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    Well written, fully developed characters, and lovely location/situation descriptions. Highly recommend. I received a copy from the publisher. Opinions are my own,
  • Jeannine
    January 1, 1970
    Highly recommend this wonderful escape to Victorian England with characters and scenery that grab your attention and heart. I look forward to the rest of the House of Falconer series.
  • Tiffany Foskey
    January 1, 1970
    Master of His Fate is the first book in a new historical series. Barbara Taylor Bradford does not disappoint in her new book. James Falconer a young man who is helping his father in their merchants stall in the martket place. James has bigger dreams though. He is a very smart young man and will go very far. Thank you to Netgalley and St Martins Press for giving me the oppurtunity to read this book.
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  • Marsha Lambert
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading Barbara Taylor Bradford for a long time so I thought I’d give this one a try even though I haven’t read historical novels in many years.i love the descriptiveness of her books and this one surely delivered. I was a bit thrown when a chapter would end and after getting into James story, the next chapter would be about Alexis. In time I got used to that and was able to enjoy the book more thoroughly. I look forward to another installment in this series.
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  • Marianne Denning
    January 1, 1970
    You can always depend on Barbara Taylor Bradford to bring us characters that capture our imagination. Master of His Fate is one of those stories. It took me a little while to get into the story, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. Enjoy this wonderful tale.
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