Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Kristie Reviews - Mary Dyer Illuminated by Christy K Robinson

Mary Dyer Illuminated by Christy K. Robinson

Please see below for information about the giveaway!

Mary Dyer Illuminated is the first book in a two-part series by Christy K Robinson which details the life of Mary Dyer. As the story opens, Mary is a young orphan who has been taken into the household of her father’s friends, Edward and Anne Stansby. From here, the book takes us on a journey from England to America as it explores Mary’s life in the New World. As Mary is not a fictional character, her story stays true to the basic facts of her life as she adjusts to hardship and political upheaval in her new home.

It soon becomes obvious that a great deal of research has gone into this book, making it at times read a bit like a biography. The author spends a great deal of time setting up the history of the founding of the Puritan settlements in America. The character of John Winthrop is carefully developed, along with those of Edward and Anne Hutchinson. This becomes quite important once the setting of the story moves to America. The first part of the book moves a bit slower, as it is necessary to set up the story lines of all the various characters, as well as describe the deepening relationship between Mary and her soon-to-be husband, Will Dyer.

The story picks up quickly once the Dyers reach America. Soon after they arrive, Mary and Anne Hutchinson develop a deep friendship. Anne becomes almost a mother figure to Mary, helping her understand the visions that have been plaguing her. Ms. Robinson painted such a vivid picture of Anne Hutchinson that she came to life within the pages of the book. For me, the character of Mary took a back seat to that of Anne anytime Anne was on the page. Once Anne was no longer in the picture, however, Mary truly comes into her own. Robinson develops a quiet determination in Mary, as well as a solid belief in her faith, faith that becomes necessary to Mary as calamitous events begin to occur. This book follows Mary’s story through several traumas as she makes her way through both the constraints and freedoms her new life offers. After a terrible tragedy, the family moves, but misfortune inevitably finds them. The closing scenes of the book set the stage for the opening of the next in the series, Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This. The author chose a good time to end the book, leaving the reader wanting to learn more.

Anne Hutchinson

The novel contains descriptions of the religious upheavals of the time, as the division between different factions is explored in depth. The author has included quite a bit of historical background research to the events to ensure the reader will understand the characters’ motives. She weaves these into the story to paint an intense picture of the turmoil of the period.

Mary Dyer

The best thing about this book, other than the way the author draws the reader into the complex life of Mary Dyer, is the detail she has painstakingly included. Robinson starts out the book with a preface detailing the background of Mary Dyer and why she chose to write a book about this particular historic figure. Next, she includes maps of several of the locations in the book. Afterwards, she lists a cast of characters, giving detailed information about each one, as well as explaining which characters she had invented for the novel. At the end of the novel she does something that sets her novel apart from many works of historic fiction – she includes author’s notes. In each of the notes, she explains any historic discrepancy that was in the book.

Trial of Anne Hutchinson

The second in the series is out, and I have already procured one, ready to delve back in to the world of Mary Dyer. Although I know the ending, I cannot wait to read how Robinson
handles it.

Christy K. Robinson was first published in the inspiration genre with her book We Shall Be Changed. She has also edited and contributed to a number of books during her career as a magazine and book writer and editor. Mary Dyer Illuminated and Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This are her first historical fiction novels. The Dyers of London, Boston & Newport is a non-fiction book that explores the world that the Dyers inhabited. For more information and research into the lives of William and Mary Dyer, as well as information on Robinson’s upcoming books, visit her website here  and blog here.

Follow Christy on Twitter.

If you would like to win a free copy of  Mary Dyer Illuminated, please leave a comment here on the blog OR on our Facebook page here.

Kristie Dean is the author of several books. Her latest, The World of Richard III, leads readers on a journey through the landscape of Richard's time.  Kristie can be found on AmazonFacebookTwitter and at her website.


  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review of "Mary Dyer Illuminated." I hope you enjoy the second volume as much as the first!

    The drawing for the free book is specifically for the e-book edition (valued at $7.99 on Amazon). The winner will be notified by The Review blog, and the author will email the file to the winner. Good luck!

    1. It is a great book, Christy.

    2. Thank you so much Christy for the opportunity

  2. Fantastic review. Sounds like a great read!

  3. Great review, Kristie. It isn't a story that I am familiar with, but, now I am sure that it is a book that I would relish reading.

  4. Thank you. It is a great book.