As an Outreach Coordinator at a library I deliver books to elderly citizens who cannot make it to the library on their own. One of the books I brought them was by Lisa Bergen and inside was an advertisement for this, The River of Time series, and the advertisement made it look interesting. A YA story about time travelling twins? Sign me up! Unfortunately my library only had the last two books so I had to wait for a few weeks while we ordered the first one and though it’s been slow going I’m glad that I did.
Waterfall, the first book in the series, starts out in modern day Italy where twins Lia and Gabi are with their archaeologist mother. But within a few chapters the twins have discovered a strange drawing in a cave and next thing you know Gabi is transported to the fourteenth century. As the story goes on the reader gets to learn more about the fourteenth century and follow Gabi as she acclimates and tries to figure out if Lia has joined her in the past.
I really did enjoy the story though for some odd reasons it took me far longer to finish than a novel of this size usually takes (maybe it was the history and maybe it was because of more personal issues, I’m not certain.)
It is true that Gabi (and Lia) are almost a little too perfect (I’m pretty sure knowing how to fence would not automatically lend you to know how to wield a broadsword well enough to actually get in a few hits on your enemies) but it was nice to see a set of girls being pretty kick ass even though they were completely out of their element. I also liked that the author didn’t shy away from some of the more awkward/everyday thoughts one would have if faced with less than modern day conveniences (chamber pots, lack of forks, etc.)
One issue I had with the book was this: from reading history I’m pretty certain that people from medieval times were very suspicious. I understand that travel wasn’t as common or as easy back then but for the Italians to just believe that customs were so different in Normandy required a bit of disbelief. “Oh you’re from Normandy so women wearing pants, learning to fight, letting their hair loose, etc makes sense.” No, I’m pretty sure they would have known if women’s rights were that advanced and they’d be suspicious of someone who behaved that way (especially once someone admits they’ve been to Normandy.)
This book is actually the first in a trilogy but it has the type of ending where it wouldn’t be entirely necessary to finish the rest but I definitely want to.