ElizabethBook Reviews, Historical Fiction, The Sixteenth Century Leave a Comment

Title: Ernestine

Author: Kate Reynolds

Publisher: Independently Published

Copyright: December 15, 2020

ISBN: 979-8657426823


Format: E-Book, 365 Pages

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women’s Historical Fiction


A shameful past. A vow to her dead husband. A sinister plot to destroy all she’s come to love.

Spain, 1526. Tragically responsible for her husband’s execution, Sister Ernestine arrives at St. Francis Abbey in the beautiful Alhambra with a promise to deliver secret documents to her dead husband’s brother. But when a French spy tracks her down, intent on stealing the plans that would alter the European balance of power, she’s pulled into a web of intrigue and danger.

With the clock ticking, can Sister Ernestine protect the documents and survive the rising threat within the abbey’s walls? Readers who love well-drawn characters and richly researched historical settings won’t be able to put down this tale of emotional healing, redemption, and forgiveness.

Embark on a thrilling historical adventure with Sister Ernestine as she uncovers the secrets hidden within the abbey’s sacred walls.


The world of 16th-century Spain is a place where the Inquisition holds sway and autos-da-fé (the public burning of heretics) happen rather often. Sister Ernestine is a bereaved widow who recently took the veil. After playing a part in her late husband’s downfall and execution, she tries to live a life of sincere repentance. As she comes to St. Francis Abbey, she seeks to give secret documents to her brother-in-law, who cannot be found. While at the abbey, Sister Ernestine comes face-to-face with a French spy who is determined to steal the secret documents which are more dangerous than she could have ever anticipated. With everything on the line, can she make it out alive?

In this exceptionally well-written novel, we are drawn into the dangers of a suspicious and bygone age. It seems like Sister Ernestine has everything going against her, and Kate Reynolds brings this earlier century to life. One thing I loved about this book was the richness of the characterization and dialogue. The characters really leap off the page, especially as I was swept into the struggle and intrigue of Ernestine’s world. The elements of mystery and secrecy kept me hooked. This is such a fun, fast-paced novel. My favorite aspect was the cultural and linguistic nuances; the Spanish and Latin dialogue adds depth to the richness of the setting. Overall, it is obvious that Reynolds did a great deal of research, and she writes a compelling tale.

Originally featured on the History Novel Society website.


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