By: M. Ch. Landa
Publisher: Landa Publishings LLC
Publication Date: November 15, 2023
Review Date: September 11, 2023
So...on a personal note...a little over a year ago I wrote my first review for Feathered Quill and it was for a book titled Vandella. I said at that time that it was one of the best books I ever read and I was very grateful that it was the first book that I had worked on in my new part-time career. Here we are 14 months later and I have to say that Vandella: Resilience, which is book two in this series, may have actually outdone the first book. M. Ch. Landa has given us a prequel to his first novel that is simply amazing.
In Vandella: Resilience, we as readers now get to understand the story of Peach, the grandmother of the main character from the first book, and how she herself came to meet the Harbinger of Death. We learn how she found a way to defy all the odds in order to make her own story end with the ability to continue on in life and actually become a mother and then grandmother. In this story, readers meet a young woman named Emma, or Peach as she prefers, who lives with her mother in a small German village. With the war raging and the Nazi’s in control, Peach longs for the day when she can go back to Berlin and make a name for herself as an Olympic champion.
For now, however, Peach must head to the wedding of one of her closest friends who is marrying an SS officer in a castle. Upon arriving at Wewelsburg Castle, Peach finds her friends, her father, a possible beau in the adorable Ghislain, and so much more. While wandering around the castle, Peach stumbles upon more than she bargained for when she finds seven children who have been taken from their own parents and are being held in the dungeon. Peach is beside herself and decides she must take action. As this young girl gets the children out and escapes with them in the hopes of getting out of Germany, she finds herself becoming the mother she did not think she ever wanted to be. Along the way, Peach and the children suffer greatly as they try to deal with the shocks and fear that come with war, the loss of their virtue, and the loss of the loved ones that surround them. All of this is done while the SS officers are on the hunt for Peach and the children.
With some other friends that show up along the way, Peach does everything that she possibly can to save her newfound family and be the mother that these children deserve. In addition, as the journey goes forward, our wonderful friend Sidney, the Harbinger of Death and, in my opinion, one of the most interesting characters ever created, shows up to try to guide Peach along the way while still doing his ultimate job of collecting the souls that have been called up to make a completely different and final journey.
As with the first novel in this series, Vandella: Resilience is a truly riveting story that is perfectly written. With a very strong female protagonist in Peach and an excellent cast of supporting characters, this is a story that will grab the reader from page one and never let go. Peach is the perfect heroine. The seven children are wonderfully written and bring so much to the story as they are each so very different but have one thing in common...they all need a mother to take care of them and try to change the path of their lives. Bill and Ghislain, two men that Peach cares deeply for, are outstanding additions to the story and to her quest. And, of course, there is Sidney. A superbly written and outstanding character in the series who brings so much to the lives of the characters, even though they do not realize it and he can only actually be seen by one of them.
In addition, there is so much history involved in this story from the places, to the horror of the war, to the way of life at this point and time - all well researched and included in the story in an honest and interesting way. That alone will hold a reader’s attention as they are transported back to Germany during the war and see how the world was at that time.
All of the above comes together in a captivating story that adds more to this series than I can say on this page. While you do not have to read the first book in order to understand this one, I highly recommend that you do. Vandella: Resilience (and the first book in the series) are at the very top of my must-read list regardless of the genre of stories you enjoy. I cannot recommend this book or this author highly enough and I am so excited to see what is going to come next. I have no doubt that you will all feel the same.
Quill says: Vandella: Resilience is a superb addition to this series, filled with old and new characters that have become very near and dear to my heart. I cannot imagine anyone reading just one of these books and not falling in love with the story and the characters. It is truly spellbinding and something that I think would be an excellent addition to the big screen (hint, hint). Go out and grab a copy of this book immediately!
For more information on Vandella: Resilience (Vandella Series, Book 2), please visit the author's website at: https://mchlanda.com/