THE MASTER AND THE MAID by Laura Libricz is an exciting glimpse into the German world in the seventeenth century. It is mostly told through the eyes of a commoner, Katarina. As a fellow historical fiction writer, I was often impressed by the author’s research and her knowledge about Germany. The bibliography is an example of the precise research she conducted, both in English and German literature. As I read the book, I often thought that the book read as if the story was being told by someone who lived in Germany. It wasn’t until I read her biography that I realized that the author does live in Germany and speaks the language. Her descriptions of medieval European life and the German countryside are impressive, as is her character development.
I couldn’t help but wish that she would make Katarina wake up sooner and do something to elevate her standing in life. I admit that I also wished that she’d spend more time on the romance between Katrina and Herr Tucker. I loved hating Ralf, the antagonist, who behaves more out of greed than he does ignorance.
The author does a beautiful job of describing the war between the Catholics and the Protestants in medieval times, as well as the practice of witch hunting. Katarina is accused of being a witch because she practices the use of herbs as medicine. The differences between the landed gentry and commoners was also well described.
I am looking forward to the author’s second book in the trilogy. I truly admire the author’s ability to write well-researched historical fiction.