Review: Fortune’s Son {Tasmanian Tales #1} by Jennifer Scoullar

Title: Fortune’s Son {The Tasmanian Tales #1}

Author: Jennifer Scoullar

Published: June 7th 2018, Pilyara Press

Status: Read April 2019- courtesy the author



My Thoughts:

Moving from the wilderness of Tasmania, to the Mainland, to the diamond fields of South Africa, and back again, Fortune’s Son is the first book in Jennifer Scoullar’s sweeping historical saga, The Tasmanian Tales.

After defending his sisters honour from her lecherous and powerful employer, Sir Henry Abbott, Lucas Tyler is unjustly sentenced to 15 years hard labour in the remote highlands of Tasmania. Forced to leave his family, his mentor -Damian Campbell, and his dreams of a future with Belle Campbell behind, Lucas endures four years of deprivation before escaping, along with a Newfoundland he names Bear. With a bounty on his head, Lucas must reinvent himself, not once but twice, in his quest to have his revenge on the Abbott family, and seek redemption from the love of his life.

Luke is an appealing and well crafted character. It is his misfortunes, challenges, and successes, that drive the story. While he is generally an admirable man, resourceful, with a genuine love for animals, Luke also has his flaws, which serve to make him a more believable character.

The enduring romance between Damian and Belle perhaps lacks originality. It’s a fairly standard trope where the lovers are unequal in status, and therefore, in Victorian society, doomed from the start. That said, it is a love story on an epic scale which Scoullar portrays well. With the idealism of youth, Belle and Lucas ignore the realities, and are faced with a number of obstacles and decades apart before there is any chance of a reunion.

Jennifer Scoullar, herself an environmental advocate, wonderfully evokes the historic wilds of nineteenth century Tasmania. Damien Campbell’s role as a conservationist allows the author to inform us about the harm early pastoralists and miners caused to the land, and their role in the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger. I found this fascinating and really enjoyed this aspect of the novel. Similarly I liked the author’s descriptions of South Africa, and Luke’s efforts to protect the native wildlife.

A compelling tale of love, betrayal, revenge and redemption The Fortune’s Son is a heartfelt, engaging novel of historical fiction, that reminds me of the epic scope of the Australian classic, The Man From Snowy River.

I’ll be sure to follow it up with The Lost Valley.



Available to Purchase via

Penguin AU I Booko I Book Depository

Amazon AU I Amazon US I Amazon UK

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Apr 25, 2019 @ 21:29:44

    Sounds like an old Wild West story.



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