Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.
A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.
But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.
Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.
Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.
In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.
Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?
And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?
I am so excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour on this gorgeous sunny Monday for another fabulous historical novel – Rags of Time by Michael Ward
Thank you to Anne Cater and RandomThingsTours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fascinating historical read that I might never have encountered without her. It’s one of my favourite things about blogging that I’ve serendipitously encountered so many fantastic books and authors to write about and share them with other book lovers too, spending time in so many different eras and getting my change to experience life walking in their footsteps…
These characters in this book absolutely spring to life and I defy you not to be moved by some of their predicaments. It’s not just a great piece of fiction though – it is a thought provoking and intelligent piece of writing that poses some big questions about loyalty, patriotism and honour that would make it a perfect book club choice once the lockdown is over. I absolutely loved the character of Thomas and its civil war setting provided me with lots of food for thought and a fair few hours researching this period online after I’d finished the book.
I really did get caught up in this book. They do say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but Thomas’ story more than matched up to its gorgeous cover. One of my favourite things was the relationship between Thomas and the unconventional Elizabeth, and how their encounters allowed for a real trust to develop amidst all the lies, speculation and deception in the novel and in these times themselves. It’s a real strength of the novel that despite the drama and twists and turns the characters in this novel remain absolutely credible and realistic and has you rooting for them as the pace heats up and things look pretty uncertain for them.
Rags of Time is a stunningly researched period read that had me totally captivated. It’s a moving and powerful evocation of life from a very different world as far as women are concerned, yet so many of its reflections on both love and honour are absolutely timeless and will resonate with so many readers.
Check out what these other talented bloggers have to say about it on the Blog Tour
‘A satisfying, brooding mystery set in Stuart England anticipating the coming Civil War.’ Paul Walker, author of State of Treason
Writer On The Shelf
Her other books are Man of My Dreams, Sisterland (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick) & Eligible Writing has been central to Mike Ward’s professional life. On graduating from university he became a journalist, working in newspapers and for the BBC.
He then went into journalism education, teaching and researching journalism practice before becoming head of the UK’s prestigious Journalism School at UCLan. For the last eight years he has run his own content creation company.
‘Rags of Time’ is Mike’s debut novel. Its sequel is due to be published late in 2020.