History Brought to Life
My rating: 5 out of 5
A great historical novel about the Gunpowder Plot, which brings history alive and makes it relevant to the world today.
This riveting book takes the reader right into the world of 1605 London, portraying through interesting characters what it was like to live there at that time. The background to James I becoming king is woven into the story, along with how and why the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, with the king inside, was planned. All told from the various viewpoints of the plotters, the royal family and others involved, in a page turning manner.
Most of the characters in the book are based on real people (there is an appendix at the end explaining the fiction vs reality of the novel), and Tony Morgan builds up the suspense by bringing these people to life – both via their private lives and through their involvement in the dramatic events taking place. The book reads like a thriller, with the action taking place between the 1st November and the 6 November (and a little beyond for completeness of the story), with a twist at the end.
Each chapter, though quite long, is clearly divided into time of the day sections, such as Morning , Friday 1st November, 1605, which makes for short “sub-chapters” and comfortable reading. The writing style is clear, easy to read with modern day language.
For me this book rates a 5* because it is not only a really exciting read, but also clearly explains exactly what the Gunpowder Plot was about, and why it came about. I loved also the insight into the social conditions of the time. A “must read” for anyone studying this period in history, interested in London of old, or who just wants a great historical novel to sink into.