I really enjoyed learning about this bit of history along with a nice tale of Kate Peach, Francis Quoynt, and Boomer Quoynt. The characters are really lovable and interesting.
The story has a nice back drop of Brighthelmstone (Brighton, West Sussex) by the sea. And the family home, Powder Mote (fictional) of Francis (son) and Boomer (father) Quoynt. The story also takes place in London where many of the Inns mentioned were authentic Inn, one in particular was recommended by Shakespeare (The Elephant Inn Southwark).
Oh the places you'll go! This was a fun and interesting read. Kate has lost her family and is alone in the streets of London. She had been love with Francis in the past but after their love affair ended, she was all alone with no family or friends. In order to stay off the streets, she is being kept by a lover who is also caught up in the scheme of the rebellion and Kate ends up on the wrong side of the law. She is forced to flee and ends up in an interesting place. She is of the Catholic faith which has been banned by the English government. Francis is being used by Robert Cecil as a spy and/or traitor to the crown.
Most of the book you are in suspense as to who is on what side. Francis himself is a perplexed on what is happening and who he can trust. Kate doesn't know who to trust either. Boomer is a steadfast and admirable character but there is question into his abilities as he is getting older and side effects of the "Firemaster" business. So with all this going on, I kept reading with interest to find out the destiny of these great characters and I am glad I did.
A few times the book had a few elements that read a little "romancey." In the beginning I was thinking, uh...hum...a bit much on the "heavy desire" for me, but it didn't last too long, and the rest of the story was lively and interesting. The author used some fun terms like "snog off!" And Francis even said, "friggin."
Just when you think you know what will happen next, the end is full of surprises, adventure, and drama.
Over all, this is how I like my History. A little drama, steam and reality. Have fun with this book.
Featured at the end is : The History behind the Story. Always a nice feature in a Historical Fiction book.
My friend Dar at Peeking Between the Pages also reviewed this book here.