Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.
I am really enjoying this book. Christoval (Kit) is a fascinating, fully developed character despite being only 16, and the story of his reluctant recruitment as a codebreaker for Sir Francis Walsingham flows merrily along, sweeping the reader with it. Some of the writing is just beautiful, as in this passage from chapter 3:
“From where I was sitting I could see my grandfather’s prize stallion down in the water meadow below. He was a creature of air and fire, of Arab breeding, scarcely seeming to touch the ground when he flew across the meadow in the sheer joy of living. But he was still now, his head up and his ears pricked forward as if he were listening to something only he could hear. His off fore was lifted slightly, with the tip of the hoof just brushing the ground. I fixed my eyes on him, his solid muscles shivering slightly under the gleaming chestnut coat, the whole, ecstatic shape of him outlined against the soft green of the meadow.”
I'm so glad there are four more books after this, and another apparently in process.
Full disclosure: I interviewed the author for New Books in Historical Fiction and have developed a social-media-style friendship with her as a result, but I bought these books in the regular way, and the review (like all my reviews) expresses my honest opinion.