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Maria McCann's exuberant revivification of grave robbers and gamblers, hucksters and whores in 18th-century London: like Hogarth sprung to life. (Hilary Mantel, Observer Books of the Year)
Ace, King, Knave deserves to catapult its author into the historical fiction stratosphere inhabited by Hilary Mantel. (The Times)
'One of the best, and most readable novels published this year ... a thrilling, unputdownable desperado's journey through high and low life.' (Tina Jackson, Metro)
McCann's inventive, spirited romp through Regency London deserves a wide and passionate readership ... Much of the language is recreated from the slang dictionaries of the time, and McCann pulls off an ambitious, linguistic feat without even a suggestion of irritating pastiche. This is technically accomplished stuff, but more importantly, it is utterly engrossing. (Antonia Senior, The Times Books of the Year)
McCann's eye for detail is impeccable and she approaches the past with all the confidence of a seasoned traveller who feels entirely at home among its mores ... McCann has created a full-blooded world, one in which the reader gladly loses themself, vibrant with the stink and violence of 18th-century London as well as its painted surfaces. This is an immensely satisfying novel, and ought to secure her reputation as a significant voice in historical fiction. (Stephanie Merritt, Observer)
Fizzing with rich depictions of 18th century London, Ace, King, Knave exposes the underbelly of genteel society to be a world of violence and lies. Fans of Sarah Waters and Peter Ackroyd will devour this dark and twisted tale of vengeance. (Stylist)
Brought to life in Hogarthian detail ... McCann unfolds a vivid, ingenious narrative. (Sunday Times)
Highly coloured but lightly executed, and reads as though it were an enormous pleasure to write. McCann has chosen a fitting subject for a Georgian backdrop: the age was rich in fakes and imposters, deception and display. (Guardian)
A rollicking historical tale of cards, deception, grave-robbing and double-dealing. (Marie Claire)
Maria McCann is an elegant writer who evokes a world of contrasts and whose two main characters you find yourself rooting for. I loved her 2010 novel The Wilding; this one doesn't disappoint. (Daily Mail)
A vibrant portrayal of an 18th-century London every bit as sordid and debauched as that of a Hogarth engraving ... McCann weaves together elegant London and lower-class Romeville, "with its fierce, dirty, exuberant people", to create an entertaining tale of grave robbers and gamblers, hucksters and whores. (Irish Times)
'An absolutely tremendous read.' (Lucy Inglis, author of Georgian London)
An absorbing novel about different kinds of freedom or entrapment; of the heart, of the body, of convention and class, loyalty and lies ... Exploring the seamier side of 18th-century London - poverty, violence, deceit - its dialogue catches something of the foreignness of the past, and is threaded through with a warmth and lightness of touch that makes McCann's world a pleasure to inhabit. Highly diverting. (Jane Borodale, author of The Book of Fires and The Knot)
Absolutely brilliant - I loved it. The characters leap off the page right from the outset. The story is utterly compelling. The historical texture, rich and convincing. The writing is breathtakingly good. (R N Morris) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Ace, King, Knave by Maria McCann is a powerful, gripping novel about the dark underside of eighteenth-century England, from the bestselling historical novelist and author of The Wilding.See all Product Description
Another fascinating, gritty novel by Maria McCann. I was caught up in the narrative from the beginning and was swept along to the rather surprising end. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Elizabeth Effingham
Sophia is a naive heiress whose new husband isn't all he seems. Betsy-Anne is a prostitute and kept-woman pining for her former lover, son of her madam. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Plucked Highbrow
I always love books when you can smell where the author takes you. This slightly off beat yarn stinks to high heaven and was a most enjoyable readPublished 11 months ago by jennio
Really enjoyed reading this, it was gripping and well written. Slightly disappointing ending but don't let that stop you reading it. Great regency period novel.Published 12 months ago by Deefa
Well written, a bit turgid in the middle, did not fulfil expectations.Published 12 months ago by Digby.