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The Tyrant's Shadow Paperback – 4 Jan 2018
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There are echoes of The Miniaturist in The Tyrant's Shadow... a gripping journey that twists and turns to the very final page. This is refined historical fiction at its very best. * Elizabeth Fremantle * An extraordinarily good historical novel by an author at the top of her game... If there's any justice in the world, it should be a bestseller. * Andrew Taylor * Fresh and fearless historical fiction set in a fascinating era. And featuring top swearing. Loved it. * Anna Mazzola * A satisfying tale of romance, politics and old-fashioned adventure. * Sunday Times (Ireland) * A terrific read... confidently written * Daily Mail * Compulsively page-turning and highly recommended * The Historical Novels review/Historical Novel Society * [Senior's] vivid characters [capture] this chaotic era with a lively sense of how it must have felt to those living through it * The Times * Compulsively page-turning and highly recommended * Historical Novels Review *
About the Author
Antonia Senior is a former staff writer for The Times. She is now a freelance journalist, and her columns, features and book reviews have appeared in a number of national newspapers. Antonia lives in London with her family.
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There are three intertwining stories of romance, politics and adventure. Three central character dominate: a lawyer Will Johnson whose wife has recently died. He is appointed Cromwell's secretary. Patience his sister who married a preacher who turns out to be a nasty bully. She becomes drawn to a royalist , Sam Challoner , who has returned to London. He remains an unrepentant supporter of the monarch.
The novel opens with Patience, Will, his son and many others experiencing an eclipse of the sun.. She sees it as a warning and a promise that Christ will come again. Will, on the other hand, regards it as nothing of the kind . He wishes he could hide in a cave until the silly ranting ends. He asks himself why is he unable to believe the eclipse is a religious manifestation . He and his sister argue about what they have witnessed. Will's wife, Henrietta, was killed by a youth three years ago on the day the King was executed.
The stories encompass London., Capo Verde Africa, the Virgin Islands, Paris , Germany and the West Indies. The years are 1653-58.
This is an interesting read that mixes the three themes extremely well.The narrative is very sound as is the clarity and style.
And in this world we have Will who lost his wife during those dark days. He honestly just tried to get by, and he did work near Cromwell so he kept his head down. His sister Patience who lives with him and she was the naive one who thought the best of everyone but will learn her lesson. But I did like her. She had a transformation. As for the preacher she marries, I did not like him. He was a zealot. There is also a third POV, Sam, Will's brother in law, and the one who wants the king back on the throne. I liked this POVS, the one who just wants to live his life, the one who sees so much more in life, and the one who wants to change the country.
Cromwell is trying to make the country better. People are still fighting. The court is in exile. We do get both worlds thanks to the different POVS. But it really is about the characters.
It was an interesting time. I would for sure not have liked to live there. But it sure brings the drama. There are people to like, and people to dislike.