Friday 2 December 2022

BLOG TOUR: The Drums of War (Thomas Tallant Mysteries Book 3) - Michael Ward

London 1642.

The King has fled London with the drums of war ringing in his ears. Across the country, lines are being drawn and armies raised.

Influential royalist Lady Carlisle switches sides and presses spice trader Thomas Tallant and his partner Elizabeth Seymour into Parliament's service.

Soon Thomas faces double-dealing in his hunt for a lethal hoard of gunpowder hidden on the river, while Elizabeth engages in a race against time to locate a hidden sniper picking off Parliamentary officers at will in the city.

The capital also witnesses a vicious gang of jewel thieves take advantage of the city’s chaos to go on the rampage, smashing homes and shops, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. They hand pick their targets but refrain from selling any of their loot. There are more questions than answers.

When war finally erupts, Elizabeth is caught in the brutalising carnage of Edgehill while Thomas joins the Trained Bands in their defence of the city. As he mans the barricades at Brentford, in a desperate rearguard action to repel Prince Rupert’s surprise attack, he realises the future of London rests in the hands of him and a few hundred troopers.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth believes she has identified the jewel thief and goes underground to trace his hoard.

But all is not as it seems.

What did I think?

I love this historical fiction series, set in the mid 17th century when England is on the brink of Civil War, and I absolutely loved book three, The Drums of War.  Although it's book three, it can be read as a standalone but it's so much better when read as part of the series as you really get to know the characters.

Thomas Tallant is the main character and there's a lot going on for him but I loved how his partner, pipe-smoking Elizabeth Seymour, had a major storyline too.  Both storylines are excellent with Thomas following the trail of gunpowder as war simmers on the horizon and Elizabeth hunts a killer of army officers and some jewel thieves.

Michael Ward's writing is outstanding as he brings this tumultuous period of history to life; I was so immersed in the story that I could almost smell the gunpowder.  The writing is so vivid and descriptive that it's so easy to imagine the scenes playing out in this action-packed historical novel.

I love finding out new things when I'm reading books and The Drums of War introduced me to the fascinating Cheapside Hoard.  It makes a book extra special when fact mixes with fiction and I have been completely captivated reading about this mysterious hoard of jewellery. 

Filled with mystery, danger and adventure, The Drums of War is an outstanding historical fiction novel and an exceptional instalment in this wonderful series.  Even after thinking the previous novel can't be bettered, Michael Ward goes and does it again; this magnificent series just keeps getting better and better.  Very highly recommended.

I received a digital ARC from the author and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Writing has been central to Mike Ward’s professional life. On graduating from university he became a journalist, working in newspapers and for the BBC. He then went into journalism education, teaching and researching journalism practice before becoming head of the UK’s prestigious Journalism School at UCLan. For the last eight years he has run his own content creation company.

‘Rags of Time’ is Mike’s debut novel. Its sequel is due to be published late in 2020.

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