Michael Ward has done it, again, with his second Thomas Tallent adventure. The Wrecking Storm takes us back to mid-17th century England. This was a period of political unrest, disagreements about religious freedom between Puritans and Catholics, and civil war.
The Wrecking Storm continues the focus on the Tallent family begun in The Rags of Time. The Tallents are well-to-do merchants in the spice trade. The family is slowly drawn into the unrest incited in part by the Puritans engulfs the Tallents. A confrontation with an angry mob occurs at their business’s warehouse. And their home on the outskirts of London is attacked and a friend’s son is killed. Tensions throughout London and the country tighten. All events destined to lead to “the wrecking storm…a vicious, painful civil war, with no escape.”
Puritans sought to cleanse the Church of England of any remaining Roman Catholic practices. Later, the group played a significant role in the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell. Ward does an excellent job of portraying the tensions of this period as the Tallents have both Protestant and Catholic friends. The research he did into this particular time period is evident and informs, but does not overwhelm, the story.
Again, as with The Rags of Time, Ward’s pacing of the novel is quick but steady. His characters are attractive and engagingly differentiated. Especially the relationships Thomas has with his father, Elizabeth Seymour, and Barty.
This book, like The Rags of Time, is a must-read if you like historical fiction with a bit of mystery thrown in.
For my review of The Rags of Time, Ward’s first Thomas Tallent adventure, visit here.
I received a free copy of this book. I gave an honest opinion of this book.