A brutally honest portrayal of the realities of war, this novel relays the story of 15year old Thomas Elkin as he engages in the First World War. A tale of conflict, both global and personal, and of redemption, this is a novel that has the potential to rank alongside the best of retrospective First World War literature. Accepting the blame for the accidental death of his recently conscripted brother, Elkin switches identity with his dead brother and enters into the fray of the conflict. His burning ambition is to die a glorious death in his brother’s name. Believing that, in fully submitting to the reality of war he is atoning for his sins, he faces all the attendant horrors with a steel will and a poignant resignation.
His personal conflict sees itself mirrored in the wider events and soon the two are inextricably linked raising issues of mortality, morality, guilt and faith. This novel enacts the kind of existential crises experienced on the battlefield with the constant threat of imminent and fatal danger a companion.
Written with deft skill and sensitivity for the subject matter at hand, this is a piece of stylish work that places the reader at the heart of the action. Featuring nuanced characters and vivid action scenes, it works to evoke a real sense of the times as the story unfolds.
The Author cleverly opens with a horrendous domestic incident that not only sets the tone of the novel but also hooks the reader into the situation of its central character. This is a fascinating novel and one not to be missed.Historical Novel Society
By Loyalty Bound (ePub)
With the scant remains of Richard III lifted recently from such humble soil, Elizabeth Ashworth presents us here with the results of her own excavation. Perhaps no other ruler has engendered such a spirit of ambivalence in the British public - murderer or maverick, disfigured disgrace to the throne or exciting, romantic anti-hero, unafraid of getting his hands dirty in the heat of battle. The various contradictions that feed our understanding of the man are enacted here, focussing on a series of formative events in his early life that cast him in an interesting new light. When 17 year old Richard,…By Elizabeth Ashworth
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