03 March 2022

Review: The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews

The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews book cover

* Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury *

The first page of this book completely blew me away and I'm convinced it was written purely and exclusively with me in mind! I loved it so much I insisted on reading it aloud (dramatically of course) to my husband, who agreed this sounded like the perfect book for me. Here's a taste:
"She is awake. And I must remind myself of how it began. The end of all things. It was a time of witches, it was a time of saints. A time when rabbits hunted foxes, when children came into the world without their heads, and kings lost theirs on the scaffold. The world was turned upside down, or so some said. Weep, England, weep, the broadsheets cried, and the poets and philosophers, fearing for their own necks, delayed their poems and philosophies, or incarcerated them in Latin and impenetrable Greek, to be exhumed at a more enlightened date." Page 3
How could that not give you shivers down your spine? I was immediately captivated and compelled to read further and find out what could possibly have happened to warrant such an extraordinary introduction.

Set in Norfolk England and alternating between 1643 and 1703, Thomas Treadwater is a soldier in the civil war and is summoned home by his sister with word of trouble in the household. When Thomas arrives home, things take a sour turn with accusations of witchcraft thick in the air.

The Leviathan is a dark gothic mystery full of myth and superstition and I just love this kind of historical fiction. I agree that The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews will appeal to fans of The Binding by Bridget Collins and The Essex Serpent, but I honestly think this debut is much better than the equally atmospheric The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

If you like your historical fiction dark and gothic, with terrific character development and superb storytelling, this is for you.

(If you'd like to read the prologue I quoted from above in full, the first 36 pages of the novel are available in a free extract on the publisher's website).

My Rating:

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  1. Replies
    1. Woohoo!! Fingers crossed you love it as much as I did Theresa, no pressure ;-)

  2. That's certainly an attention grabbing first page.

    Thanks for linking up to the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!!

    1. It really is Marg! And I suspect other challenge participants will be enjoying this one too.


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