Michael Ward proves, once again, his knowledge and love of Stuart London. After setting the tone with Rags of Time, The Wrecking Storm, his latest effort and second in the Thomas Tallant series, raises the bar and drives the reader through the streets of an already torn apart pre-Civil War capital.
The first chapters show the hero of the story, spice merchant Thomas Tallant, once again finding himself involved in a dangerous mystery, which may ultimately lead him and his loved ones to ruin.
Tallant’s character embodies London’s merchant class, its development prior to the War, as well as its contradictions. The Wrecking storm is a novel which deals with family issues, as well as political turmoil.
In Elizabeth Seymour, Ward has created a memorable foil to his hero. Seymour is an independent woman, not afraid to take action herself. She is willing to put her own life at risk in order to keep her loved ones and the future of her city safe. Her intriguing encounters with the Countess of Carlisle put on display two female characters surprisingly closer than they appear. Both strong and enigmatic, to a certain extent Elizabeth and Lucy Carlisle share the same traits. Together, they form a fascinating duo which constitutes one of the most charming virtues of the entire novel.
The ultimate reveal of a potentially deadly secret preserved under the roof of the Tallant family initiates a series of devastating events and revelations of family secrets and treachery.
The Wrecking Storm ticks plenty of boxes in the genre. Pace and plot are well executed. The author is at home with the novel’s setting. The reader will feel like they are walking the streets of Stuart London too.
Manoeuvring through ruthless games of court politics and family betrayals, with The Wrecking Storm Michael Ward establishes himself as a leading voice in his era and genre.