‘Black Powder’ is the explosive debut from Ally Sherrick packed full of excitement, danger and intrigue. England 1605, Twelve year old Tom is in a terrifying race against time to save his father from the hangman’s noose. In desperation he makes a deal with a fearsome scarred stranger, know only as the Falcon. But unwittingly Tom finds himself caught up in one of the most famous plots in history. Not knowing who to trust or where to turn he is thrust into this murky world full of dangerous villains who will stop at nothing to further their cause. Torn between saving his father and being part of a heinous crime or saving the King, will Tom have the courage and conviction to make the right decision.
I was totally gripped by this fast paced historical adventure, full of twists and turns. There are plenty of heart stopping moments guaranteed to have the reader enthralled and totally absorbed. Taking real life events and weaving Tom’s fictional story into this famous tale makes for a fascinating and entertaining insight into the motivation of the conspirators. Although we know how the Gunpowder Plot plays out, this doesn’t detract from the tension as we race towards the dramatic finale.
Ally’s wonderful lyrical storytelling conjures up a vivid picture of London, a dark, dangerous grimy world. Her rich descriptions are filled with intricate details to stimulate of all your senses allowing you to be transported to a different time and place. She has created a superb cast of characters who will prove irresistible to the reader. Tom’s bravery and tenacity are commendable, tested to his limits his single mindedness is extraordinary. Although the Falcon is the supposed villain of the piece he is not unsympathetic, despite any misgiving we may have as the story unravels. I do however have to mention the formidable Cressida who strives to be different in a time when girls where restricted and encouraged to conform. Her haughty condescending manner conceals a spirit and determination worthy of a true heroine, which I truly admire. Prepare yourself for a thrilling and energetic escapade.
You can read an extract from ‘Black Powder on the Chicken House website.
Thank you to Chicken House for sending me a copy of this book.
Ally Sherrick loves exploring ruined castles and decaying mansions and imagining what it must have been like to live in them without electricity and hot and cold running water – although she’s quite glad she doesn’t have to herself!
She has a BA in medieval history and French from Newcastle University and an MA in Writing for Children at the University of Winchester.
She is married and lives with her husband and assorted garden wildlife in Farnham, Surrey. Black Powder is her first novel.