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That Time May Cease (The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez) (Volume 8) Paperback – December 17, 2016
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About the Author
Ann Swinfen is the author of the highly acclaimed series, The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez. Set in the late sixteenth century, it features a young Marrano physician recruited as a code-breaker and spy in Walsingham’s secret service. In order, the books are: The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez, The Enterprise of England, The Portuguese Affair, Bartholomew Fair, Suffer the Little Children, Voyage to Muscovy, The Play’s the Thing and That Time May Cease. Her Fenland Series takes place in East Anglia during the seventeenth century. In the first book, Flood, both men and women fight desperately to save their land from greedy and unscrupulous speculators. The second, Betrayal, continues the story of the dangerous search for legal redress and security for the embattled villagers, at a time when few could be trusted. Her latest series, Oxford Medieval Mysteries, is set in the fourteenth century and features bookseller Nicholas Elyot, a young widower with two small children, and his university friend Jordain Brinkylsworth, who are faced with crime in the troubled world following the Black Death. The first book in the series is The Bookseller’s Tale, the second is The Novice’s Tale. She has also written two standalone novels. The Testament of Mariam, set in the first century, recounts, from an unusual perspective, one of the most famous and yet ambiguous stories in human history, while exploring life under a foreign occupying force, in lands still torn by conflict to this day. This Rough Ocean is based on the real-life experiences of the Swinfen family during the 1640s, at the time of the English Civil War, when John Swynfen was imprisoned for opposing the killing of the king, and his wife Anne had to fight for the survival of her children and dependents. She now lives on the northeast coast of Scotland, with her husband, formerly vice-principal of the University of Dundee, and a rescue cat called Maxi. www.annswinfen.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a real bonus for me, and I suspect other fans of the series as Book 7 was meant to be the last. (I thought so anyway). The reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed this book are numerous. It is very well-written and edited, which makes reading a pleasure, although I did note one homophone and one typo (picky I know.) The historical events and conditions have been meticulously researched as is usual with this author (I checked some of them for my own satisfaction and got SO side tracked). The historical people are just as scrupulously researched and intertwine with fictional characters so effortlessly that the story flows without any distinction between the two to distract the reader.
There are several descriptive passages in the story that some readers may skim over, but for me they add more depth and colour to the rich tapestry of the historical places and events that are woven throughout the story. As the book synopsis says, London is in a troubled time, with almost seasonal outbreaks of plague, civil unrest from various causes, the number of beggars increasing daily and a general sense that the city is on the brink of ....... something. Life is cheap and the City Authorities and charitable institutions such as St Bartholomew's and St Thomas' hospitals are struggling to cope with the increase in violence, hardship and need.
The fictional cast are all three-dimensional and all my favourite (and not so favourite) are in this story to a greater or lesser degree. Kit, as the main character, takes her rightful place in prominence. She is still working as a physician at St Thomas's hospital in the children's ward and the unmarried mothers' lying-in ward, and the medical knowledge of the time, while considerably less than today, still amazes me. The Players are still her friends, although they are away for months on a tour of the counties. Simon plays a reasonably prominent role again, but shares the limelight with Marlow this time.
Towards the end of the book, Kit goes to the Playhouse to see Marlow's latest play, and the inclusion of long passages of the play is a masterpiece of writing. It pulled me in to the extent that I was sitting with Kit, feeling the tension build up in the theatre as "we" watched and listened as the play unfolded, and feeling the same relief when it finished. It was an incredibly realistic experience; and is relevant to the storyline. Kit is twenty-three years old now and I wonder how much longer her charade can last?
What a marvellous weaver of tales Ann Swinfen is; a truly gifted storyteller.
Do I recommend this book? Yes, I do!
This particular episode in history has duplicated itself over and again through the centuries and we can see it again in our time. It is an eye opener for sure.