Wednesday, 19 August 2015

HISTORICAL URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Watchman of Eternity - Paul Witcover

Release Date: 07/05/15
Publisher:  Bantam Press


In the seventh year of its war against France, England faces threats from abroad and at home, from above - and below. Buoyed by a series of military victories on land and at sea, French forces are gathering for their final push across the Channel. In Scotland, Jacobites loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie plot to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne. Beneath the bustling streets of London, a subterranean race prepares to rise. And in the realm known as the Otherwhere - home to dragons, demons and gods - civil war has erupted, causing a great and powerful weapon to be cast into the world. That weapon is a clock - a watch, to be precise, of a size to fit comfortably in a man's hand...a watch with a taste for blood - a mechanism that contains the doom of all that lives.

Daniel Quare, of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, was sent by his masters to find that deadly time- piece. But he was not alone in his pursuit: both the mysterious thief Grimalkin and the ruthless French spy and assassin Thomas Aylesford were on its trail. But with the help of Lord Wichcote - an aristocrat of many talents and more disguises - Quare succeeded in seizing the watch. But not for long: Aylesford took it from him - and with it, Quare's hand. And now the French spy is on his way back to his masters, Lord Wichcote lies gravely wounded and Daniel Quare has vanished . . . which would seem to mean that all hope for the world is lost...


This is a book that’s taken me a while to sit down and review purely because it’s a title that can’t be rushed. There’s subtle nuances throughout and when you throw into the mix a whole heap of trouble alongside a solid pace, its quite easy to miss some of the details within.

As with Paul’s original novel in the series (The Emperor of All Things), the prose is cracking and when you throw into this Pauls action sequences alongside a story that can concentrate on what’s happening rather than giving the reader a lot of the background details (as happened in the original making it a slow starter) makes this a series that I’m pleased I stuck with. Thank you Paul.

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