3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Peter Tye brings history to life in his novel Badman: The Ghost of King James. In an epic tale which crosses through time to medieval England, the story is enthralling from start to finish.
When Nick and Fiona move into Lamford Manor with their parents, little did they know that their lives were about to change forever. Lamford Manor has been haunted by a mystery ghost for as long as anyone can remember, terrifying it’s many occupants over the years. Edna, the cleaning lady, has had many encounters and has learnt how to cope with it’s ominous presence. Nick, however, is determined to learn who the ghost is and together with Edna, Fiona and their great aunt Daphne, they uncover clues left by the ghost. They stumble on a series of hidden tunnels and are transported back in time to 1216, right at the end of King John’s reign.
Caught up in the turmoil of King John’s last days, Nick and Fiona help the current Lamford Manor family as best they can against treachery, mercenaries and attack. Medieval England is certainly more life threatening than in 2016 but, amongst all the danger, will they be able to finally discover who the ghost of the Manor is and put him to rest, or will they be trapped in 1216 forever?
This was a brilliant, well researched story and I found it very difficult to put down. Written in third person, the story starts with Nick and Fiona, but is interspersed with chapters set in 1216. These follow the story of Sir Ralph and his son, Hugh, who were the inhabitants of Lamford Manor at this time. This layout helps to set the scene as well as provide a balanced history of the political situation and the characters involved.
All the characters were three dimensional and realistic, from the main core characters to those who played the smallest part. Nick, at 10 years old is an over enthusiastic history buff who is overjoyed at the fact that he is able to experience history first hand, while Edna as a stoic, no nonsense woman provides a much needed balance to his enthusiasm. Sir Ralph’s character was utilised well to show how many people of medieval England were pulled in multiple directions, sometimes needing to choose between loyalty to the king or the safety of their own family. The amount of research undertaken for this book was very evident in the quality of the portrayal of these characters.
Categorised as a children’s book, I would say that it is much more aimed at those over 10 years old as, although the story is easy to read and flows along quickly, there are fight scenes which do involve bloodshed. The writing style of the author does not patronise its young readers and would be an excellent way to get younger people interested in history.
My only criticism is with the editing. There were multiple punctuation errors of missing commas and speech marks. Although it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story, it would definitely benefit from one last go through with the editor.
This book took me completely by surprise with its quality of storytelling and I would love to give it full stars. However, there were just too many punctuation errors to let slide, so I will rate it at 3 out of 4 stars. This is a great book for young and old who are interested in English history and adventure. I look forward to more books from this author.
Badman:The Ghost of King John
View: on Bookshelves
Like micoleon13's review? Post a comment saying so!