December 1940: Christopher Larkham finds an ancient Roman ring inscribed with a phoenix on the banks of the Thames. As he takes shelter from the firestorm of the Blitz, the ring glows, and pushing open a door, he finds himself in 1666 and facing the Great Fire of London. Fire-and-brimstone preacher, Brother Blowbladder, and his men of the Righteous Temple have prayed for the ancient gods of fire to bring flames down upon London, a city of sin. Could Christopher be their messenger? And why do the Righteous men wear the same phoenix symbol as the engraving on Christopher’s ring?
The Fire Watcher trilogy blends time-travel, history, mystery and action into adventure as Christopher and his friends race to untangle the truth of the phoenix ring, and mysterious Righteous Temple
A boy named Christopher Larkham is living through the Blitz in London in 1940. His father is missing in action, his mother is a fire warden, and his life is ruled by air-raid alarms and the sound of bombers roaring overhead. One day he finds a mysterious phoenix ring, and is suddenly thrown back in time, to the Great Fire of London in 1666. It’s an absolutely fabulous premise, and Kelly Gardiner pulls it off with such panache. The characters are lively and believable, and both historical settings are compelling and action-packed. And there’s plenty of humour to leaven the suspense. This is middle-grade fantasy at its superb best, and I for one cannot wait for the rest of the series.
You might also like to read my review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty: