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False Lights by K. J. Whittaker

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October 2017 Debut of the Month

An adult novel from the YA author Katy Moran, False Lights is a wonderfully rich and complex work of speculative fiction. Napoleon won at Waterloo and went on to conquer England where now the terror in French Revolution style is ready to explode on London’s streets. An exciting subject, but she didn’t stop there. The daughter of a black sea captain and a duke’s granddaughter lands in the middle of this, stirring up her own nest of trouble and highlighting the terrible assumptions and prejudices of the upper classes towards those of lower birth, women and those of African descent. Not a person not to take this lightly, feisty young Hester is willing to fight for her life, her place, her independence and her country. She is a vividly believably character. Then there are spies. And plots. And ambushes. Love, betrayal, anger, misunderstandings, two different resistance agents, riots, politics and atrocities. It’s odd to say that a period that never happened is well evoked but this is true here; the depth and detail of the Regency life is captured perfectly, as is the horror of battle and the idea that the faceless enemies are people too. I was uncertain to start with, but this book really drew me in and even surprised me. Fantastic. ~ Sarah Broadhurst


False Lights by K. J. Whittaker

Cornwall, 1817. What if your worst mistake changed the course of history? Napoleon has crushed the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, and his ex-wife Josephine presides over French-occupied England. Cornwall erupts into open rebellion, and young heiress Hester escapes with Crow, Wellington's former intelligence officer, a half-French aristocrat haunted by his part in the catastrophic defeat. Together, they become embroiled in a web of treachery and espionage as plans are laid to free Wellington from secret captivity in the Scilly Isles and lead an uprising against the French occupation. In a country rife with traitors, Hester and Crow know it is impossible to play such a game as this for long...


'Thrilling ... Rugged scenery combined with even more rugged leading men and feisty leading ladies makes this a book that one can easily compare to Poldark ... The intensity of the plot is only amplified by quite how much she makes you care about the characters it revolves around' The Bookbag

About the Author

K.J. Whittaker is the Carnegie-nominated author of six YA novels published by Walker Books under the name Katy Moran. She lives in Shropshire.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th September 2017


K. J. Whittaker

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Head of Zeus


464 pages


Historical Fiction
Debuts of the Month

Historical fiction



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