Welcome to Day 2 of our chat of The Firemaster’s Mistress by Christie Dickason. J. Kaye of J. Kaye’s Book Blog and I will be chatting about this novel all week. If you missed Day 1 of the chat you can pop over and see it here.
This novel is based on the historical facts of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. For me it’s been interesting reading along and recognizing different names like Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Percy referenced. I also learned something new as I didn’t know that Guy Fawkes was one of many who tried to blow up the English Parliament on November 5, 1605. Stay tuned on Thursday for a Q&A with Christie Dickason where she talks more about Guy Fawkes night.
Keep in mind there may be a few spoilers although I’m trying to really just give a general idea of what’s going on as to not spoil the book for those who will read it.
So, currently I’m on page 235 and really enjoying the novel so far. I really like that Christie included a list of the major characters and a map in the front of the book. In the back there is a historical chronology of the Gunpowder Plot. I always like to have things like this to follow along with the story.
The story begins with a questionable death. Later there is an explosion at Bridge House. In both instances it is alluded to that a lot more is going on behind the scenes than we know about yet and it’s all going to lead up to something big which I presume is the Gunpowder Plot.
Today I thought I’d talk a bit about my favorite character who is Kate. She’s been through some tough times losing her family to sickness and now is basically a whore for Hugh Traylor who is scum. She hates where she’s forced to be in life but figures it’s better to be whore to one man than many. There weren’t many options for a woman back in that time. Kate is a glovemaker who is forced to hide that she is Catholic and Traylor keeps her relatively safe-she has lodgings and is able to work making gloves; that’s more than a lot of women in her position have.
At first the relationship between Kate and Traylor is merely sexual but later he starts using her to deliver letters and packages and then keep people in hiding within her lodgings. She had intended to leave London to escape Traylor but she has reconsidered now thinking of Traylor as a co-conspirator. In the meantime an old lover of Kate’s shows up, Francis Quoynt who is a military firemaster, and their romantic relationship is rekindled. However, these two are on opposite ends of what is right and wrong at this time in history. Kate could be charged with treason for what she’s been doing and Francis is a spy hired to look out for people like her. Kate is a really likeable character and I look forward to seeing where else this story takes her.
So, onwards in the book for me. I’m looking forward to finding out what’s next for Kate and hoping she doesn’t get caught. I’m also curious to see how Francis is going to try and work both sides in order to protect her. Feel free to comment or ask a question if you like. Christie is away on business but hopefully she’ll be able to find a minute or two to drop in and visit.
Make sure to check in at J. Kaye’s Book Blog tomorrow for Day 3 of our noontime chat.