Blood’s Revolution (Holcroft Blood 2)

Written by Angus Donald
Review by Charlotte Wightwick

Set in the turbulent years of the 1680s, Blood’s Revolution follows Holcroft Blood, a brilliant gunnery officer in His Majesty’s Ordnance, as he negotiates the shifting loyalties of battlefields, spies, treason, rebellion and religious controversy.

Returned from France, where he had spied for the English, at the start of the book Blood is a gunnery officer based in the Tower of London, called upon to play a significant role at the battle of Sedgemoor. His past cannot entirely escape him, however, and in investigating what seems to be a case of simple theft, he discovers an intricate web of French spies, organised crime and Papist plots to affect the succession (fans of royal mythology will be glad to know that the story of the ‘baby in the bed-pan’ makes an appearance).

Flitting between the seedy “Liberty of the Savoy”, the royal court, and gore-drenched battlefields, Donald’s writing is never less than atmospheric. Blood is an unusual, yet engaging protagonist, and the novel also contains an entertaining cast of secondary characters, including a military Bishop, a whole series of villainous foes (a mysterious French spy, the King of the London underworld and a grudge-bearing senior officer) and a loud, yet charming, love interest.

Blood’s Rebellion is an enjoyable adventure of a book.