First Dry Rattle, Celia Boyd
Review 16th May 2018 by Dawn Brookes
An engaging and fearful look into the dark history encountered during the English Civil War. This book provides an insight into the chaos and mayhem that occurs when civil war breaks out.
This first book in the series is set during the early days of the English Civil War. The very engaging lead character, Tom Fletcher is just a teenager. Tom is the son of a butcher and is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, something he doesn’t want to do. The book begins with a bang that captures attention immediately through Tom’s attempted suicide and it gathers pace quickly.
Tom begins working as a doctor with his cousin before setting off on an errand where he meets with the young Phoebe who has suffered much. After rescuing her from bullies and asking her to join with him on his journey, it is not long before he tires and doesn’t show her the respect she deserves. She is long-suffering and patient with him and he may grow to appreciate her for who she is over time. The journey home results in a fateful meeting with an evil, psychopathic, parliament soldier, who becomes determined to see Tom’s ruin. The soldier causes the young Fletcher much heartbreak and pain.
As the civil war spreads through England, Tom meets with soldiers from both sides and determines to stay neutral. He tries hard to avoid the war altogether but finds it impossible.
After an altercation with another parliament soldier Tom has to leave home to escape the gallows. During his travels, the young doctor meets with many people who become a part of this well-woven story. Tom saves the lives of many, including a captain, left for dead, and encounters much death and suffering with some, close to home.
As the evil soldier closes in on him, Tom finds that his life is in danger as murder and mayhem is wreaked by the man.
Series of Books
I loved the author’s writing style, language and grammar throughout the book and found all of the characters to be believable.
This is the first in a series of novels about the young Tom Fletcher and I will most certainly be reading the rest. I am intrigued as to what will happen to him next!