The Book of Fires

The Book of Fires

3.62 (1,994 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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"A spectacular debut" (Booklist) reminiscent of Geraldine Brook's Year of Wonders. It is 1752, and seventeen-year-old Agnes Trussel is pregnant with an unwanted child. Facing certain misery at home, she flees rural Sussex for London. Overwhelmed by the crowded, grim streets, Agnes finds herself at the home of Mr. J. Blacklock, a brooding fireworks maker who hires her as an apprentice. As she learns to make joins his quest to make the most spectacular fireworks the world has ever seen. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Agnes's secret-but her mysterious mentor is hatching plans of his own.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 23mm | 277g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 014311848X
  • 9780143118480
  • 1,199,100

Review quote

"A quietly beautiful novel...elegant use of language...inventive storytelling."
-BookPage ..".stunning debut novel...exceptionally well-crafted, beautifully written."
-The Historical Novels Review "Jane Borodale writes historical fiction with a twist in the tale, without sentimentality. Agnes Trussel is a heroine armed only with doggedness, ingenuity, and desperation, who marches toward her future with an intrepid spirit. An engrossing story."
-Karleen Koen, bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly and Now Face to Face A "promising debut."
-Kirkus "Borodale deftly conjures up mid-18th century London in her spectacular debut...Readers who loved Jane Eyre will appreciate the atmosphere of tension and foreboding that permeates the narrative."
-Booklist "Jane Borodale's captivating debut novel carried me back to a world where even strong young women had few options. Her astonishing descriptions of 18th-century England, the creation of fireworks, and the brave and determined Agnes held me happily captive there for days, and, even now, have not released their hold on me. Agnes Trussel is sure to become one of 21st-century literature's most enduring characters."
-Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader "Jane Borodale's first novel contains a wondrous and utterly believable world built by the subtle accretion of precise detail. Young Agnes Trussel is a clever and innocent heroine. I found myself cheering when, by the end, she-and the very novel that contains her story-burst into new and luminous life."
-Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton "Jane Borodale has a way with words that had me smelling the foul streets of 18th-century London and tasting the strange powders that went into making John Blacklock's fireworks. The story of the apprentice Agnes learning from the master Blacklock is reminiscent of The Girl with the Pearl Earring."
-Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown and The King's Grace "Whether in evoking rural Sussex at a time of change or the precariousness of life in the metropolis, Jane Borodale displays a deft touch in this very pleasing story."
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Rating details

1,994 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 18% (367)
4 39% (771)
3 32% (636)
2 9% (175)
1 2% (45)
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