Terri Nixon succeeds in combining the historic circumstances of village life in mid-seventeenth century Cornwall – blacksmiths, millers, peasants and squires, fishermen and pirates, all cringing under the peril of the fearful English Civil War – with glimpses of a parallel, supernatural world, whose inhabitants intervene and interact sporadically with that of the mortals they despise.
Nixon’s rich prose conjures up solid – if somewhat mysterious – characters, some of whom are involved beyond their depth in otherworldly events, while others’ identity remains obscure until just before the end. She also masters time-hopping, with which she unravels the frequently hinted-at backstory. Moral concerns surface, such as caring for the bereaved and the quandary over accepting profits from the deliberate wreckage of merchant ships.
Altogether this is a captivating tale and, as Book 0 of the Lynher Mill Chronicles, it tempts one to read on.