RogerBW's Blog

Lies, Damned Lies and History, Jodi Taylor 12 May 2023

2016 science fiction, seventh in the Chronicles of St Mary's series (time travel). A young Historian gets emotional, and the others throw aside good sense to support him.

This is a relatively non-traumatic entry in the series, with some actual successful historical expeditions, though tension remains high. It's fun to see the historians doing their jobs and not only recovering from disasters (I particularly liked the observation of the Coronation of George IV); it's less fun to realise that, given time travel, there's no way you can put a particular person behind you even if you've seen him die, because you don't know what else he got up to in his past and your future.

This series which has so far had time travel as its one impossibility introduces a suggestion of supernaturalism that doesn't sit well – and leaves it unresolved.

Ronan does start to feel like a deus ex machina villain, wheeled in whenever an external threat is needed. (Isn't anyone else a problem?) But mostly this one's more of the same and for me didn't leave much of a trace.

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Previous in series: When a Child is Born/Roman Holiday/Christmas Present/Ships and Stings And Wedding Rings/The Very First Damned Thing/The Great St Mary's Day Out/My Name is Markham/A Perfect Storm | Series: Chronicles of St Mary's | Next in series: When a Child is Born/Roman Holiday/Christmas Present/Ships and Stings And Wedding Rings/The Very First Damned Thing/The Great St Mary's Day Out/My Name is Markham/A Perfect Storm

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