Gunpowder Percy

Gunpowder Percy

By Grace Tiffany
2016 | 285 pp. | 978-0-86698-815-5 | Paperback 6 x 9 in
$14.95 |

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“What are the three parts of powder? Anger. Nostalgia. Love.” These are what drive Thomas Percy, a Catholic Englishman chafing under the rule of the Scotsman James I in the first decade of the seventeenth century. Percy’s passions, fueled by an obsession with the medieval-history plays staged at Shakespeare’s Globe playhouse, erupt at last in a wild plan to save the soul of a kingdom – by killing its Protestant king.


In her latest and gripping historical novel, Gunpowder Percy, Grace Tiffany brings to life the events leading up to that fraught moment in 1605 when a group of disaffected Catholic gentry plotted to blow up the House of Lords, kill King James, and restore Catholicism to the land. It’s a thrilling story, vividly and skillfully told.   
James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University and author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare and The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

With "Gunpowder Percy", author Grace Tiffany spins a deftly crafted novel from out of a nation-shaking historical event -- the English Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Her early-modern protagonist is Sir Thomas Percy, a man who is irresistibly drawn to London's Globe theater and the wildly popular new history plays. Inspired by the king-hating warrior Hotspur in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Percy joins a group of disaffected Catholics that includes the mysterious traveler Guido Fawkes and the rebel aristocrat Robin Catesby. The terrorist plot on which they embark is colored by nostalgia and fantasy. It's a quest not just to destroy a Protestant king, but to return the nation to a mythic medieval past. With an impressive adherence to historical detail, "Gunpowder Percy" is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end and showcases author Grace Tillany as an extraordinarily gifted storyteller of the first order. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gunpowder Percy" is also available in a Kindle format ($5.99).
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review (Library Bookwatch: December 2016)