Napoleon has crushed the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, and his ex-wife Josephine presides over French-occupied England.
Cornwall erupts into open rebellion, and young heiress Hester escapes with Crow, Wellington's former intelligence officer, a half-French aristocrat haunted by his part in the catastrophic defeat. Together, they become embroiled in a web of treachery and espionage as plans are laid to free Wellington from secret captivity in the Scilly Isles and lead an uprising against the French occupation. In a country rife with traitors, Hester and Crow know it is impossible to play such a game as this for long...
The beautiful artwork for the paperback edition of False Lights comes from The Library, a painting by the artist Elizabeth Colomba. Elizabeth's work is included in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum, Harlem, and Princeton University.
Head here for an extract, and scroll down to see reviews/press and see some of the imagery that inspired False Lights.
"The quality of the story in itself is sufficient to carry this novel, but excellent writing and characterisation pushes it up several notches — with special mention for Hester: a fizzing-with-life, believable and resourceful heroine if ever there was one."
"Featuring Cornish separatist rebels, Napoleon’s brother Jerome on the English throne, and a mixed-race heroine (not to mention another particularly wonderful depiction of a working-class woman whose capacity for military strategy wins her the Duke of Wellington’s respect), it’s like a glorious mashup of Frenchman’s Creek and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (but without the magic.)
— Elle Thinks
"Rugged scenery combined with even more rugged leading men and feisty leading ladies does make this a book that one can easily compare to Poldark - but Whittaker provides depth and nuance to her characters - meaning that the intensity of the plot is only amplified by quite how much she makes you care about the characters it revolves around"
— The Bookbag
"Wars, murder, rebellion, slavery, PTSD, bravery and love, all scrambled into this one hell of a ride for both characters and readers"
— Our First Year Here
"K J Whittaker draws the reader into a world full of adventure, romance, treachery, and espionage, with believable characters and wonderfully evocative settings of Scilly, Cornwall and London"
— Mostly Books
"Witty, exciting and heartfelt, the book had me hooked, from the minute I picked it up until I put it down at four o’clock in the morning"
— The Roaring Bookworm
"Adventurous, dark, brooding and mysterious"
— Rachel Bustin
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Guest Post: False Lights