Blog Tour & Review: A Kingdom Falls (Ravenmaster Trilogy), by John Owen Theobald. Zephyr, an imprint of Head of Zeus.

Book Description:

In the dramatic conclusion to the Ravenmaster Trilogy, Anna Cooper must find the strength to face her greatest fear in Britain’s darkest hour.


London, 1944. War is raging across Europe and Hitler’s terrifying secret weapons, V1 rockets, transform life into a nightmare.


After her mother was killed in an air raid, Anna Cooper was sent to live with her uncle, the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. Now, he too is dead and Anna must seek help from her estranged father to discover her only chance of fighting back.


Commandeering a Spitfire, Anna leads a crew of fearless pilots to intercept the deadly rockets. But Hitler has one final secret weapon, against which there is no defence… At the eve of a devastating war, Anna must confront the ghosts of her past and do what she can to survive in a world forever changed.


My Review:


England has given us such rich subject matter in the World War II years; this book offers a somewhat different perspective–women who made a significant contribution to the war effort, despite the limiting attitude toward women’s appropriate roles in that day and time. Here we have a tale of a dedicated and gifted group of woman aviators who made their way into combat service against formidable odds.


Our heroine is Anna Cooper, whose story is a continuing one begun in parts one and two of this Ravenmaster Trilogy. I did not read the first two books, and although I was able to follow the story and this book works as a stand-alone effort, I do feel I would like to read the first two books, and will probably do so.


Part 3 of the trilogy is told by four different narrators. The primary one is, as one might expect, Anna Cooper herself. But other voices we hear are those of Anna’s sweetheart, young soldier Timothy Squires, as well as RAF officer pilot Cecil Rafferty, and Anna’s nurse friend Florence Swift. These multiple viewpoints, taken together, give us a rich view of the story as it unfolds. It is riveting and thrilling, also tragic and heroic. This is a fine effort by author Theobald.


On a personal note, I felt a particular kinship with this story as my uncle Robert Hunter was an American serviceman stationed in England during those war years. He was an aviation mechanic. He didn’t talk much about the war, but on one noteworthy day he related to me his feelings about seeing his buddies go up; some did not come back, but he was obliged to patch up the planes so that more brave young pilots could go into the fray again. I think he would have loved this story.



Born and raised in Eastern Canada, John Owen Theobald moved to the UK to study the poetry of Keats, and in 2009 received a PhD from the University of St Andrews. He lives in London, England.

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