'The vibrant new voice of historical fiction' Suzannah Dunn: Katherine Clements conjures the extraordinary women you never knew about in the turbulent years of the English Civil War.
1648: Civil war is devastating England. The privileged world of Katherine Ferrers is crumbling under Cromwell's army and, as an orphaned heiress, she has no choice but to marry for the sake of family.
But as her marriage turns into a prison and her fortune is forfeit, Katherine becomes increasingly desperate. So when she meets a man who shows her a way out, she seizes the chance. It is dangerous and brutal, and she knows if they're caught, there's only one way it can end...
The mystery of Lady Katherine Ferrers, legendary highwaywoman, has captured the collective imagination of generations. Now, based on the real woman, the original 'Wicked Lady' is brought gloriously to life in this tale of infatuation, betrayal and survival.
Atmospheric and gripping... The complex relationship between Ruth and Lizzie is wonderfully convincing, tender and devastating in equal measure right up to the last heart-breaking moment
Begins at a cracking pace, plunging the reader into the turbulent Civil War period and the terror of witchcraft that came with it... A compelling novel
Impressive and inspirational... an original and entertaining story
Exceptional... Deftly written, uncluttered and impassioned, this has to be one of the leading historical debuts of the year
A beautifully written novel about an incredible time in England's history, with a cast of intriguing and excellently drawn characters who seem entirely real. The Crimson Ribbon is very impressive
There is so much more I could say about this novel, but I'll finish with an observation Ruth makes: "People have so many parts it is impossible to know them all." Clements has done a fine job in exploring the many parts that make up a person, and a society in conflict.
The writing is subtle, but wonderfully done . . . well plotted and a fascinating fictional insight into a turbulent time
Katherine Clements is a critically acclaimed novelist, self-confessed costume drama addict and current Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Manchester. She is editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers' Association, and is a member of the HWA committee.