Historical fiction doesn't get much deeper or satisfying than this exciting, complicated novel set in England as the ideological battle between Charles II and reform-minded citizens came to a head. The fall of devious and arrogant Charles Stewart, the endless and vicious battles that ravaged the land, the slow but inexorable rise of Oliver Cromwell is detailed. All of it set against the lives of a half-dozen men and woman, fictional, who endured and triumphed (largely) in these turbulent years. Davis is well known for her brilliantly-detailed novels of ancient Rome (reviewed on other posts in this blog), but this has to be her tour-de-force: stunning history with a human face. A 5+, perfect for a history-minded discussion group. A must-read for war-mongers, too.