The Leviathan

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Pub Date 3 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 8 Mar 2022

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A beguiling tale of superstition, myth and murder, perfect for fans of The Binding, The Essex Serpent and Once Upon a River.

She is awake...

Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is insensible, felled by a stroke, and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft.

Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what has happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck years before.

Something has awoken, and now it will not rest.

Richly researched, incredibly atmospheric, and deliciously unsettling, The Leviathan is set in England during a time of political turbulence and religious zealotry. It is a tale of family and loyalty, superstition and sacrifice, but most of all it is a spellbinding mystery and a story of impossible things.


A beguiling tale of superstition, myth and murder, perfect for fans of The Binding, The Essex Serpent and Once Upon a River.

She is awake...

Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart...

Advance Praise

Darkly compelling and dripping with atmosphere, The Leviathan is a bewitching tale of good, evil and all the shades in-between’ Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE FAMILIARS

'A sinister, twisting tale, thoroughly gripping and utterly absorbing' Jennifer Saint, author of ARIADNE

'It’s hard to believe that such an accomplished novel could be a debut - The Leviathan is a gloriously dark story that sweeps you along to its harrowing yet satisfying conclusion. Superb' Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of PANDORA

'Infused with creepy gothic dread and gorgeously written. Fantastic' Amy McCulloch, author of BREATHLESS

‘This debut oozes quality ... The Leviathan is a sumptuous treat that positively thrums with tension ...  I absolutely loved it and I am excited to see what Rosie Andrews does next’ Lianne Dillsworth, author of THEATRE OF MARVELS

‘An original and compelling page-turner, beautifully told Annie Kirby, author of THE HOLLOW SEA

'An outstanding historical debut... Utterly compelling from start to finish, The Leviathan is a seething, haunting delight' Beth Underdown, author of THE WITCHFINDER'S SISTER

Chilling and beguiling, The Leviathan is a novel to be devoured greedily. Vivid and original, I was utterly captivated from the first page until the last' Joanne Burn, author of THE HEMLOCK CURE

Darkly compelling and dripping with atmosphere, The Leviathan is a bewitching tale of good, evil and all the shades in-between’ Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE FAMILIARS

'A ...

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ISBN 9781526637338
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Featured Reviews

It is 1703, and she is awake. An ageing man recounts the story of how it all began, while a storm rages outside.

It is 1643. England is in a state of civil war, and a young Thomas Treadwater, receives a distressing letter from his sister, Esther. Thomas, injured in battle, returns to Norfolk to find his home in disarray. Their cattle dead, Esther ailing, and their widowed father beguiled by a bewitching beauty.

As Esther’s conditions worsens and their father is suddenly taken by a stroke, something more sinister begins to surface; crashing down around Thomas’ life and drowning those in its wake.
Thomas must uncover the mystery of the horrors that unfurl before him, and live with the consequence of his actions.

Rosie Andrew’s haunting historical gothic debut is gripping, in every meaning of the word. The story coiled itself around me and refused to let go. Andrews uses meticulously researched detail, along with appropriately antiquated language and syntax, to absorb you into the narrative, and setting, of a troubled bygone England.

The use of a split timelines plot structure is implored skilfully, switching back and forth, between 1703 and 1643, at just the right moments to the betterment of the wider narrative, layering the tale and facilitating gradual revelations while leaving just enough keep you to enrapt in the mystery.

I was sceptical near the beginning of the novel, of a few choices made regarding characters, and yet, by the mid-to-end point of the novel, not only were each of these choices justified in a meaningful way, but I felt not a single aspect or minor detail was missed as narrative timelines rejoined. The payoff for which is one of the most satisfying conclusions to a novel I have read this year.

Not in a long time have I had such a visceral reaction to a story. Andrews manages to craft a tale that had my heart racing and reading into the dead of night; a fitting ambience for the compellingly dark tones of the novel which Andrews expertly delivers.

I highly recommend reading The Leviathan. If this is a debut, I eagerly await what comes next from Rosie Andrews.

I am certain this story will remain in my mind, lurking beneath the surface, for a long time.

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A book that splits timelines can often be challenging to engage with even in such a book as this where the split is relatively short, thankfully the author has mastered the her craft well and this tale slows seamlessly with no need to reread parts to refresh one’s memory, a dark tale that thrills and enthralls, I will certainly be buying this when it goes to audible as well

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A novel set in Norfolk, 1643. Soldier, Thomas Treadwater, arrives home, drawn back by a worrying letter sent by his sister, accusing the new servant of immoral and improper conduct. When he arrives he finds his father on death's door, and the local witch hunter has put the new servant in prison, along with their long term loyal servant and her mother. Thomas is a rational man, who prides himself on not believing in witchcraft, and superstition. Determined to save their loyal servant, and restore his family's honour, he starts to investigate what has been happening while he has been at war. But what he uncovers shakes him to his very core.

This novel is set in a time of war, political tension, and religious upheaval, where the church still cried witches when the unknown (or unwanted) was happening. The story was a fantastic read, well written, with the story weaving in and out of a series of ever unfurling horrors, that Thomas must try to get to the bottom of, and live with the consequence of the actions he takes. It was an intense story, with fantastic use of timeline switching to keep you really on your toes, and character development taking you by surprise at times. When I finished this book, my mind kept coming back to the story, and thinking about the ending, thinking about the suffering endured - the story really stuck in my head. I can highly recommend this as a read. Even if you think you don’t read historical era fiction, trust me, this one you do!

*I received this book from NetGalley for review but all opinions are my own.

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The novel's first-person narrator is Thomas Treadwater. Summoned home from the civil war by his sister, he is carrying a particularly nasty wound that requires a period of rest and relaxation. But as he returns home, he finds things are far from well. And so begins a traumatic tale of civil and political turmoil, religious zealotry, witchcraft and supernatural elements.
The Leviathan starts rather slowly as we get to know Thomas and his background history. This includes his wartime exploits, which means how he picked up his wound. It is all fascinating stuff and relevant to the story.
What has occurred at home whilst Thomas has been absent, came to be a matter of life and death and the cause of what followed in the narrative.
I always find anything with Witch trials at its core a pleasure to read. The situation involving Chrissa Moore, the accused servant, was captivating beyond belief. Her persecutors Manyon, Rutherford and Huxley were all particularly annoying individuals for varying reasons.
That is one of the reasons the book was such a joy to read. The author has got the characters spot on. Thomas, being the unbelieving sceptic who would risk everything to his sister Ester, right down to young Henry, the author had them nailed to a tee.
The author uses appropriately antiquated conversation, which gives the narrative authentic historical backing and realism. It made me wonder what sort of language Thomas would have learned on the battlefields and how well he did in restraining himself from using it.
The suspense and drama escalate as the book veers into the supernatural. It takes on a gothic and unreal feel to the narrative.
The book has great pace and depth with an atmospheric, almost eerie overtone to the proceedings. It makes for a harrowing story but a thoroughly mesmerising and compelling one.
The Leviathan is a superb historical work of fiction. The author has created an imaginative intelligent, well-crafted story.
The Leviathan is an excellent read, and I recommend this book highly.

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Set in the mid 1600s to the early 1700s, 'The Leviathan' follows returning Norfolk soldier, Thomas Treadwater, on his tumultuous journey embroiled in witchcraft and biblical lore as he fights to save the family he loves.

This powerful debut novel by Rosie Andrews is compelling as it is unique; set apart from other recent explorations witchcraft in the current literary trend, the twists and turns in the plot keep you on your toes throughout. There is a richness of language and description within this novel which retains its natural conversation throughout, completely hooking you into Thomas' narrative.

Whilst the biblical and uncanny elements of the novel may not suit every reader, particularly the embodiment of the Leviathan, I immensely enjoyed this novel and all the undulating chaos it depicted. I found it an excellent debut novel and I will be looking forward in anticipation to Rosie Andrew's future writing.

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I loved this creepy, gripping historical tale. Rosie Andrews' writing is breathtakingly beautiful and I was completely engrossed in The Leviathan. I look forward to reading more from this talented author. Five stars from me.

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The Leviathan is a brilliantly atmospheric tale of mystery that speaks of myths and monsters, set against the backdrop of the 17th century’s obsession with witchcraft and superstition. With a small cast of complex and intricately drawn characters, Rosie Andrews expertly drew me into their compelling story and made me desperate to keep reading as the novel grew increasingly pacey.

As well as being a thrilling tale, The Leviathan is everything great historical fiction should be; beautifully written in prose that is apply reminiscent of the period and full of wonderfully observed details which point to meticulous research.

An absolute triumph and one that I feel will become a true modern classic. I’d highly recommend this to anyone!

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A welcome addition to the historical fiction genre.

This debut novel from Rosie Andrews will sit nicely alongside Sarah Perry, Diane Setterfield and Anna Mazolla. It takes place, mainly, in Norfolk, in 1643, in a time when witch-hunts and religious fervour was at its height. The Witchfinder General was roaming far and wide to try and condemn so-called witches. Thomas Treadwater, fresh from the civil war, is called home by a letter from his sister, accusing a servant of bewitching their father. Upon arrival he finds his father dying, having suffered (we assume) a stroke and the "witch" in prison.

What follows is a fine tale of betrayal, consequences, family, and a quest to restore family honour. The story is interwoven with the usual backstory, from many years prior, and as the events of that time are revealed, we learn the true horrors that led to today. We have all the necessary characters - wronged woman, driven hero, maniacal puritan, and misguided girl. All nicely drawn and easy to love or hate as required. I did actually feel for them all.

One element of the book which appeals to me (and which may put others off) is the close attention to the language of the time. It's spot on for 17th century and really does add to the atmosphere. The prose is likewise flowing and gripping. The sights, sounds, and smells of the day are nicely represented.

I was lucky to score a NetGalley ARC, but I'll definitely be ordering a physical copy upon its release - it looks like a gorgeous cover. Highly recommended.

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This is a truly gripping book, full of mystery, suspense and a thrilling climax. Thomas is a very sympathetic narrator and I found myself rooting for him from the start, and the horror of the devastation the Leviathan causes throughout the novel is chilling and propulsive. There are many surprises and revelations which keep the plot tight and focused, and I’ll certainly be recommending this book to friends and family!

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If this book doesn’t get a spot in your top 10 books of 2022 then I don’t know what will, it’s hard to believe that this is the debut novel from Rosie Andrews… anyways…

I’m not going to lie to you all, I only picked this book up because of it’s gorgeous cover and the fact that it had leviathan in the title… that’s all it takes for me to feel like I need to read this book right here and right now. Okay, I know you’re only here for the actual review and not my ramblings…

This book is set in the lovely county of Norfolk and is set in two time periods, 1643 (the past where most of this book is set) and 1703 (the present day for this book) and the heroic Thomas Treadwater returns home from war at the request of his sister and finds their father catatonic in bed, unable to communicate and completely paralysed. His sister, Esther, accuses the family’s servant Carissa of having a hand in the mysterious goings on around the family farm and the local witch hunter puts her in prison, but not only the new servant, he also sends the family’s loyal servant and Thomas and Esther’s mother to prison as well.

Thomas does not believe in witchcraft and he sets out to restore honour to his family and clear the good name of the family’s loyal servant. From there on in sh*t gets real, excuse my French, because what Thomas uncovers might actually break him, and at the very least, it disturbs him in such a profound way I don’t see him recovering from these events any time soon.

I won’t go into too many details because no one likes spoilers, but this book is absolutely fantastic. I can’t get this book, or the story, out of my head. It’s pacing was perfect, the switching of the timelines was clear and concise (sometimes timeline switching can be confusing if it’s not executed properly), and more importantly the story keeps your hooked from the very first page. Rosie’s world building is spectacular and I loved the absolute chaos that unfolded in the pages of this well crafted book. I can’t wait to see what Rosie gives us next, she is now an auto-buy author for me, and it takes a lot to get that status from me, I’m very particular.

Thank you so much to Net Galley for providing me with an arc of this masterpiece.

She is Awake. Coming February 2022.

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The Leviathan, the debut novel by Rosie Andrews, follow Thomas Treadwater as he returns from fighting in the English Civil War and discovers that things at home are fraught with danger.

With his father suffering from an unknown illness, the household staff accused of witchcraft and his sister terrified, Thomas must unravel these mysteries to discover what has really been happening in his absence and, in the process, his lack of belief in the supernatural is seriously tested.

Set across two timelines, the 1643 troubles Thomas faces and a flash-forward to his later life in 1703, the author builds an unnerving and suspenseful historical mystery.

This story is beautifully written and the world Rose Andrews creates pulls you in, making The Leviathan a real page-turner.

I can see this being a best-seller in 2022 and can’t wait to see what the author produces next! A must read!

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I loved this! Set in 1643 Thomas Treadwater returns home from the war to find mystery and chaos in the home he shares with his sister and father.Suspicions of witchcraft,and a beguiling serving girl all serve to confuse Thomas who considers himself a modern rational man.As he begins to delve into resolving the ensuing madness there emerges an even darker side to the tale with the shadow of a hidden sea creature affecting them all.
This has many layers and you feel yourself being dragged downwards into the mire that surrounds Thomas and his family.It’s a perfect winter read

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I am so thankful that I had the chance to read an advance copy of this beautifully written book.

The story is set in 1643, the story has many layers surrounding the story of Thomas Treadwater who is a veteran returned to war to suspicions of witchcraft all culminating in a darker tale of a hidden sea creature.

I would recommend this book and can almost guarantee that it will be a huge hit once it is released. The writing style is wonderful and hard to believe this is a debut novel. I look forward to reading further stories by this author.

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A wonderful gothic novel set in the 17th century what is not to love!
This from the perspective of an elderly Thomas Threadwater as he recalls the fallout of his return from fighting in the Civil War and finding his family and estate in utter disorder. Accusations are made and Witch hunter enters the fray. As the he slowly unravels the truth, many horrors surface and seem impossible to face. The Leviathan is a wonderful novel, and Rosie Andrews has created a fascinating mixture of historicial and gothic fiction. The split timeline is executed perfectly and the chapters from the older Thomas are particularly are often heartbreaking.
I absolutely would recommend this to anyone

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Witchcrafty shenanigans
Religious intolerance
Religious bigotry
Love, hate, madness,
Political mayhem.
Violence and death...

Above are some of the important ingredients the lucky reader will stumble upon in this captivating and compelling novel set in England during the bloody Civil War that shattered its peace and wrecked its soul from 1642 to 1651.

The Leviathan takes place at the beginning of the eventful national mayhem and is a sweeping tale that encompasses all that went wrong & was wrong within English society at the time.

Brilliantly plotted and blessed with a colorful and unforgettable cast of characters, this marvellous fictional tapestry will grab you from its first chapter and take you on a terrific journey through the very tumultuous waters of mid 17th English chaos.

Historical fiction at its best and a literary feat that deserves to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever👍

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for this terrific ARC

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Set in the mid-1600s, this starts out as a story about witchcraft and the after-effects of the English Civil War but soon developers into an atmospheric, gothic thriller. Read it right to the end - and then turn back to the beginning and reading it again with a fresh perspective. Well-written, creepy and enthralling. Five stars from me!

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A true gothic offering!

It’s just after Christmas in 1643 and Thomas Treadwater is making his way home. He is injured from battle, the weather, is bitterly cold, and his horse is lame. He worries about home as his sister Esther has written, with concerns about their father’s conduct with a new maid. Unable to go further, Thomas rests for the night, an action he comes to regret. Next day Thomas continues on his way. On the approach to his home he finds all the sheep in the fields around the house are dead. On reaching home he finds his sister upset as their father has suffered a seizure and is unable to communicate. Help has been sent for, but is it too late?

This book starts off with witchcraft and quickly develops into a much bigger story, with deception, poverty, love, hate and bigotry all being woven in. The love of a brother for his sister shines through, though not without its consequences.

Written across a split timeline, the story follows the actions and decisions of Thomas to protect his family.

This is a debut book and I really enjoyed it. Within a few pages the story gets going and keeps up the pace.

Thank you NetGalley.

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I thought this was a great, creepy story with a mixture of The Binding and the Spirit Engineer. The horror element was perhaps a bit more explicit than implied - the idea of Esther in the attic room for sixty years in a coma did feel slightly incompatible with what was otherwise a story that could easily fit into the real-world.

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This is a fascinating and readable novel set mainly in Norfolk between 1628 (the year Oliver Cromwell entered Parliament) and 1703 (one year into Queen Anne's reign) with most of the narrative set in 1644, in the middle of the English Civil War. Its fractured timeline is deftly handled so as to gradually reveal the gothic storyline without losing the plot's momentum.

The novel's historical context puts it right in the middle of one of the most chaotic periods of England's history. Seventeenth century England was, in effect, what might today be called a failed state, deeply divided socially, politically, and by religion. People were obsessed with conspiracies and witchcraft, and corruption was widespread. It is difficult not to see some parallels with the US and the UK today.

It can't be coincidence either that the book's title references Hobbe's "Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil", published in 1651, in which he argued that almost any strong (Leviathan) government would be better than civil war, nor that John Milton plays a small, but key, part in this novel. Towards the end of the book, the reader learns that Milton believes the 17th century to have been "the most tumultuous of all, bar one that is yet to come '', and this particular reader has been left wondering the extent to which the novel was written as an allegory of our own time.

This is a very strong debut by Rosie Andrews and I'm looking forward to her next book. I highly recommend The Leviathan as a great read on many levels, thanking the publisher and Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for this honest review.

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As well as being a thrilling tale, The Leviathan is everything great historical fiction should be; beautifully written in prose that is apply reminiscent of the period and full of wonderfully observed details which point to meticulous research. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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A novel of witchcraft, supernatural overtones and a man determined to avenge his family, a woman accused of witchcraft. However, what he finds out in the meantime may well break him.

Delightful as well as dark and compelling

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The opening chapter of this book sent chills up my spine; the established tone was so menacing and it was clear I was in for a treat.

Told from the point of view of Thomas Treadwater it is a story about patriarchy and superstition. At a time when the country was in political turmoil it is easy to see how blaming murder and criminality on women under the umbrella of witchcraft, allowing greater injustice to take place. Thomas is a wonderful character to explore these superstitions of the time as he questions these accusations, whilst remaining open to the idea that there are strange and inexplicable forces operating around him.

This is definitely a slower paced book to be savoured. The atmosphere is wonderfully created throughout and the malignant force that slithers and coils within the pages is truly unnerving. The loyalty Thomas demonstrates towards his family and the torment he endures because of this was quite harrowing to read, but so compelling.

This is a book that will stay with me for some time, and I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review.

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I found this a wonderful debut, gorgeously written. The author did a magnificent job pulling the reader into the world and keeping the pages turning right up to the incredible finale.

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Glorious, horrifying, transcendent. So much more than a historical chiller

Well, thank you Rosie Andrews. Sincerely, and very much. I was offered this as a digital Arc, and hesitated over the marketing/publicity comparisons ‘perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and Once Upon A River’. Both books I adored. My hesitation was because often the comparisons are about territory of the story, and are far from comparisons of excellence. Many times I have requested, only to abandon reading something which has superficial ‘this is also a book about a similar subject to that’, but is like comparing MDF furniture to something hand crafted in mahogany.

Andrews absolutely nails comparisons of excellence, and, like both those books, carves out her own unique territory.

Yes, this is historical fiction, and yes, this is also involves the fantastical , the supernatural, alongside a thorough grounding in the thought and culture of its period, but is also very much a book which grapples with concepts in a far deeper way than ‘here’s something to pleasurably and scarily chill your blood on a cold winter’s night’. What it reminded me of, in this, was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, where discussions of ethics are deeply bound up within the story.

This is set primarily in the 1643/1644, in Norfolk, but also, in 1703, ‘A Place Far From The Sea’ The significance of this somewhat odd information becomes clear later, though it is the book’s beginning

The central character is Thomas Treadwater (an inspired naming) Thomas is indeed a ‘doubting’ Thomas. In an age where what religion is followed is a meaningful, political as well as spiritual decision, Thomas is a sceptic. He does not believe in gods, God or demons, Satan. He does not believe in witches either. He is the son of a respected Puritan, whom he deeply loves, but whom he has disappointed. Thomas was, at one point sent away as a student at the University, his tutor John Milton, a distant relative, (yes, that John Milton) Milton’s role to educate Thomas as much in morality and ethics as in philosophical thought, Latin and Greek. Young Tom however, fiery and rebellious, brings some disgrace upon himself, and is dismissed by Milton. He ends up joining Cromwell’s Army. His secret plan is emigration to America, where ideas of Commonwealth and Equality may be more sure. The Mayflower had sailed its Pilgrims, looking exactly for that, in 1620. Charles 1st was beheaded in 1649. Clearly, a turbulent time. Thomas, wounded in battle, and on leave, is summoned home by his much younger sister Esther. Witchcraft is afoot, and it appears the witch who brings malevolence to the door is a servant within the household.

What I love about historical fiction (and beautifully expressed here) is that through the creation of believable characters, as subtly three dimensional as all of us are, as twined with oppositions, but deeply embedded in a specific time, culture, place, the reader is taken into engaging with what it actively might feel like, to feel and think this or that.
I learn about history in a more visceral way than reading factual historical books. These two approaches complement each other.

The imagined role of Milton in this story is brilliant. His writings are both evidence of fact, deep philosophical thinking, grappling with knotty concepts – and of course rich, rich in metaphor, imagination, and matters apocryphal. Fantasical and rational, both. Within the concept of a mysterious, ancient, horrific mythological beast of destruction that inhabits the depths of the oceans, concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – and, a central plank of Judao-Christian thinking – free will – are entwined

There are also, two wonderful central female characters – and many twists and surprises within this wonderful story which feel all of a piece, not contrived.

Andrews, by the end, makes the reader care deeply for every one of her characters, and particularly, to brings us understand the difficulties and struggles, the moral dilemmas, faced by Thomas Treadwater – who often is desperately, and sometimes actually, doing just that.

Highly recommended. Very highly so.

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Intensely atmospheric and creepy, this is such an exciting read and perfect for reading over the winter months when things feel spooky. Can't wait for more by Rosie Andrews.

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Dark and menacing, with hints of demon possession.
This tale is taking us on a journey. Our mission to save a soul, maybe two. The battle moves from a woman in an attic room chained up in demon possession, to the anger of the sea. Here we find a shipwreck and a monster from fable, legend, hell itself - who knows. Can it’s victims be rescued and set free? How and at what cost or is it too late? There’s only one way to find out.

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She is awake……

Set in 17th Century England, The Leviathan follows Thomas Treadwater as he returns after fighting in the English Civil War. His sister, Esther, wrote a panicked letter speaking of a mysterious young girl and witchery and begs him to return home. Thomas sees the letter as his sister’s nerves being frayed as she is alone with her father with no companions. But, upon his return to his father’s estate, things start to take a tragic turn. A great mystery unravels before Thomas and he must try to figure out what has happened and whether it is superstition or a more sinister force at play.

This gothic novel is atmospheric and truly haunting; one of my favourite reads this year. Andrews’ successfully transports her readers into the world of the 17th Century and her description of the Treadwater estate and surrounding lands (particularly the coast) is vividly brought to life. Set in a politically turbulent era, Andrews has brought the prevailing ideas and in particular the zealotry of this period to life on the page. Thomas Treadwater struggles as a rational man to come to terms with the events that are unfolding around him. I really liked how Andrews jumped between the past and present, which adds richly to the story. The characters are all richly developed and the level of detail given by Andrews just adds to the richness of the story.

If you are fan of stories of witchcraft, mythical creatures and mystery, The Leviathan is a book which you have to add to your reading list. A compelling, dark read which the reader’s hair stand on end. A stunning debut by Andrews and definitely an author to watch out for in the future. An original and haunting debut! 5 stars

If you liked Stacey Halls’ The Familiars or Kathleen Kent’s The Heretic’s Daughter, The Leviathan is the perfect book for you!

Thank you to NetGalley and to Bloomsbury Publishing for the eArc in exchange for my honest review. The Leviathan will be released on February 17th 2022.

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I thoroughly recommend this book. It was a gripping and enthralling book which I had to keep on reading into the wee small hours. The characters were well crafted and I liked the different time perspectives.
Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for giving me the opportunity to give my unbiased opinion.

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The Leviathan is a wonderful historic novel starting in 1703 but going back in time to 1643 where the story begins .The story is narrated by Thomas Treadwater who was a young soldier in the English Civil War. The story goes back and forth between the two timelines ,it is a story of witches ,superstitions, creatures of the sea, loyalty and most importantly Family .Brilliantly written with great characterisation dark and Gothic ,I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this Author .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and Net Galley for my free copy in return for an honest review .

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Rosie Andrews weaves a beguiling gothic piece of historical horror fiction set in Norfolk in the 17th century, in one of the most politically turbulent times in English history, a country rife with divisions, religious zealots, and superstitions, a time that sees King Charles I lose his head. It is 1643 and the battle injured Thomas Treadwater returns home after fighting in the Civil War, having received a disturbing letter from his distraught younger sister, Esther, accusing their servant, Chrissa Moore, of bewitching their religiously devout father. On arriving home at the farmhouse, there is the scary and intensely unsettling sight of dead sheep, with no apparent cause of death. With his father having suffered a stroke, and Chrissa having been taken to prison, charged with witchcraft, the rational and logical Thomas, who does not believe in witchcraft, decides to investigate, only to have his beliefs tested to their very limits and shattered.

This is a beautifully written novel of supernatural biblical horrors, with prose that evokes the historical period with ease, giving us a sense of the culture, philosophy and thinking of the time, the position of women, witch finders, and witch trials, and includes the presence of John Milton. We learn of Thomas's wartime experiences, his family, his terrified sister, Esther, his father, a shipwreck, and an ancient mythical beast that awakens. This is an atmospherically dark and gripping debut of twists annd turns, well researched with its details, and with an underlying eerie sense of menace. I found it a captivating read and I have no doubt that this is a book that is destined to do well on publication. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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The Leviathan is a novel that takes us to a time of uncertainty and upheaval in England where war is raging and a fear of difference and witchcraft is the norm. Largely focusing on 1643 and one family is thrust into this tumultuous environment, when the story's narrator, Thomas, returns for fighting and is confronted with allegations that a servant of the family is allegedly a witch who has harmed his father.
Atmospheric and emotional with elements of the supernatural, The Leviathan is engaging and chilling in equal measure. It was unsettling and yet grounded by some excellent and believable characters. It is hard to believe this is a debut novel, as it was accomplished and skillfully written, with evidence of impeccable research.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to read and review this novel and believe it will be successful with individual readers but also discerning book clubs. I will certainly be recommending it.

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I absolutely love an historical fiction book with essence of witchcraft. The cover was stunning which was drew me to click on to read the blurb and when I did I just had to read it. Thank you so much to NetGalley for approval. One of my favourites of 2021

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I can't believe this is a debut novel. Immersive, dark, and beautifully written, The Leviathan is an absolute triumph.

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The Leviathan is a devastatingly impressive debut. From the outset, the reader is plunged into the setting of Civil War England, which is at once familiar and wildly distant (even down to details like the protagonist, Thomas, sleeping in a ditch on the way back from the battlefield to visit his elderly father and pious sister). This is a world in which people believe in witchcraft, the devil, and religious tensions run through every part of society. Thomas is at once touching, unassuming, and shamelessly opportunistic; he knows that his family's fortunes will soon be tied to those of the magistrate and his witchfinder, and attempts to do what he thinks is right even as he goes along with the increasing corruption and hysteria surrounding his family's mysterious new servant. But there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye. I was overjoyed to see the narrative take a sharp twist into full-on, pedal-to-the-metal folk horror and demonic possession, and it's testament to Andrews' skill as a writer that her literary prose is up to both the novel's early meditations on obligation and guilt, and the latter shipwrecks and sea serpents. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and have already pre-ordered the hardback, as I know for sure it's one I'll read again, and press into the hands of historical horror fans. An absolute must-read.

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An utterly gripping deep dive into witchcraft, myth and legend that grabs you from the very first chapter and doesn’t let go until you come spluttering, and enthralled, out the other side. I read this in two sittings. The Leviathan is beautifully – no … flawlessly – written and each character leaps from the page. The twists and turns (which are masterfully constructed) step neatly from the narrative, and as soon as you realise that the typical witchfinder story is to be turned on its head you know you’re in a for a stunning ride! Just WOW.

Buy it. Settle down. Read it!

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What a magnificent read. This is a brilliant historical novel with such glorious language and evocative descriptions. The writing really brought the time period to life with such a great atmosphere. The dark thread of a ‘being’ not quite known was very compelling and helped bring the characters and beliefs of the time alive. Definitely a recommended read.

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I was quickly drawn into the dark, zealous world of the Middle Ages. Absolutely spell binding writing from a debut novelist.

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Mostly set in 1643, this book follows the story of Thomas Treadwater, who is called back after the English Civil War, to his family home by his younger sister, Esther. On arrival, he discovers his father's fields full of dead sheep, and on entering the house finds everything so very quiet. Esther tells him that his father is gravely ill, after being well just a few days earlier. She then proceeds to tell him a tale of Chrissa, one of their father's servants, who hadn't been with them for long. Esther accuses her of witchcraft, and that it was Chrissa's doing that had caused the death of all the sheep, and casued her father's mystery illness. Thomas, being a modern thinking man, takes this with a pinch of salt. He doesn't believe in witchcraft. The next day their father dies.
So begins a story of witchcraft, betrayal and love, and ends with the Leviathan, a massive sea creature that brings death in it's wake.
A well written book, and great charactors that draw you into the story. I think this would make a great film.
Highly recommended.

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In the Leviathan we follow two timelines narrated by the same character, Thomas, in 1643 as he returns home from civil war to his family home to find his father has had a stroke, and his sister Esther has accused their new servant of witchcraft. In the second timeline, it's 50 years later and we follow the aftermath and conclusion of an event from the past involving family secrets and an ancient shipwreck from years ago.

Going into this book I thought it was going to be a story of witch trials and the hysteria surrounding those events in the 17th century. And whilst it certainly starts out this way, I wasn't prepared for the twists this story took and I was blown away by the way in which the author created such an incredible world and atmosphere, the writing style was so easy to read that I devoured the book in less than a day. I'm so glad I had the chance to read this!

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the chance to read The Leviathan.

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I loved this book. I thought the cover was gorgeous and the writing was beautiful.
It is set in Norfolk between two time periods - 1643 and 1703. It follows Thomas Treadwater on his return home from the army as he receives a letter from his sister Esther asking him to come home. He returns to find his father has had a stroke and the new servant has been imprisoned for witchcraft. Thomas does not believes in such things and attempts to discover the truth behind the rumours.
I found it to be very immersive, atmospheric and gothic and it was well researched. I could not stop turning the pages.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book. I would highly recommend.

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She is awake…

The Leviathan is a stunningly woven debut novel that is more than just a pretty cover (though it undoubtedly has this too!).

It’s 1703 and Thomas Treadwater, a soldier in the Civil War, returns home at the behest of his sister only to find his father suffering after a stroke, the family’s livestock dead and the maid accused of witchcraft. What follows is a tale that takes us back 6 decades to 1643, and an unsettling, haunting and sometimes heartbreaking search for truth amongst superstition, myth and humanity’s darkest and most monstrous impulses.

With evocative descriptions of its Norfolk setting and its mysterious characters, plus the twists, turns and gothic suspense of the story, Andrews has created a page-turner of a novel that artfully navigates ideas of family, faith and morality. Fans of writers such as Bridget Collins, Stacey Halls or Sarah Perry will appreciate Andrews’ historical authenticity and dazzling prose, and I have no doubt that after reading this she will become an auto-buy author for many.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for an ARC of this novel.

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When Thomas Treadwater returns from the English Civil War, he finds his father on his deathbed, his home in shambles, and his sister, Esther, accusing him of witchcraft. However, the root of the problem may be traced all the way back to the ocean's depths.

With a deeply gothic ambiance, the plot is intriguing. This is a unique narrative that has been expertly told.

The terminology employed is appropriate for the time period. However, it does draw attention to itself at times, which risks distracting the reader from the storey.

This is a promising start. I'm excited to see what Rosie Andrews has in store for us next.

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Firstly the proof copy I received of this was stunning and the finished version (especially with the sprayed edges) is even more amazing!!

I don't normally enjoy the fantasy genre but I loved the mix of historical fiction and fantasy in this novel.

Although it took me a few chapters to get into I soon became fully invested in Thomas (the main character) as he returned to his family farm in the midst of the English Civil War. The storyline immediately grabbed me. What sinister events had happened whilst Thomas had been away?
What had caused the animals to die and Thomas' father to become sick? Was witchcraft and the newly acquired servant to blame?

The storyline was impossible to predict and I literally couldn't put this book down. I loved the witchcraft storyline and the ambience of the 17th Century but I equally enjoyed the twists and turns as the story progresses in a darker, more supernatural way and the arrival of mythical creatures.

Although mainly set in 1643 there are interwoven chapters 50 years later to show the outcome of the decisions made earlier on.

Overall an engrossing atmospheric gothic read that I would highly recommend to fans of historical/supernatural fiction with a huge twist of fantasy and horror. This was a unique read and a fantastic debut!

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The Leviathan is simply superb. Rich in historical detail, finely tuned characters, a subtle, creepy plot that sneaks up on you, all brought together by some excellent writing.

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This is a deliciously dark tale, taking in witch finders and mythology in a haunting, evocative, atmospheric tale.
The sense of place is expertly built - this is so immersive you can feel and smell the atmosphere as you plunge into this world. This is an excellent read for historical fiction fans and I look forward to reading more by Rosie Andrews.

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