The Highwayman’s Curse

Will and Bess are on the run and find themselves in Galloway, Scotland, falsely accused of murder. Captured by smugglers, they become embroiled in a story of hatred and revenge that goes back generations: to the days of the Killing Times, when men, women and children were killed in the name of religion. As Will and Bess become entangled in the dangerous lives of this embittered family, both have choices to make which will test to the limit their courage. They must face the horrors of the terrifying smugglers’ caves, and everything they believe will be challenged. They may try to break the cycle of religious hatred that curses the land, but will their friendship survive?

More details and reviews further down this page.

Buy (from Amazon)

Description

Printed copies from all good shops, and the ebook from wherever you normally buy ebooks!

About the book: Will and Bess are on the run and find themselves in Galloway, Scotland, falsely accused of murder. Captured by smugglers, they become embroiled in a story of hatred and revenge that goes back generations: to the days of the Killing Times, when men, women and children were killed in the name of religion. As Will and Bess become entangled in the dangerous lives of this embittered family, both have choices to make which will test to the limit their courage. They must face the horrors of the terrifying smugglers’ caves, and everything they believe will be challenged. They may try to break the cycle of religious hatred that curses the land, but will their friendship survive?

It’s a story of hatred and anger going down the generations. There are many places in the world where hatred between religions causes tension, death and revenge. The only way to stop it is for someone to say, “Enough.” Either side could do it, but no one is ever brave enough. They’re brave enough to kill and torture but not brave enough to forgive and be forgiven.

In The Highwayman’s Curse, there’s a bitter old woman with a terrible scar on her face  from when she was branded by a soldier as a child. The soldier had tried to force her mother to swear loyalty to the King and not God. But her mother would not, and so she was drowned and her daughter was branded as she watched. This memory has stayed with the old woman and she is full of hatred for the Epsicopalians who had been responsible. But that is many years before, and the Killing Times are over. Should she not move on, forgive, put it behind her?

The launch for the book was held in a tiny 18th Century cottage in Galloway, with 80 school-kids and a TV crew!

WARNING: don’t let your great-aunt Gladys read this book  –  the scenes in the caves will be bad for her heart.

ANOTHER WARNING: there’s a very nasty incident with a snake, too …

Main reviews of both Highwayman books

The Times, Amanda Craig: “… Morgan is a skilled storyteller who exposes the seamiest sides of history and explores ideas with real feeling. She shows us the miseries of poor people’s lives in England’s “golden age” … it is a terrific tale, gripping from start to finish.”

The Herald, Vanessa Curtis: “…the novel gallops along at a cracking pace, packed full of plot twists.”

The Telegraph, Sinclair McKay: “If what you are after is really serious retro-adventure, then it doesn’t get more sincere – or hauntingly conjured – than The Highwayman’s Footsteps … From the opening chapter we are hauled into the perilous life … Muskets are fired, horses are stolen, confidences are betrayed, shelter is sought in freezing, stinking hovels and all of this is played out against the unforgiving winter landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. Jeopardy lies round every corner, but Will and Bess come to form an impressive team, having constantly to think on their feet to stay ahead of soldiers and treacherous family members. There is no let up either in pace or atmosphere.”

The Bookbag, Jill Murphy: “…a wonderfully well-written book, with well-chosen vocabulary and serious moral dilemmas. It’s meticulously researched and a real epic of an adventure story too. Highly recommended for 10s and up.”

The Northern Echo, Rosalind Kerven: “Danger and fear jump out from every page in this gripping historical novel. …. There are no holds barred in this heart wrenching and highly recommended novel. (Age 11+)”

Scotland on Sunday, Janet Christie: “… Noyes’ poem runs throughout the novel and is the catalyst for much of the action. Morgan follows in the highwayman’s footsteps by stepping confidently into his leather riding boots and galloping off with a teen novel whose strong characters, vivid language and runaway plot not only stand, but deliver too. …”

Bookbag, reviewer Jill Murphy: “It’s as vivid and vital as the first book … as evocative of time and place as ever you could wish. …Clear-eyed, carefully structured and capable of analysis, yet vivid, energetic and motivational, I loved The Highwayman’s Curse just as much as I loved Morgan’s first book about Will and Bess. It’s everything you could ask for in an historical novel and it comes highly recommended by Bookbag.”

Waterstone’s, Sue Chambers from the Harrods branch: “The sequel to the Highwayman’s Footsteps and is as well written and gritty as that volume. Superb, atmospheric and glorious. Buy both and have a ball – absolutely WONDERFUL. Enjoy this adventure. I hope and trust there will be a third.”