The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews – Book Review

Title: The Leviathan

Author: Rosie Andrews

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication Date: 3rd February 2022

Rating: 5/5



24th March 1703

A place far from the sea

She is awake. And I must remind myself of how it began. The end of all things. It was a time of witches, it was a time of saints. A time when rabbits hunted foxes, when children came into the world without their heads, and kings lost theirs on the scaffold. The world was turned upside down, or so some said. Weep, England, weep, the broadsheets cried, and the poets and philosophers, fearing for their own necks, delayed their poems and philosophies, or incarcerated them in Latin and impenetrable Greek, to be exhumed at a more enlightened date.

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.


I’ve been looking forward to reading The Leviathan from the moment I first heard of it, and saw the seriously stunning cover, so my expectations were high going in! Happily I can say those expectations were actually exceeded! The story follows Thomas, a soldier returning home from the Civil War in 1643. He has been called home by his sister who believes a servant in their house is behaving in a sinister fashion with their father. By the time Thomas arrives home, this servant is imprisoned and accused of witchcraft. As more and more emerges about these murky events, a dark and possibly supernatural tale begins to take form.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot and how the mystery unravels itself because it is a real joy to experience so I would hate to ruin it for any reader! The Leviathan is gorgeously evocative and steeped in gothic atmosphere and a fabulously sinister undercurrent. The writing is truly beautiful – often almost poetic in its nature – whilst the historical detail feels well researched and rich in detail. I think anyone who likes their historical fiction with a good dose of superstition, myth and darkness will love this. Highly recommended!


I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.

Buy the book:

Waterstones | Amazon | Blackwells

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