The Good Death

""This is a very exciting series...""


In this fifth book of the Somershill series we learn of Oswald's life as a monk before he succeeded to the lordship of Somershill in unexpected circumstances. As Oswald recounts to his ill mother the story of how his mentor at the Abbey, Father Peter, influenced his life and future, we learn of the duplicity and treacherous behaviour of those whom Oswald trusts. We learn how Oswald comes to realise that his place is not in a monastery and his gradual realisation of the perfidy of his close relations. In 1349, whilst Oswald is at the monastery, the Plague is slowly working its way across England.

Purchase the book from Amazon.


This is set in the fourteenth century England, a period not widely described in fiction. Sykes brings the tastes, smell and atmosphere of the time vividly to life. It is fascinating because the details of everyday life of the time are unfamiliar yet so convincing. People have such different lives but the passions and petty jealousies that are described in such a convincing way are recognisable. Emotions are rawer and reactions more violent but the characters remain true to life. There is more than a hint of familiarity as we read about the country facing the pandemic of Bubonic Plague. Some things never seem to change. I hope that no one used the threat of Coronavirus to remove threatening relations! I really enjoyed hearing more about Oswald's early life; the knowledge gained helps to flesh out the series and strengthens the hold on the imagination. This is a very exciting series and 'The Good Death' certainly stands up in its own right.

Reviewed By: