Review 1655: Warlight

In 1945, Nathaniel and Rachel’s parents enter their young teen children into boarding school and leave for a year in Singapore. Hating school, the two children run away and end up at home in the care of their parents’ friend and boarder, whom they call The Moth.

Their lives become chaotic. Their house is filled with eccentric people. Nathaniel and Rachel grow apart, Rachel going off on her own while Nathaniel skips school to help the mysterious man called The Darter engage in low-level criminal activities.

They never see their father again, and it becomes apparent that their mother is engaged in some sort of espionage, which eventually proves dangerous for them.

This moody novel is intricately plotted, so that its secrets are revealed slowly, like peeling an onion. As Nathaniel becomes a man, he begins to look into the truths behind his formative years. What really went on? What did he know but forget? What was he oblivious to? This novel is dark, enigmatic and deeply engaging. I read it for my Walter Scott prize project.

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7 thoughts on “Review 1655: Warlight

  1. Jane May 4, 2021 / 8:02 am

    This sounds good, I’m intrigued to find out what happened and happens, thanks!

  2. Davida Chazan May 5, 2021 / 11:00 am

    I loved it, but then again, he’s my all-time favorite author! Not my favorite of his books, however, still it got 5/5 stars from me last year!

    • whatmeread May 5, 2021 / 1:30 pm

      I have only read a few by him. What’s your favorite?

      • Davida Chazan May 6, 2021 / 12:08 am

        Well, The English Patient is still my favorite (but I love it so much that I haven’t the courage to review it). In second place… a very close tie between The Cat’s Table and Anil’s Ghost, I think.

      • whatmeread May 6, 2021 / 10:53 am

        I read The English Patient so long ago I hardly remember it, but I have read The Cat’s Table. Not Anil’s Ghost, though.

      • Davida Chazan May 6, 2021 / 11:30 pm

        I think you’ll like Anil’s Ghost. I reviewed it on my blog a long time ago!

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