Friday 18 January 2013

Coming Up In 2013 #5: The Battles of Ben Kingdom: The Claws of Evil by Andrew Beasley

Put a mark in your diaries for 1st March because there's something special coming your way on that date. Thanks to the lovely people at Usborne I have already read The Claws of Evil, the first book in debut author Andrew Beasley's The Battles of Ben Kingdom series. All I will say for now is that I loved it, but please watch this space for my review coming very soon. 

If you want a little taster of The Claws of Evil then head on over to where you can read the book's prologue. I now have the pleasure of handing you over to Andrew who has been kind enough to tell us a little more about his new book:

Hi to all the readers of this brilliant blog! My name is Andrew Beasley and I wanted to share with you some of the inspiration behind my new novel, The Claws of Evil.

As a boy, I fell in love with the London of Sherlock Holmes with its swirling fog and the echo of footsteps in the gaslight. It was such a rich setting for adventure that I knew I had to set my story there. One of the best things about being an author is that you get to do a lot of reading for research and while I was learning about Victorian street kids the character of Ben Kingdom almost jumped straight off the page! Immediately I had a heart for this boy who always has the best intentions and yet somehow normally manages to do the wrong thing.

The other thing you discover when you are learning about Victorian children is how hard their lives could be, and although my story is a romp, I’m sure that some readers will come away thinking about the plight of street kids. Real history informs my story, but I didn’t want it to be a history lesson and so the young people that you meet in the Battles of Ben Kingdom belong to one of two gangs – who have been secretly at war for centuries. The Watchers survive on the rooftops of the city, whilst the Legion live in a secret system of tunnels, called the Under.

Ben, being Ben, isn’t sure which side he belongs to and his life is made a whole lot more complicated by the fact that both sides believe that he is destined to be their great leader. Basically, Ben is either going to be the champion of Heaven or Hell; not much pressure there then.

I have a host of other characters that I’m keen for you to meet too. There’s Jago Moon the blind bookseller, Professor ‘Claw’ Carter, and Mother Shepherd, who the Legion call ‘The Witch Queen of Spies’. Then there’s the Weeping Man and the Feathered Men, terrible creatures with… ah, but you’ll have to find out the rest for yourself.

Keep on reading – the world needs you!

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