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The Firemaster's Mistress
Christie Dickason
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The Firemaster's Mistress (Francis Quoynt #1)

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  444 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
England in the early reign of James I: an unsteady nation adapts to its new king; Shakespeare labors over the tragedies of Othello and Macbeth; bearbaiting is a popular diversion . . . and Guy Fawkes, with a small group of desperate men, hatches a terrifying plot to assassinate the king and all of Parliament by explosion.

Francis Quoynt is a firemaster who would rather make
Published October 17th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published October 2005)
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Dec 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed The Firemaster's Mistress by Christie Dickason. For those who were reading the noontime chats that J. Kaye and I had, I was quite taken with the story. It's that really good mix of history and fiction that I really like to read.

The story revolves around The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when a group of angry Catholics planned on blowing up the first day of the English Parliament along with the Protestant King and the Prince of Wales.

The way that the author has weaved the parts of hist
Jirinka (sony08)
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Phillipa Gregory and the likes
Shelves: read-in-2010
I really enjoyed this book. It was quite a quick read for me. The author got straight into the action and quickly introduced all characters.

The story covers the time before and just after the alleged BLOW UP of Parliament in 1605 and all involved with this plot. She introduces Guido Fawkes neither as a villain nor as a hero and kind of leaves the reader to make up their own minds.

We are introduced to the twisted body of Robert Cecil who hires firemaster Frances Quoynt to find him traitors who
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book actually and I was hooked on it from the first page. I like page turners and this was one of them. Although as I started to approach the end (about three quarters of the book), I started getting a little bored but only for a bit, as it then regained the fascinating pace which I enjoyed at the beginning. I quite enjoyed the ending although do not really like the direction in which the love story went.

Historically, it was a very interesting book for me as I'm not that fam
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book, and it turned out fairly decent. Don't expect anything fabulous from it, but it does give an interesting view on the events leading up to Guy Fawkes' attempt to blow up Parliament.

The love story between the main characters isn't that well written, and the ending of that part of the story really is bizarre in my opinion. However, the intrigues in this period of English history, especially around the king and his ministers, is very interesting.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I enjoyed reading this novel about a new conspiracy theory behind the Guy Fawlkes bombing of English parliament which we commemorate on 5 Nov each year. Was disappointed with how the author wrote the love story. Won't give away the plot but it just doesn't seem feasible to me.
Oct 29, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I see no reason
why gunpowder treason
should e'er be forgot!
Vi Walker
More of a 3.5 star read than 3 stars. It was enjoyable and reasonably well written. The subject matter (the Gunpowder Plot) is interesting and the fictional characters quite strong but for some reason I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I felt I should have. Nonetheless, given the time at which I read it (late October) it was an interesting and apposite read shedding more light on the date that everyone knows!
Mary Beth
I read this book because I didn't know much about the conspiracy. Good read.
Anne Neville
I read The Firemaster's Mistress in one day, despite it's bulk (over 500 pages). In the morning, as I was beginning, I had a doctor's appointment, and the doctor looked at the cover and asked me "Is that highbrow--or is it smut? I can't tell from the cover." I wasn't sure myself, and so I couldn't answer yet. It promised to be an interesting intrigue story about the Guy Fawkes conspiracy to blow up Parliament, King James I, and his son, Henry, Prince of Wales in order to reaffirm the Catholic fa ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hate being disappointed in my books, but I really couldn't avoid it with this one. Christie Dickason's other Jacobean set novels were extremely enjoyable, so I admit I came to this text with higher expectations than normal. However, even if I came to this book cold, I doubt I would have enjoyed it greatly.

I believe in balanced reviews, so it is important to note the positives. The premise itself is highly intriguing, and seemingly original. Focusing on the idea of a Firemaster and his abilitie
Loved this!

Meet my Francis Quoynt ...


Set in England in the early years of James I reign, in "The Firemaster's Mistress" Christie Dickason totally brings Shakespeare's London to life - the sights of people bustling through Southwark, barges laden with goods floating down the Thames, crowds of people watching the bearbaiting in the gardens; the sounds of street hawkers selling their wares and religious men telling the crowds about the evils of Catholicism, the applause at the theatre; and the sm
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meryl 2016
This is not a romance novel, neither is it really about the Firemaster's Mistress (Kate Peach) neither is she really his mistress so adjust your expectations accordingly.
The novel in essence is about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a plan so ambitious so it seems rooted in pure fiction. A mixed group of Catholic nobles and soldiers decide to blow up the houses of parliament with the king, all his retainers, nobles, court, ministers and family present.
They were to abduct his young daughter
Jan 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction, and while I largely only read about the monarchy, I was really looking forward to reading about another historical event. The plot was actually rather good, and I really enjoyed the investigative aspects and the double-crossing elements. If this book had been better edited, I actually would have given it a two-star rating. Alas.

Firstly, the book was too long and the sub-plots were stupid. There, I've said it. Kate feeding and talking to a bear?? What? Why? How is that
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually into historical fiction but this book was an exception for me. I found it on the shelf at a used book store, a little water damaged and just the right price. I was intrigued by the title and synopsis. I took it home, and subsequently took it with me everywhere for the next few days.

I was afraid it was going to be a romance novel but it turned out to be more than that. The love story starts out front and center and develops throughout the book, though doesn't turn out quite how yo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The ending of this book filled me with disappointment, and I suspect one of two scenarios. Either the author started writing a romance novel, then changed course following a nasty divorce/swearing off of men, or a publisher changed the name from "The Firemaster" to "The Firemaster's mistress." In short, I was expecting a romance novel, and this was not one.

While the first third of the book was certainly about the title "mistress" character and included some juicy details, the remainder cast her
Kim Hathorn
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1605 London

Firemaster Francis Quoynt has recently returned to England after fighting in the European wars. Employed by the military to make gunpowder, all he hopes to do is to repair his family home, pursue his love of making rockets and decorative fireworks, and live peacefully with his father.
Kate Peach is a glovemaker, and Catholic. Orphaned and made destitute by the plague, she is forced to make gloves under the radar in order to make ends meet, and to one day escape the clutches of a bruta
Linda Barry
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book, a wonderful twisted read through the early Stuart court. Really enjoyed character development and the use of intrigue to heighten emotion in the book. First book in a while, I had to not read at night as it gave me nightmares (yes I dreamed of soldier's coming to arrest me) decided to confine reading to day light hours.

Enjoyed the authors note at the end regarding the true history and her use of intellect to imagine what happened between the lines. Who knows, if history is wr
Aug 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because I like historical fiction, and it is a period and event that hasn't yet been overdone (I am so over the whole Tudor period). Unfortunately, it's a bit violent for my tastes, and I've a suspicion that it's going to end up a bit like the movie, 'Titanic' - we know Guido Fawkes is going to try and blow up the Houses of Parliament. Pretty impressed at the depth of some of the research, but sometimes that research is getting in the way of the actual story.

I eventually gave up
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This was an enjoyable read but failed on too many counts. First, there are two novels packed into one book. The story of Kate would have made a good book, Francis making the gunpowder another. Second, the romance was very heavy-handed and faintly implausible. Third, the sub-plot involving Hammick and the Pretender was contrived and unnecessary. But what I really object to is the way that a fictional character, Francis, is placed at the heart of the intrigues of the Gunpowder Plot. Historical no
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although this book had a fun fictitious account of the famous Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot (and I learned more than I ever needed or wanted to know about the production of gunpowder....) I wouldn't really recommend it. It was predictable and ho hum, and worst of all the several spanish phrases included were mooooostly wrong. Usually in verb tense, for instance, "se puede entrar" was translated directly below it into "Can I enter?" whilst it actually means "Can he/she enter" OR "You (formal) may ent ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many books set in the Jacobean era, and this one, centering around the infamous Gunpowder Plot was quite readable, although a little uneven. The main characters of Francis Quoynt, a firemaster (explosives expert) and his former lover Kate Peach, a feisty secret Catholic, were likeable and flawed enough to be interesting. I did find the other characters a little thinly drawn and kept forgetting which was which (probably my fault). The historical detail was interesting, but the conc ...more
PJ Ebbrell
It wasn't bad, but yet another story that has religious fundamentalists wanting to do their worse, but little realising that they had been rumbled and weren't going to back down.

Of course, it is unlikely that if they had succeed in their plot. It is likely that a more rabid form of protestant would have gripped these Islands.

I found it a very visual novel and there were some threads hanging, or I read to fast. Of how Kate met Francis first. An enjoyable, diverting read.
May 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read. Historical fiction during James I reign about the Gunpowder Plot. Although the book isn't as good as Philippa Gregory's books, it's a solid read and the story is a great one. Loved the character Boomer. The title should be "The Firemaster's" though because there wasn't enough story of the Mistress - which is a shame because she is an interesting character, but the story was not centered around her. If you like historical fiction, you should like this.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was suspenseful up until about page 475. After that was as if the author ran out of ideas or something. After all the buildup there was no climax or fantastic twist. I kept waiting for a surprise that never came and a lifetime love affair finally realized; neither of which happened. It was disappointing and I wish the author would have given as much thought to the ending as she did to the "meat" of the book.
Alisha Siddle
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys historical novels
An intriguing novel set in and around the gunpowder plot. The story is a very intresting take on a well documented time in British history. I found the charachters of Francis and Kate engaging.Chritie Dickason transports the reader to the 17th centrury with a evocative discription of sights and smells of the streets of London.I would highly recomend this book to anyone who enjoys historical novels
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one's about Guy Fawlkes & blowing up Parliment in 1605 ... something I didn't really know anything about, so I really enjoyed it. The writing wasn't the smoothest (this author is no Phillipa Gregory!) but it kept my interest and I really learned a lot about the Gunpowder plot and what was going on in England at that time. You know me ... I lived this time in previous lives so I felt right at home!
May 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldnt-finish
I did not finish this book. I couldn't get into it. I got to page 150 and realized there were other books I wanted to read and couldnt get into this one. I enjoyed Kate's story but feel like Francis's story was a snooze fest. I dislike starting books and not finishing them but I am gonna put this one back on the shelf for now and maybe try again later.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A find on the New Books shelf at my library. A fictional retelling of the Guy Fawkes plot (I was just discussing this with a Scottish guy at a Halloween party). I'm only 100 pages in so far, but am enjoying the cast of characters and the writing style. I'll be sure to check out the author's other novels on my next library outing.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 06, 2015 07:40AM  
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I started to write at the age of three, long before I could spell. Understandably, I hid my poems and (very) short stories from my English professor father, who could spell words like ‘desiccate’ and also insisted on correct grammar. All the same, he passed on to me his delight in books and words as well as his joy in pursuing intellectual curiosity. Under his influence, I learned to relish resear ...more
More about Christie Dickason...

Other Books in the Series

Francis Quoynt (2 books)
  • The Principessa (Francis Quoynt #2)

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