The Firewatcher Chronicles

A trilogy for readers aged 8 to 12 (and up!),  published by Scholastic.


Book one: Brimstone

December 1940. London lad Christopher Larkham finds an ancient Roman ring, inscribed with a phoenix, on the bank of the Thames.

As German bombs fall on his city to create the greatest firestorm of the Blitz, Christopher takes shelter underground with his neighbours. He pushes open a hidden door, and steps out of the Second World War onto the river bank centuries ago, facing the Great Fire of London – and even greater danger on his return.

Brimstone is out now.

Brimstone front cover

Brimstone is an exciting book and Christopher is a most engaging character… Gardiner has brought together many strands, time travel, history and action, all rolled into one exciting adventure that will prove fascinating for the reader.


Coming next year!

Book two: Phoenix

May 1941. The Blitz is reaching its fiery climax. Christopher tries to go back to 1666; to find his new friends and learn more about the power of his phoenix ring.

Instead, he finds himself in a deserted city, overlooking a smaller, older river port town known as Lundenwic, where the Anglo-Saxon community faces an invasion by the dreaded Vikings.

Christopher must discover why the ring has brought him here, and how to get back to his own time. But there are Viking ships on the Thames, and their warriors threaten to burn the city and conquer the whole of England.

Book three: Vigil

August 1944. The war is finally turning against Hitler, but he has one last secret weapon: flying bombs, sent to destroy the City of London. But Christopher only cares about solving the riddle of the phoenix ring. He journeys back to its source: early Roman Londinium, now surrounded on all sides by the armies of the British queen, Boudica.

With help from a slave girl, Fortunata, Christopher learns the secrets of the ancient Roman fire-watchers, the Vigiles: but unknown to him, a sinister figure from 1666 has followed him through time. The chase takes Christopher and Fortunata through the battle for Londinium, then across the centuries, to a rebuilt 17th century London where Christopher and his friends finally untangle the truth.