A trilogy for readers aged 8 to 12 (and up!), to be published by Scholastic from 2018.
This is the plan. So far.
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.
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 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 then Viking ships appear 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.
Header image: A German Heinkel He 111 bomber flying over the Isle of Dogs in the East End of London at the start of the Luftwaffe’s evening raids on 7 September 1940, the first day of the Blitz. Copyright: © IWM.