Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

The Queen’s Wizard by John and Patricia Beatty

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The grating crash of the metal bold on the gate behind them signals the end of the quiet country life Nicholas Quill and his younger brother Peter have always known.  The tall,  narrow mansion, looming before them like a besieged fortress on the Thames, closets a strange and eerie world of occult arts and inexplicable intrigues.  Within that forbidding house Dr. Griffin, the “wizard of Mortlake,” reigns supreme, making predictions and casting horoscopes for the great and powerful of Elizabethan England – including the mighty Queen herself.

Nicholas’ growing involvement with the wizard leads him into the very center of court intrigue and dangerous plots, culminating in a spine-chilling climax – the discovery of a plot against the life of the monarch.  While faithfully recreating an exciting period and a little-known aspect of English history, the Beattys have written an irresistible novel of suspense.

For readers age 12 and older.



The Earl of Northumberland dismisses his hot-tempered servant, Tom Quill, with his two sons Nicholas and Peter, the latter just seriously injured. Life in London means death from smallpox for the father, no improvement for the demented Peter; eleven-year-old Nicholas takes his brother to the wizard of Mortlake for help. There Peter, never cured, becomes a “scryer” for the elderly astrologer and Nicholas becomes his apprentice, getting an education and carrying messages to the highest-born of England. He records Elizabeth Tudor’s declining years, the start of King James’ reign, the Gunpowder Plot. The ending leaves things unaltered—the household at Mortlake to continue its stargazing, Peter to remain forever incurable.
— Kirkus Reviews
Such a great telling of the evolution of ‘sorcery’ and how it was treated during Elizabethan times. I only realized after I finished the story that I learned a whole lot about historical England and events. What a great way to learn!
— B*Huss
The Beattys once again display their ability to tell and exciting story. Based on incidents in early seventeenth-century England, this tale…leads the reader through the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth into that of James of Scotland… Ranks well above the average [young adult] historical novel.
— Library Journal