June 26, 2022
Where will Sangster go next?
If you enjoyed travelling through The Face Stone country of England's North West with Sangster then you might be interested in finding out more about the locations where the sequel, Angel’s Blade, is set, the area around Cornwall’s River Fal Estuary.
Like many of the locations in The Face Stone, much of this beautiful corner of Britain (I don’t say ‘corner of England’ - this is Cornwall!), has barely changed since 1970 when the events of Angel's Blade take place.
For anyone unfamiliar with the area, the Fal Estuary comprises a large expanse of sheltered water, the main body of which is called ‘Carrick Roads’ (from the Cornish for 'Rock Anchorage'), a deep water haven roughly four miles long and over a mile wide that opens into Falmouth Bay on Cornwall's southern Atlantic coast. The Fal (nobody seems quite sure where the name comes from), is a designated special conservation area with surprisingly little industrial use given it is the third largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney and Rio. Technically a ‘ria’ (the term for sunken ice-age river valleys like the ones you find all along Cornwall’s south coast), the Fal also boasts many more miles of waterways, with numerous smaller creeks leading off the main harbour (some navigable by boat, some only accessible in the canoes of the shallowest draft at high tide). These wooded tidal inlets, and the towns, villages, and individual buildings found on their banks, are quite capable of hiding all sorts of secrets (as Sangster finds out).
This all makes a perfect setting for Angel's Blade, because when you add this special geography of the Fal to the distinct sense of ‘difference’ found throughout Cornwall (emanating from such things as its own celtic language, lands steeped in history and legend, unique names for places and people, millenia of mining and seafaring traditions...), then throw in an unusually mild climate, unlike most other parts of Cornwall let alone the rest of Britain, you get a heady atmosphere ripe for mystery.
And for anyone already familiar with the area, I'd like to quote someone River Fal born and bred (from countless generations) who said to me that every day there is something new to see on the river. Indeed, even though my family lived there for over twenty years and I’ve visited many times since, the place never ceases to surprise; a hitherto unknown piece of history here, an unexplored ruin there, a woodland path previously overlooked, an undiscovered ancient inn, an unspoilt hamlet visited for the first time - so the Fal keeps giving.
We’ll be posting more information about the settings in Angel’s Blade, as well as some of the inspirations behind its plot, closer to the publication date of 28 October 2022, so please look out for additional material appearing in the ‘Beyond the Mystery’ section of lewishinton.com.
In the meantime I’ll be very happy to any answer questions I can about the book’s settings (but no spoilers!).