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Forged in the Fire

Forged in the Fire

4.3 6
by Ann Turnbull

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Star-crossed young lovers triumph over religious intolerance, social disgrace and epic historical events in this thrilling sequel

London, 1665. Cast out by his father for becoming a Quaker, the newly independent Will travels from the countryside to London to earn a living. He and his beloved Susanna wait patiently to be reunited and, at last, married. But


Star-crossed young lovers triumph over religious intolerance, social disgrace and epic historical events in this thrilling sequel

London, 1665. Cast out by his father for becoming a Quaker, the newly independent Will travels from the countryside to London to earn a living. He and his beloved Susanna wait patiently to be reunited and, at last, married. But when Will is thrown into jail for his beliefs, the pair’s future becomes uncertain. With the plague spreading closer and the scent of smoke on the wind, can their love still bring them together despite the most terrifying twists of fate? Will and Susanna’s timeless romance continues in this powerful sequel to NO SHAME, NO FEAR.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Claire Rosser
The first book about William and Susanna, No Shame, No Fear, was selected as an ALA Best Book for YAs, among other honors, despite the challenge of a historical novel set in 17th-century England. This sequel takes place in 1666 (the year of the great London fire), a few years after the events in the first book. William and Susanna have been separated for three years. William has been in London, writing to Susanna who is still in the countryside. He is imprisoned for his faith (he has become a Quaker because of his love for Susanna) and witnesses the horrors of the plague. The great drama of this sequel, however, begins halfway through this book, when Susanna journeys to London to join William. At first, they are estranged, but they do eventually resolve their problems and marry. Some months later, with Susanna pregnant, they suffer through the great fire, told in dramatic detail by Turnbull. Being part of the Quaker community means everything to them, even after they are eventually reconciled to William's father and all he offers them. Readers will learn through this story of the religious persecutions in England during that time, a reason so many British emigrated to the New World. The dramatic cover will help attract YAs.
VOYA - Florence H. Munat
Three years have passed since Will and Susanna pledged to marry at a Quaker meeting despite severe persecution of the Friends by the English establishment in the 1660s. In this sequel to No Shame, No Fear (Candlewick, 2004/VOYA February 2005), the two have lived apart during this time-he assisting a London bookseller; she working at a village print works-in order to save money and test their relationship, which has been maintained by letters. Just as they are about to be reunited, the Plague hits London. The city gates are locked to contain the epidemic, and Will is trapped. He lands in Newgate Prison for expressing his religious beliefs, and there he contracts fever ague. Fearing for his life, some Friends pay his release fine, which allows Will to recuperate at the home of a prosperous Quaker. When Susanna travels to London, she discovers him in an elegant home, wearing good clothes, and singing with a beautiful girl. After much confusion, the situation is clarified, and they marry as planned. Their happy life is shattered by another catastrophe, the 1666 London fire that virtually destroys the city. But Will and Susanna persevere, and at the end they have reconciled with Will's Anglican father and have a baby son. The story unfolds in Will's and Susanna's alternating points of view, a technique that enables dramatic irony to advance the plot. Historical detail of London is fascinating; the plague and the fire are memorably described. The courage and confidence of these star-crossed lovers is uplifting, as is their dedication to their faith and friends.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
In this sequel to Turnbull's No Shame, No Fear, young lovers Will and Susanna are separated from each other by prison (Will is jailed for his Quaker beliefs), plague (the London Plague of 1665), and fire (the conflagration that destroyed most of London that same year). In chapters alternating between the viewpoints of Will and Susanna, Turnbull skillfully recreates the tumultuous events of a terrifying year in English history. While the novel begins a bit slowly, as Will and Susanna spend months apart simply waiting for their reunion, Turnbull excels at making her characters' actions and reactions convincing throughout: including the misunderstandings and jealousies that can occur after a long separation and the joy of ultimate reconciliation and recommitment. The novel unflinchingly depicts the extent and cruelty of prejudice against Quakers. Will is chained brutally in prison for a trumped-up offense; other Quakers are torn from their families to be deported and left to die aboard their prison ship. The novel is also striking, and satisfying, in its innocent and beautiful portrayal of sexual love—yes, deeply religious Quakers do have and enjoy sex! Readers will feel that they have fully shared the lives and times of Will and Susanna, and have been forged in their same fire.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
This powerful novel continues the 17th-century love story about young Quakers begun in No Shame, No Fear (Candlewick, 2004). Susanna spends three years in apprenticeship at Mary Faulkner's printing shop while Will travels to London with Nat, seeking gainful employment and enough stability to marry his sweetheart. But life is difficult: the plague is taking a fierce toll on Londoners, and the authorities are cracking down on Quaker meetings. Turnbull has created an even deeper work in Forged in the Fire , full of tension on a multiplicity of levels. The overwhelming losses of life and livelihood associated with the plague are realistically portrayed. The London Fire of 1666 is vivid and devastating, yet hope literally arises from its ashes. More than just a love story, this tale is historical fiction at its best, full of details and characters who make the past breathe. One can only hope that Turnbull has plans to pursue the carefully chosen ending into another tale of Quaker England.
—Melissa MooreCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Three years have passed since Will and Susanna pledged their troth in No Shame, No Fear (2004), and now, at last, they make plans to marry. Before Will can leave London to join Susanna, however, he's thrown in jail for protesting the imprisonment of his fellow Quakers. Soon London authorities cease their religious persecution in the teeth of a far graver danger: the plague. Will survives, but the family who employed him dies-and then the city catches fire. A worthy sequel, this seamlessly blends Will and Susanna's story into a vivid historical framework-the booksellers of London work frantically to house their wares in stone church crypts to keep them from burning, but it's all in vain. Most believable, and affecting, is the way Susanna gradually leads Will to reconciliation with his stern Protestant father. Lovely. (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.18(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The clouds of smoke were lit by vivid flame, and when we went outside, we found ourselves choking, gasping for breath, the air thick with smoke-borne fragments.

I heard an explosion and saw a sudden uprush of fire - as high as a house. It was followed by screaming and the appearance of frightened people struggling up the lane toward us with horses, carts, children, bundles of belongings. The roar and crackle of the fire, screaming and shouting and rumble of carts, brought me to a state of panic.

Will turned to me. "Thou should go, Susanna. I'll come later."

"I will not go!" Tears stung my eyes, but they were half of rage. My voice rose. "Don't ask me to leave thee! I will not go!"

"Do not brawl with me in public! It is unseemly -"

"I care not if it is! I won't leave without thee!"

"There is danger -"

"If there's danger, we'll share it."

He seized me by the shoulders. "Thou'll do as I say! I want thee to be safe. Our Friends are waiting."

He was right. I knew it. And I knew I must give way in the end. But my heart was against it. I had such fear for him: of the fire itself, the desperate crowds, the great mass of people at the gates.

I made a last stand. "They say thousands are fleeing. We'll never find each other again!"

"Of course we will. Friends will help us."

"I don't want to leave thee," I said. But my voice was small now; he knew he'd won.


Meet the Author

Ann Turnbull has written many books for young readers, including NO SHAME, NO FEAR, as well as NO FRIEND OF MIND, HOUSE OF GHOSTS, MAROO OF THE WINTER CAVES, and SPEEDWELL. She lives in Shropshire, England.

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Forged in the Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
The streets of 17th-Century London come alive in author Ann Turnbull's FORGED IN THE FIRE. The sequel to Turnbull's 2006 NO SHAME, NO FEAR, this well-written novel stands alone, dually answering readers' current questions while offering just enough ambiguity to pique their interest in the prequel.

Romance is alive and well in the plague-infested streets of 1665 London. But, times are hard and death is rampant, especially for Quakers such as Will and Susanna, who find themselves fighting against a close-minded religious establishment in addition to disease and poverty. Readers are left to breathlessly concede that a happy ending, no matter how deserved, is far from guaranteed.

Turnbull is skilled at entertaining readers while covertly educating them. Her scenes are full and powerful, bringing excitement and history to the forefront, yet never overpowering or heavy-handed. Readers will fall wholeheartedly into the love story of Will and Susanna, while simultaneously aching for the thousands of actual lives truly lost to sickness, disaster and ignorance in the London of yesteryear.

This, readers will understand, was a time of great fear, but not a time beyond equally great faith: "We ate with relish and felt glad to be alive," recalls Will. "The plague was in the city--but danger was always present. We must go about our lives as usual and trust in God" (p. 25).
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I've also read no shame, no fear and loved that as well. This book was beautifully written with a love story that any reader from any time period can relate to. This story is both captivating and compelling and the end was great because it concluded happily. Overall it was GREAT!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book to read. It is the sequel to No Shame No Fear. I love how she ended it, it wasn't horrible! Yay! Haha. Well, I am glad i read this book and I hope you read it too.