Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
Through The Nethergate illustrates the author’s ability to write an engaging tale which not only entertains the reader but weaves in historical facts against the backdrop of a ghostly setting.
Poor 16 year old Margaret has been recently bereaved, both her parents have died and she is now living with her Grandfather. Soon it becomes clear that she has a gift, the ability to transform ghosts to become more human in appearance.
There follows an age old battle between good versus evil, with characters as examples throughout history, (Heinruch Himmler, Reingard Heydritch and Adolf Eichmann,) and a clever part showcasing the potential danger of technological advances, (the dark web and terrorism,) to the soul of man.
Events unfold with Lucifer, two priests, a black cat, Hugh Bigod, (who has held the ghosts trapped – in his form as the black dog,) haunted bungay characters: Lizzie Bowlynge, Rex Bacon, Katherine de Montacute, Henry Scarle, and the infant serial killer Amelia Dyer, John Collins, Nero, Caligula and the incarnates.
Some historical figures were mentioned briefly while others played a bigger part in the tale. Perhaps a deep connection to a single character is lost somewhat due to the number of characters embodied in the narrative.
Of them all, I particularly was fascinated by the true life story of John Collins and the political discussions in the tale.
The pace and excitement picks up in the second half of the book which I really enjoyed. The ending is fantastic. It is a clever, ambitious, unusual and imaginative tale, just what you would expect from Roberta Cheadle.
Recommended for those who enjoy horror, dark and ghost tales and YA fiction.
About Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:
* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and
* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has ten children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.
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Thanks for the great review, on Robbie’s also very history teaching novel, Marje. I love these inwoven parts, and the discussion. Best wishes, Michael
Hi Michael, thank you for your words of encouragement and support.
Thank you Michael. It’s a great read. 🙂
Good review! It’s good to see Cheadle’s book highlighted here. She’s a talented storyteller, and she always weaves something historical in her stories.
Yes she does and she is a talented storyteller. Enjoyable read. 🙂
Hi Priscilla, thank you for your encouragement. I am a big history fan.
Hi Marje, I am pleased you enjoyed Through the Nethergate, my first attempt at a novel. I still like this book and enjoy Margaret. Have a lovely new week.
I did, and enjoyed Margaret too. Hope your week’s going well. 🙂
Hi Marje, I thought I had left a comment thanking you for your review. I’m pleased you enjoyed this book. My first attempt at a novel and close to my heart.
Hi Robbie, my pleasure. Ah, debut novels are always close to the heart! Fantastic idea for a story. Well done. 🙂
Thank you, Marje.
A fabulous review for Robbie’s book – congratulations to her. Toni x
Hi Toni. Yes indeed. Robbie is a wonderful author who I admire so much. x