PETRUS Ursem, the Cornwall-based, Dutch-born printmaker, has established a second career as the author of exciting young adult novels, the Steven Honest trilogy which reaches its dramatic finale with Black As Ink.
The books follow the mysterious inheritance Steven receives from a long-dead mine captain, Thomas Carpenter, who lived in the old house where he and his widowed mother live, not far from the Tamar valley.
It’s an area that Petrus and his musician-singer-composer wife Helen Porter know well, and a sense of place – Cornwall’s mining legacy, the dramatic and history-heavy craggy tors, hidden valleys and woodlands, and ancient villages of Dartmoor – is one of the defining characteristics of the trilogy.
The stories are full of interesting and engaging characters, adventurous and talented young people, old rock musicians, sinister doctors and the voices of the old miners who worked the dangerous tin mines.
Black As Ink draws the threads together. It is cleverly paced, a real page-turner, linking Steven’s story, the mystery of his late father and the band that his friend Isabella sings with.
It’s an amazing achievement to create such a convincing background, writing in his second language and evoking the extraordinary atmosphere – historic and geographic – of the landscapes of his adopted West Country home.
To order Black As Ink, and its predecessors, The Fortune of the Seventh Stone and The Truth Teller, contact the author’s website, www.petrus-ursem.co.uk