The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

The Outcasts of Time

December 1348. What if you had just six days to save your soul?With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nin...

Details The Outcasts of Time

TitleThe Outcasts of Time
Release DateJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherPegasus Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy

Reviews The Outcasts of Time

  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.In-depth race through history, under the guise of a novel.Once again, this was one of those books that I started, with no idea what to expect (it's much more fun that way, isn't it?). At the start, my head was fully blown. However, there were points in the middle when I was left scratching my head a little. Allow me to explain...The book follows two brothers at the ti...
  • Cathy
    It is several weeks since I finished this book and I’m still trying to decide what to make of it. I found it by turns puzzling, frustrating, impressive, thought-provoking, didactic and moving. Positioned as historical fiction, at times it seemed more like social history, political treatise, fantasy or philosophical debate. John’s and William’s journey is really a device to take the reader on a journey through time, charting changes in cloth...
  • Samantha
    This novel is beautiful in its prose, fascinating in its historical detail, and emotive in its themes on humanity and the passing of time. I was first drawn in by the promise that renowned historian Ian Mortimer would be taking readers on an adventure through time. Finding that this book does that while also making thought provoking statements on the human condition, I was helpless to put it down once I started it.The story of John of Wrayment an...
  • Pamela
    On the surface, Ian Mortimer’s The Outcasts of Time has everything an historical novel should have.  It was full of sumptuous description, historical accuracy, and a well-developed protagonist used to illustrate his own zeitgeist.  It is a shame then that no strength of writing could make up for the one thing that The Outcasts of Time was really lacking.  A plot.Within the first few pages, I was already worried that Ian Mortimer would go the...
  • Amanda
    I took a few days to think about my reaction to this, as I didn't want to say anything without consideration. But my gut reaction still stands: the structure here is repetitive and boring, and as a time travel piece, it's dull and theologically didactic. Once the narrative gets away from Mortimer's wheelhouse, even the detail and the events get rather sketchy and vague. But this is, to me, typical of writers pretending they're not working in a ge...
  • M.J.
    I received a free E-Arc from Netgalley.Ian Mortimer is a fantastic historian - looking at the past with new eyes and in so doing shedding light on events that are often, erroneously, presented as a fait accompli. For this reason, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to read and review his first work of fiction.The Outcasts of Time is a deeply intriguing novel, looking not at the past through our perception, but rather the future (which ...
  • Kate
    Bewitching, thought-provoking and increasingly powerful. A fantastic premise. 4.5 stars.
  • Latkins
    In this fantastic novel, historian Ian Mortimer expands on his Time Traveller's Guide series by offering us a fictional guide to centuries of change. It begins in 1348, at the height of the Black Death, as brothers John and William find themselves in dire straits in their home county of Devon. John is married with children, and wants to return home to find out if his family are okay, as all around the brothers people are dying from the plague. Th...
  • Anna
    "We are living on a frozen tears of our ancestors."Well, this quote summes up a good chunk of the book for ya.Trigger warning! for: abuse, multiple sexual assaults, violence.Also, if a religious talk tires you up, be prepared. Cause Johnny-boy can deliver that to a great extent.Wow.I feel things.And I don't know what to do with that at the moment...Knowing at least a little about Mortimer's previous books, this work of historical fiction comes as...
  • Cher
    3.5 stars - It was really good. The man who has no knowledge of the past has no wisdom.Such a fascinating synopsis and start to the book - A 14th century man contracts the plague and is visited by a supernatural being that explains his soul is currently destined to go to Hell. He has 7 days left to live; he can choose to live them out in his current time with his family, or spend each remaining day in a new century (plague-less), always 99 years...
  • Cheryl
    This book was a bit puzzling and strange, but I liked it. I actually had a hard time putting the book down. However, there is no strong basis for my liking the book, as I felt the plot was weak and the main characters philosophical thoughts took over and became excessive times. The character was likeable and I enjoyed the time travel aspect, even though it was rushed. I am left bemused on why I liked the book.
  • Ophelia Sings
    This reader is accustomed to travelling through time with the wonderful Ian Mortimer. His acclaimed Time Traveller's Guides provide vivid windows on the past which are at once entertaining, sobering and endlessly informative. But Mortimer, it seems, is not content with transporting us to one era at a time; in The Outcasts of Time, the reader is taken on a whistle-stop through six centuries of tumultuous history. It's an ambitious undertaking, but...
  • Annemarie Macken
    A brilliantly written and thought-provoking book, which ensures the reader is not only taken on a journey through time and history, but also that they take the time to search their own selves for what it means to be truly good or do a truly good act. The soul-searching is prevalent throughout the book and it is through the thoughts and angst of the protagonist, John, that we are able to explore a range of thoughts and feelings about humanity, lov...
  • Christina
    The journey taken by the reader throughout this book is extraordinary. One of those rare feats in the meshing of genres of fiction, Mortimer successfully combines time travel, historical fiction, road trip, and adventure with the examination of humankind, morality, religion, acceptance, and philanthropy.The main character, John of Wrayment (whose name occasionally gets butchered by time), and his brother William are the titular outcasts of time a...
  • Jason Wilson
    Via audible . An attempted act of kindness that goes hideously wrong leads to an odd pact with conscience that six more days shall be lived but 99 years shall be leaped each day till a final redemptive kindness is performed . This leads to a well written medieval view of the modern world through snapshots of different eras , and though the time zone shifts do get repetitive the payoff is worthwhile generally albeit in philosophical terms owing pe...
  • Anya Leonard
    Ian Mortimer is a master. The book opens on our two main characters, william and John in plague-ridden England. Through a series of misfortunes our friends travel throughout time and see how their area begins to change. I admit to a strange fascination with the plague so I was hooked from the first on this account, but the descriptive language and the very meticulously researched historical basis kept me going throughout the book.Not only was it ...
  • Maria
    I was struggling whether it’s a 2 stars book or a 3 stars one for me. Let’s say it’s 2.5. I had a lot of problems with this book. First, I personally hate religious talk. And for the most of the book that’s all the main character does. It gets tiring. A lot. Second, I myself am not strong in history, let alone a British one, since I am not British. So at times I really struggled to get the picture the author was painting for us. Having li...
  • Robert Tostevin
    I bought this book whilst I was still reading Ian Mortimer's "Edward III: The Perfect King" as I wanted to see whether his fiction writing was as engaging as his historical narrative. In a nutshell, it was. Indeed the story starts from the time of Edward III in December 1348 when the country is in the grip of the Black Death and brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But they are given an unexpected choice: eith...
  • Stephen
    This is a really good book. I like the idea it contains, and it is well executed. The basic idea is that a pair of brothers in 1348 are infected by the plague. As they are dying, a spiritual entity informs them that they have six days to live. They can live those days in 1348, or they can live each day 99 years after the preceding one. The brothers opt for the latter rather than the former and we follow them in their travels through time.It is in...
  • Heleen
    The fact that this book is written by a renowned historian, makes the (historic) details not only pop out and feel realistic, but actually feel completely true as well. As a linguist myself, I was slightly concerned at the beginning that different speech patterns and language changes would not be taken into account while John and William were time travelling, but I was pleasantly surprised that most characters they encountered through the ages no...
  • megs_bookrack
    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Wow - what a book! I know I will be processing this one in my mind for a while - thank heavens for Kindle highlighting. I did a lot of highlighting during the course of reading this book, not because the concepts were difficult to understand or follow but because they were so meaningful. Ian Mortimer, as many know, is a wonderful historian, and he doesn't dis...
  • Rebecca Hill
    What would you do if you knew that you were dying? Would you take your fate and hope for the best, or try and make a deal?John and William are two brothers who are living through the black plague. As people die around them, they work on getting back home, just hoping that they can make it alive. As they pass the dead and dying, John wonders about his soul, and whether he would make it to heaven or not. As they pass a young couple on the road, Joh...
  • Jacey
    It’s December 1348 and the plague is raging through the West Country. Two brothers, John and William come across a dead couple with a squalling baby and John saves the baby even though William urges him to leave it to die. It turns out that John should have listened. The baby is already infected and the woman they have asked to wet-nurse it now catches plague along with her father. The brothers believe that they will soon die and go to Hell. Th...
  • Elisabeth Bibbings
    This is an amazing book, with a complicated plot involving time travel, redemption, war, and an ordinary man struggling to save his soul.John of Wrayment (aka John Drayman, aka John Everyman) and his brother William are travelling through plague-stricken England when they encounter an orphan baby with his dead parents. John, moved by compassion, takes the child and finds him a nurse - only to realise with horror that he has brought plague and cer...
  • Bee
    (This review can also be found here: is by far the most quotable novel I have ever read. Mortimer is definitely one of the most skilled writers of our time, in language and through his imagination. His ability to manipulate the reader to feel exactly how he wants them to feel is to be admired.So this poignant story follows two men faced with purgatory if, ...
  • Ashley Rae
    ***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS**The Outcasts of Time is a time traveling book that follows the last six days of one man's life.When John makes the decision to help a baby with the plague in the mid-1300s, his life--and the life of his brother, William--are forever changed. When both brothers come down with the plague, they are given a choice by a holy entity: live out the rest of the days in their own time and die, or repent and save their souls b...
  • Sarah
    This book was fascinating. We all know how fabulous a historian Mortimer is, but I didn't know what to expect from his fiction. He manages to weave fact and fiction together seamlessly.It's a story about faith, and about fear of retribution and a genuine need to do good works. It's about a man that travels through centuries with the sole aim of helping people. He meets a variety of humankind; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It remains positive t...
  • Jill Meyer
    I don't read many time travel books, so I'm not sure how important my review of "The Outcasts of Time", will be, but I sure enjoyed the book. Ian Mortimer has taken two men - brothers - from the Devon area of England, in the year 1348 and catapulted them into the future, 99 years every day for six days. John de Wraymont is a mason, who has done a lot of work on the beautiful Exeter cathedral. He's a good family man, with a loving wife and three s...
  • Johanne
    Oh I so wanted to like this book - I love the Time Traveller's Guides but sadly the fictional offering is much weaker. There is no plot to speak of just a 7 day 700 year wander through time. Secondly and probably there is far too much moralising and a surprisingly romantic view of the how much better life /people were in the past - it felt almost UKIP'y; an Anti-Whig view of history! And religion...don't start me on the treatment of religion...On...