Adventure Books Fiction Historical Fiction review

Blood In The Dust by Bill Swiggs – Review

Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure
Published: November 2019
Publisher: Bonnier
Pages: 388
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋/5

Yeah, Pad. Whatever happens, we are together.

Bill Swiggs, Blood in the Dust

Set in Victoria, Australia 1853 in the midst of the gold rush. Toby and younger brother Paddy find themselves orphaned and alone after their parents are brutally murdered in front of them at their homestead by bushrangers and then swindled out of their family home by a local businessman. As they try to survive and find their feet, they meet an English family, The Hockings who came to Australia to make a better life for themselves and end up forming an alliance. We follow the highs and the lows of the brothers’ adventure as they set out to right the wrongs done to them and to regain their family fortune as they vow to get back what is rightfully theirs.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, Toby.”

I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading recently and I have been really pleasantly surprised by all these gems that I would never have even thought about picking up before.
Blood In The Dust is the story about brotherhood and overcoming adversity. It is a story that emphasizes the importance of family and how family doesn’t need to be blood. 

I enjoyed this fantastic piece of historical fiction, set in the midst of the Australian Gold Rush in the 1850s where immigrants left their countries and homes to try and strike it rich in the gold mines. There was a massive influx of people into the area and at the time men were leaving secure jobs hoping make a fortune. This in turn caused massive labour shortages. As you can imagine, the government was not very happy about this. I enjoyed reading up a bit about the gold rush in Australia at the time and about the riots that took place between the government and minors due to the exorbitant mining license fees.

The story alternates between the story of Toby, Paddy and the Hockings and then the story of the bushrangers. It’s easy to become attached to the characters, you feel their pain and sadness and you feel their joy. Overall this is a captivating and beautifully written novel, I can see why it has won an award ☺️

If you are looking to branch out and read more historical fiction that has a little bit of everything then I would highly recommend this book. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

2 replies on “Blood In The Dust by Bill Swiggs – Review”

That’s great! I’m so glad to hear that.
I only recently started branching out and reading historical fiction and I’m so glad that I did. This book is perfect if you are looking to branch out. Like I mentioned, there’s a bit of something for everyone ☺️


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