The Second Blast of the Trumpet
by Marie Macpherson

Paperback Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
Paperback; 978-1-910282-10-6

Series: Knox Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction



1559. Freed after a stint in the galleys, the Scottish Reformer John Knox is fired up with his mission as God’s messenger to strike at the roots of papistry. Prophet without honor in his own land, he is welcomed as chaplain to Edward VI in England. But by challenging the liturgy of the English Protestant Church, he makes dangerous enemies. With Edward’s untimely death and the accession of the Catholic Mary Tudor, Knox is forced to flee her fires of persecution. Despite the ever-present peril of capture, the fiery Scot criss-crosses Europe to ask the leading Reformation scholars his burning question – whether it is lawful to depose an ungodly monarch. While no answer is forthcoming, his plea has not gone unheeded. Someone is willing to commit regicide in his name. When the Protestant Elizabeth I succeeds the throne, Knox hopes to return with his young wife and family and resume his mission in England. However, while the charismatic preacher may have attracted a flock of female admirers, his polemical tract, The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, has antagonized Queen Elizabeth. But will Knox be welcome in Scotland where the Lords of the Congregation are plotting revolution in the name of religion? Where his godmother, Elisabeth Hepburn, and the queen regent, Marie de Guise, are striving to stem the rising tide of reform and keep the throne for Mary Queen of Scots? Will the secret assassin achieve his aim? The Second Blast of the Trumpet not only dramatizes the trials and tribulations the Scottish firebrand faces in his fight against idolatry and adultery but peels away the layers of this contradictory character to reveal a friend, husband and lover of women – in striking contrast to the Calvinistic, misogynistic caricature of popular imagination.


‘This is no dour Calvinist slog. Instead it’s a page-turner from beginning to end, fusing wider themes like the Reformation with the intensely personal story of Elisabeth Hepburn as she struggles against oppressors who include her godson John Knox.’ — Scottish Field
‘The author deftly tackles a very complicated, emotionally charged subject and brings it to life with historical and emotional accuracy.’ — The Historical Novel Society

‘Historically convincing, full of action and excitement … This book creates a dramatic narrative against a background of Scotland in political and religious turmoil.’ — Lexie Conyngham, Author, Death in a Scarlet Gown, Murray of Letho Series

‘The brutal, earthy world of the 16th century seems real and immediate, laced with saving humour. The thrilling narrative is evocative and descriptive.’ — Ann McMillan, Honorary President of the Dorothy Dunnett Society

‘Essential reading for anyone with an interest in this period of Scotland’s history, and for anyone who wants to know just how good historical fiction can be.’ — Undiscovered Scotland

‘A story told in a language that pulses with real characters living their lives in the moment, surrounded as they were by religious and political turmoil… Marie Macpherson has brought them to vivid fictional life.’ — Tom Murray, Author, Poet and Playwright, Sins of the Father, The Skull; Sons of War; Soldiers Tale; I am Flodden

About the Author

Hailing from the historic Honest Toun of Musselburgh, six miles from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Marie Macpherson (née Gilroy) developed a love for literature and languages from an early age. Brought up on the site of the Battle of Pinkie and within sight of Fa’side Castle, she was haunted by tales and legends from the past. Though she has travelled widely, teaching languages and literature across Europe from Madrid to Moscow, she has never lost her passion for the rich history and culture of her native Scotland.

For more information please visit Marie’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.