Listen free for 30 days

  • The Swift and the Harrier

  • By: Minette Walters
  • Narrated by: Emma Gregory
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
The Swift and the Harrier cover art

The Swift and the Harrier

By: Minette Walters
Narrated by: Emma Gregory
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £19.00

Buy Now for £19.00

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel cover art
The Good Wife of Bath cover art
Fitz Darcy and the Drowned Heiress cover art
The Bookseller of Inverness cover art
That Bonesetter Woman cover art
The Royal Game cover art
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr cover art
The Three Musketeers (AmazonClassics Edition) cover art
A Marriage of Fortune cover art
All the Murmuring Bones cover art
Stranger at the Dower House cover art
Every Earl Has a Silver Lining cover art
The Rogue's Widow cover art
The King's Jewel cover art
The Black Madonna cover art
The Midwife cover art

Summary

Dorset, 1642.

When bloody civil war breaks out between the king and Parliament, families and communities across England are riven by different allegiances.

A rare few choose neutrality.

One such is Jayne Swift, a Dorset physician from a royalist family, who offers her services to both sides in the conflict. Through her dedication to treating the sick and wounded, regardless of belief, Jayne becomes a witness to the brutality of war and the devastation it wreaks.

Yet her recurring companion at every event is a man she should despise because he embraces civil war as the means to an end. She knows him as William Harrier but is ignorant about every other aspect of his life. His past is a mystery and his future uncertain.

©2021 Minette Walters (P)2022 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"The Swift and the Harrier is a sweeping tale of adventure and loss, sacrifice and love, with a unique and unforgettable heroine at its heart. Both gripping and fascinating. The civil war in Dorset is evoked brilliantly, the characters are real and intriguing and the love story tender." (Elizabeth Buchan)

"I loved every moment of this brilliantly evocative saga of struggle, love and danger set against the horrors of civil war." (S W Perry, best-selling author of the Jackdaw Mysteries)

What listeners say about The Swift and the Harrier

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    99
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GC
  • 13-11-21

Excellent

A very enjoyable read. Likeable characters that I missed when the book ended. Great narration. Well worth a credit.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!

The one thing I’d say is at the beginning there is a grisly description of people being hung drawn and quartered - which I’m not sure was entirely necessary. Realising , I skipped it and don’t feel this harmed what was then a very good story…. Didn’t want it to end.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story about a little known period of history.

This was a really interesting book. It was set in the English Civil War, which is a period of history that I know very little about. The main character, Jane Swift, is a female physician, which was almost unheard of in the 17th century. The story relates to her experience of the war, and the difficulty of staying neutral when almost everyone else is taking sides. The medicine she practices is described in detail, which is fascinating. There is a satisfying love story in the midst of all the medical and social history. The narration is good, but, like other reviewers, I couldn’t really understand why the narrator had to adopt a very decided Dorset accent to tell the story. I got used to it, but initially it was rather irritating!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another win for Walters

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel from the great Minette Walters. Having listened to and enjoyed all of Stella Rileys Roundheads and Cavalier series, which I highly recommend, I was interested to know how another author would draw the events and characters of the first English Civil War and I was not disappointed. I love the central characters of Jane and William and their independent journeys through this troubled period. This is a rather slow and ponderous novel and the Author takes the time to flesh out all of the characters we meet. An excellent read I highly recommend

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Feminist reimagining of history?

I struggled to finish because it felt too predictable. Jane is too perfect, William too stereotypical.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric and enjoyable

Very different from other novels I've read by the author. An engaging story of the conflicts among families adhering to different sides in the Civil War that ended in the execution of Charles the First. The fictional characters come to life and their struggles draw one into the realities of the sufferings of war on both the soldiers and civilians. I enjoyed the book aided by an excellent narrator.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant listen

I loved it. A fantastic narrator, which brought to life a cracking story about such a significant period of our history.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed it

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. brilliantly researched and factually correct. Likeable characters. Narration was perfect. One of the most enjoyable audible books I have had.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining enough to stick with.

Strong female character always appreciated as was the attention to historical detail. The interplay between characters was a tad predictable , characters tended towards limiting stereotypes, overall entertaining enough, leaving reader with impression that the next chapters in the narrative will hold more challenge as social and political fallout play out.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Could not findih soo boring

Plodding and mondane, one dimentional characters that raised more questions than answers, with no explanation or clarification as to why they are the way they are or why they do what they do.

The story was boring and really didn't do anything for me, to the point where I can't even remember what it was about.

I gave up at around halfway, figuring, if it had not improved by this point then it probably won't any further.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful