Book Review: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

June 19, 2019


The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer is a fantasy novel following two brothers, born in the mid-1300s, who jump forward 99 years for every day that passes. Dr. Mortimer is an award winning historian and novelist.

  • 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1681776162

Book Review: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer
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I saw a recommendation on one of the book related groups I frequent regularly for The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer, the premise sounded very interesting so I picked it up. I really enjoyed seeing the world through alien eyes, all the wonders of the last 4 centuries which we take for granted seem as miracles. The book also reminds us that nothing is permanent, no matter how it looks at the moment.

If I didn’t already know that Mr. Mortimer is a historian, I most likely would have guessed it. The book is filled with great concept and historical detail. Mr. Mortimer does a great job showing many aspects of change, and how they affect our travelers who see them through eyes without proper context or personal and societal historical reference.

The story is set around the city of Exeter, Devon. William, one of the brothers, has worked on the cathedral in the area, which is a central focal point for him and the reader as well as a vehicle of change throughout the narrative. Noting how the cathedral has changed over the years allows the reader, through William, to gauge the changes through the centuries.

Even though this is a time-travel story, there are no heavy elements of fantasy or science-fiction. The brothers simply wake up in the next century, observe the differences (usually shocked by the way religion has changed) and continue. Could you imagine someone from the 1300s waking up to see planes during World War II?

I enjoyed this book very much, the pacing is off sometimes but the nuances of the story game me some points to think about.


England is being ravaged by the Black Death during December 1348. Two brothers, John and William, contract the disease and know they will die shortly. The two brothers are given a choice: spend their last six days in their own world, or search across time for their remaining days.

The next six days, the brothers travel 99 years into the future each day, they are challenged each day to understand the world around them, and find out that things they took for granted are short lived. The many aspects of changer and human condition from one century to another are descriptive and fascinating to see through different eyes.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book from the local library.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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