Tom Durwood

Young Adult Fiction

Here readers will find a trove of old-fashioned adventure stories, tales which feature brave teen protagonists at turning points in world history.  These pages are filled with swashbuckling fights, love triangles, treachery, hidden identities, assassins, and deeper themes of global narratives.

Tom Durwood is a college English instructor with an interest in history. He is Editor of the online Journal of Empire Studies.  He has been working on the Navigators stories for two decades.  Three more will appear in 2018-2019.

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“Too many!” cried Tarran, as she let blast the flintlock —

Yes, the obstacles are many, and time is short for the six young members of King James’ Seventh Company. To save Six Companies of scholars, this fellowship of teenagers must cross a most dangerous landscape.

It begins as the simplest of stories: a young book-keeper (Matthias Sykes) is loaned out to one of his firm’s clients. It seems there is some confusion in the client’s ledgers.

Matthias soon finds that the client is the King of England, and there is far more amiss in his kingdom than the ledgers. Dark and deadly forces swirl within Westminster Abbey, where eminent scholars are assembled to produce the world’s greatest book: The King James Bible.

Within these pages, readers will find revenge and heartbreak, anguish and love, secret identities, brave deeds in the face of overwhelming odds — and a new perspective on one of history’s great tales.


“War is not what you think it is,” warned the rifleman …

Especially the war of the American Revolution. Six rich kids, students at an unusual boarding school in the year 1775, admire the American Colonials from afar. They read all the Bostonians’ pamphlets, follow their battles, and collect souvenirs of the American rebellion.

..One by one, each of the students is pulled into the global war for equality and liberty — with unexpected results. Each find that the struggle for human dignity is not quite what they had imagined.

The Colonials is an old-fashioned adventure story complete with swashbuckling fights, treachery, hidden identities and assassins.


“Gong Ji, Mister President!” cried Holcombe — Ulysses S. Grant’s little-heralded trip around the world is the setting for the title story in Tom Durwood’s collection of old-fashioned adventure fiction.

Young protagonists take on all manner of obstacles in a wide range of historical eras. In these pages, you will take part in a violent battle over succession in the Benin kingdoms, meet a young clerk who gets pulled into a murderous plot in 17th century Amsterdam, witness revenge in a cowboy saloon, and much more. Readers of Johnny Tremain and Octavian Nothing will find themselves in familiar territory.

Suggested Reading

Slave to Fortune

by D.J. Munro

D.J. Munro has written a page-turning adventure with depth and detail. His Slave to Fortune won the Grand Prize for Young Adult fiction at the Chanticleer International Book Awards (2017). Excellent storytelling value for your money, and his website provides an extra dimension of historical context, particularly regarding the Barbary Corsairs and the formation of the U.S. Navy.

The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane

by Robert E. Howard, Illustrated by Gary Gianni

If you have never read Robert E. Howard, you need to check this out. Solomon Kane is a mysterious wanderer, given to philosophical thoughts and violent action in the name of justice. This is a paperback edition with some of Howard’s best stories. Gary Gianni is outstanding!

“He was… a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan.”

West of Everything

by Jane Tompkins

Everyone who enjoys fictional heroes should read this most excellent (nonfiction) book. Jane Tompkins makes it look easy as she breaks down the different elements of the American western, so many of which are still with us.

“The hero, provoked by insults, first verbal, then physical, resists the urge to retaliate, proving his moral superiority to those who taunt him … The villains, whoever they may be, finally commit an act so atrocious that the hero must retaliate in kind.”

To Contact Tom Durwood or Purchase one of his books fill out the form below, or go to

Tom Durwood, Author

Empire Studies Press

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