To the Fair Land

In 1789 hack writer Ben Dearlove sets out to trace the anonymous author of a best-selling book about a voyage to the Great Southern Continent. Everyone thinks the book is fiction: Captain Cook proved there was no Southern Continent. But others are interested in the author’s secrets, and the quest proves more dangerous than Ben had anticipated. Before he can discover the shocking truth, Ben has to get out of prison, catch a thief, and bring a murderer to justice.

“A gripping, thrilling mystery…the plot is complex, exciting, and has a high degree of suspense maintained right to the end.”

Historical Novel Society Reviews

Writing To The Fair Land

Terra Australis Incognita

Find out about the history behind To The Fair Land in this short (ten minute) Powerpoint presentation. Watch ‘Writing To The Fair Land’ on YouTube .






Abraham Ortelius, 1527-1598, Brabantian cartographer, ‘Terra Australis nondum cognita’, 1589 (British Library on Flickr, No Known Copyright Restrictions)

To The Fair Land is Awesome Indies approved


To The Fair Land has been awarded a place on the Awesome Indies list of quality independent fiction.


Discovering Diamonds Book of the Month and Cover of the Month, April 2021

“It’s well written, the descriptions are graphic and engaging, the writing is tight and well done, and the story is a page turner. Boyce brings the period to life with excellent dialogue and fast paced action. An excellent read and an author I’ll be watching out for.”

Discovering Diamonds



“Every scene is painted with vivid detail and the characters seem to jump off the page…an expertly crafted tale you won’t want to put down!”

Rev Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray

“A detailed and well written story that transports the reader to the 18th century. The plot is realistic and keeps you wanting to turn the pages to find out more…The characters are interesting and realistic making them easy to sympathise with.”

Quirky Book Reads

“A sharp, daring, original story of forbidden love, good and evil, betrayal and murder. It dazzles with vigour, holding the suspence from the beginning to the last pages.”

Chez Maximka

“An engrossing and well-written mystery…one of the most interesting and original pieces of historical fiction I have read in a long time.”

Ceri’s Lil Blog

“To The Fair Land is an intriguing mystery, rich in period detail.”

What Cathy Read Next

“Manages to maintain suspense to the end, as well as surprising the reader with some unexpected twists…full of historical mysteries, fascinating characters and peril.”

Northern Reader

“It’s an intriguing story that feels part fantasy, part history and part inspiration that is just so enjoyable and relaxing.”

Proud Book Reviews

“This is, essentially an exploratory mystery – and it’s done with oodles of class…a fully immersive 18th century rollercoaster – complete with villains, heroes, infamy, scandal, and the true story of The Fair Land.”

Jane Turner, 33 South TextWorks

“A page turner, with mystery that really made me want to read more, and with an intriguing plot.”

Jess Bookish Life

“Transported me straight back into an epic land of romance, adventure, and historical fiction all in an epic mysterious search for a reclusive writer.”

The Story Scribbler

“I was hooked straight away with how vivid and rich the the story is – I felt immediately immersed in the world that it is set in…heroes and villains, mystery and scandal, and a twist that I didn’t see coming.”


“The story was gripping and definitely a page turner. Especially pleasing to me was the fact that I did not guess the plot twists and turns…Highly recommended.”

Riva Shaw

“Boyce completely had me with the twist. I did not see that coming. Not only am I impressed by the way the mystery is hidden and then revealed, but I am also impressed by the nature of the mystery. It’s a brave one but one that works very well…The book has romance, adventure, mystery and, at its centre, an exciting voyage across the world, through history and through the human mind.”

Literary Nerd

“This enthralling story never loses its momentum and combines the best of historical fiction writing with a lively adventure story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Jo at Jaffareadstoo

The Great Southern Continent

For centuries after Pythagoras invented the notion, men believed in the existence of a continent in the southern hemisphere, balancing the land masses of the north. Marco Polo, Amerigo Vespucci and Magellan all thought they had found parts of this land. Medieval maps such as Gerard Mercator’s in 1541 showed the outline of a massive Terra Australis. At the end of the seventeenth century, William Dampier sailed in search of it. Admiral Byron thought he glimpsed it in 1765. In 1766 Samuel Wallis left England and Comte Louis Antoine de Bougainville left France to look for the continent. On both his first and second voyages Captain Cook was instructed to search for this “continent of great extent never yet explored”.

It was Captain Cook who demonstrated, once and for all, that there was no Great Southern Continent. But in 1772 Cook’s second voyage had only just begun, and it was still possible to believe that the Continent existed. Thus it is at this unique point in history that I have placed my story of a voyage to the Great Southern Continent – To The Fair Land.