Peculiar Lives, by Philip Purser-Hallard

Second paragraph of third chapter:

He had put his mother, a highly intelligent woman of German parentage, through a long and difficult confinement: she had died a few days after his birth, leaving Percival in the care of his father and aunt. Theirs was a modestly well-to-do Cornish family, whose ancient Celtic stock had been infused, perhaps since pre-Roman times, with the blood of successive exotic visitors to Cornwall’s shores. Percival’s father, who had been a child at the time of the Great War, joined up soon after the more recent hostilities were declared, and died in France when Percival was twelve.

A book in the series based on Honoré Lechasseur aka the Time Hunter, a character from Daniel O’Mahoney’s Telos novella, Cabinet of Light, which I see I read in April 2017 but never wrote up here. This particular one is a bit of a homage to Olaf Stapledon; I’m afraid I felt it was too invested in a fandom that I don’t share, and it went over my head. You can get it here.

This was the shortest unread book that I acquired in 2016. Next on that list is Galactic Girl, by Fiona Richmond.