Release Date:05 /01/12
In this sweeping epic set in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, a rogue French knight named Vallon accepts a dangerous commission: he must travel to the ends of Europe in search of four rare gyrfalcons demanded as ransom for a Norman knight held captive by Seljuk Turks in Anatolia. Accompanied by a young English falconer and a Sicilian scholar, Vallon sets out on a quest that takes him from Iceland to Greenland to Russia and south to Byzantium. On the nine-month journey the company is joined by other adventurers. Together they brave raging seas, icy arctic wastes, treacherous rapids. They fight furious battles against Normans, Vikings and steppe nomads, pit their wits against warlords desperate to steal their precious cargo. And these are not the only perils they face, for among their company is a man who will stop at nothing to prevent them from fulfilling their quest. At more than 200,000 words, Hawk Quest is one of the most vast, utterly thrilling historical adventures ever written.
I’m always dubious when a publisher claims that the book was many years in the making but when I picked up this debut from Robert I could see the clear depth of research that went into it. It’s solid historically, has some cracking concepts and when you add detailed facts to the mix about all manner of things from climbing to handling of falcons then it’s something that really takes the reader back to the time period concerned.
Add to this great characters, some interesting prose and of course a pace that matches the time period to engulf the reader into a world of war as well as historical significance that they simply cannot pass up. Finally throw into this a world where choices have consequences and the characters have to live with them and it’s a story that I couldn’t put down. Prepare for a few late nights.