Release Date: 01/08/13
Publisher: Head of Zeus
England, 1346: For Thomas Blackstone the choice is easy - dance on the end of a rope for a murder he did not commit, or take up his war bow and join the king's invasion of France. As he fights his way across northern France, Blackstone will learn the brutal lessons of war - from the terror and confusion of his first taste of combat, to the savage realities of siege warfare. Vastly outnumbered, Edward III's army will finally confront the armoured might of the French nobility on the field of Crecy. It is a battle that will change the history of warfare, a battle that will change the course of Blackstone's life, a battle that is just the first chapter in a book of legend - Blackstone: Master of War.
OK, you want a book set during the hundred years war. You want a hero of the people, a man who whilst facing the bleakest of times fights to keep his ideal’s in the face of the enemy and of course a man who has to overcome a great deal to make his own way in the world. So what are you going to do?
Well to be blunt here, if you only read one historical debut this year, make it this one. The prose is sharper than a bodkin arrow, the pace faster than thought and to be honest it was a book that I just couldn’t put down without being left to wonder what was next for the lead hero. The author has not only brought the time to life but also managed to give me a lead character that I not only want to spend time around but is a man of the people, coming from common stock with his skills taking him higher.
Add to this a great story arc, wonderful twists and of course the set up for future instalments all round make this a title that not only launched over a thousand arrows but I’m sure will launch David Gilman to a ravenous reading public to sate their historical fiction action needs. Great stuff.