Release Date: 08/09/16
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Tuscany, 1358: Thomas Blackstone has built a formidable reputation in exile, fighting as a mercenary amid the ceaseless internecine warring of Italy's City States. Success has bred many enemies, who will seize any opportunity to destroy the man they cannot overcome on the field.
When a dying man delivers a message recalling Blackstone to England, it seems almost certain to be a trap. Yet Blackstone cannot decline - the summons is apparently from the Queen.
Blackstone will brave the terrors of the High Alps in winter, face the Black Prince in tournament in Windsor, confront the bloody anarchy of a popular revolt in northern France and submit to trial by combat.
And every step of the way, he will be shadowed by a notorious assassin, a killer who has been instructed to inflict the maximum pain on his target before he despatches him to hell.
To be honest I've loved David's writing since he burst onto the scene with his original title in Master of War. Set during the beginning of the 100 years war the reader is treated to a tale that, if you love authors like Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden or even Simon Scarrow, will become a firm favourite on your shelves.
Back this up with top notch prose, a character who is larger than life who steps from the pages and demonstrates that nobility is more than just being born on silk sheets and all round I was a very happy reader. Add to this the character comes full circle, has grown and been affected by previous choices as well as having an author who delivers not just on action but top notch dialogue and all round its been a pure joy. A cracking series to pick up for that Historical Fiction fan in your life and a gift that they'll reread quite a few times. Magic.