Friday, 31 August 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Civil War Chronicles 3: Hunter's Rage - Michael Arnold

Release Date: 02/08/12

Hunter's Rage, the third in The Civil War Chronicles, Michael Arnold's acclaimed series of historical thrillers, sees battle-scarred hero Captain Stryker, 'the Sharpe of the Civil War', take on his oldest foe. 'Stands in comparison with the best of Cornwell' Yorkshire Post Posted to the hostile territory of Dartmoor, Captain Innocent Stryker and his men are attacked by an elite cavalry unit commanded by the formidable Colonel Gabriel Wild and suffer heavy losses. Stryker has already clashed once with Wild, and the Roundhead has sworn to seek his revenge. After the attack, Stryker is faced with the annihilation of his company as he is hounded across the moor, eventually seeking shelter on an isolated tor populared by an enigmatic former priest who harbours no love for the King's cause. Colonel Wild is assisted in his revenge by Osmyn Hogg, Parliamentarian Witchfinder, who shares his own deadly history with Stryker. To save his honour and his life, Stryker must lead his men to glory from the protection of the lonely granite-topped hill. Into this atmosphere of intrigue and danger comes the beautiful but mysterious Cecily Cade. Stryker comes to her aid, unaware that she carries with her special knowledge that may prove the key to Royalist victory. The battle between Stryker and his old foes takes him from the bleak isolation of Dartmoor, through the war-ravaged lands of southern England and finally to Stratton, where the bloody battle between Cornwall and Devon will decide the fate of the south-west.


OK, I haven’t spent time with Michael Arnold or his character Stryker before, although from friends in the know I have been tipped the nod that this is a series that I really had to try. Whilst this is the third book in the Civil War Chronicles, I felt that I didn’t have any problems fitting into the time period (although to be honest here I recently spent quite a bit of time reading up on this particular time in English history so that probably helped.)

What unfurls within is a story of high adventure, gripping action, heart rending sadness and of course justified vengeance. Its full of fascinating facts and when you add a descriptive style of prose that really transports you to the various scenes, leaves me wondering how much I’ve missed by not reading the previous outings (hopefully something I’ll get chance to rectify soon. All in a great read and one I’m pleased I took the time to discover. Thanks to my friends for the recommendation and to John Murray for sending.

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