David Gilman : Shadow of the Hawk

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Winter, 1364.

The King is dead.

Defeated on the field of Poitiers, Jean Le Bon, King of France, honoured his treaty with England until his death. His son and heir, Charles V, has no intention of doing the same. War is coming and the predators are circling.

Sir Thomas Blackstone, Edward III’s Master of War, has been tasked with securing Brittany for England. In the throes of battle, he rescues a young boy, sole witness to the final living breaths of the Queen of Castile. The secret the boy carries is a spark deadly enough to ignite conflict on a new front – a front the English cannot afford to fight on.

So Blackstone is ordered south to Castile, across the mountains to shepherd Don Pedro, King of Castile, to safety. Accompanied only by a small detachment of his men and a band of Moorish cavalrymen loyal to the king, every step takes Blackstone further into uncertain territory, deeper into an unyielding snare.

For the Master of War, the shadow of death is always present.


Reading this series is often a treat I reserve for when i’m struggling to read historical fiction, because the writing of Thomas Blackstone is so immersive, its very easy to get sucked into the life of him and his men, the brutality, the comradeship and the rich tapestry of action that is the war raging across Europe… It would be very easy with the characters and material for the author to get too bloody, and too action adventure, but David Gilman balances this with Machiavellian politics and a world so richly drawn that you can feel the pomp, and the poverty which brings the whole book to life.

This series remains one of the really exceptional ongoing Historical fiction character driven stories out there, and is surely set to be a genre classic.

Highly recommended


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Filed under David Gilman, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized

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