Category Archives: SJ Deas

SJ Deas: The Royalist (Review)

Stephen Deas's picture

Stephen Deas

UK (1968 – )

aka Gavin Deas, S J Deas, Nathan Hawke

Stephen Deas is an engineer in the aerospace industry, working on communications and imaging technology in the defence sector. He is married with two children and lives near Writtle in Essex.

The Royalist

(The first book in the William Falkland series)
A novel by S J Deas

Buy the book


William Falkland is a dead man.

A Royalist dragoon who fought against Parliament, he is currently awaiting execution at Newgate prison. Yet when he is led away from Newgate with a sack over his head, it is not the gallows to which they take him, but to Oliver Cromwell himself.

Cromwell has heard of Falkland’s reputation as an investigator and now more than ever he needs a man of conscience. His New Model Army are wintering in Devon but mysterious deaths are sweeping the camp and, in return for his freedom, Falkland is despatched to uncover the truth.

With few friends and a slew of enemies, Falkland soon learns there is a dark demon at work, one who won’t go down without a fight. But how can he protect the troops from such a monster and, more importantly, will he be able to protect himself?


The Royalist is a historical mystery, but for me that is almost incidental to the reading of the book, i’m sure for some it may be detrimental, but the real talent of this book is something that the author excels at, in his Guise as Stephen Deas and Nathan Hawke.

Just like the Gallow series the author takes us on a tour of the darker side of war, rather than the Fog of war we get the Grime of War, all the much and horror, the cold and disease that many leave out of a tale. The tale its self is told (narrated) by William Falkland, a Royalist in the enemy camp, recruited by non other than Cromwell himself, taken from the hangman’s noose, to investigate a spate of suicides in his newly formed and trained New Model army, the hope of the parliamentary cause. There are no rose-tinted glasses in this tale, and for me that’s its brilliance, war isn’t pretty it isn’t clean and it doesn’t have absolutes its all shades of dirty grey. Why would a royalist agree to do this? well why would any man want to live? In the winter of the Civil War just existing and surviving is damn hard, let alone in the midst of a nation riven by war.

I take my hat off to the author for his ability and desire to portray all of this horror and dirt, but i echo my friend Kate in my view that the scale of the detail took from the mystery, but i honestly don’t know how you can give that much detail and darkness without consuming the attention of the reader from other parts of the tale.

Highly recommended


Other Series


Memory of Flames
1. The Adamantine Palace (2009)
2. The King of the Crags (2010)
3. The Order of the Scales (2011)
The Adamantine PalaceThe King of the CragsThe Order of the Scales


Thief-Taker’s Apprentice
1. The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice (2010)
2. The Warlock’s Shadow (2011)
3. The King’s Assassin (2012)
The Thief-Taker's ApprenticeThe Warlock's ShadowThe King's Assassin


Silver Kings
1. The Black Mausoleum (2012)
2. Dragon Queen (2013)
3. The Splintered Gods (2014)
4. The Silver Kings (2015)
The Black MausoleumDragon QueenThe Splintered Gods
Empires: Extraction (2014)
Empires: Infiltration (2014)
Empires: The First Battle (2014)
Empires: ExtractionEmpires: InfiltrationEmpires: The First Battle
 Series contributed to
Elite: Dangerous
1. Wanted (2014)
Fateguard Trilogy
1. The Crimson Shield (2013)
2. Cold Redemption (2013)
3. The Last Bastion (2013)
Gallow (omnibus) (2014)
The Crimson ShieldCold RedemptionThe Last BastionGallow
1. The Anvil (2015)
The Anvil


Filed under Historical Fiction, SJ Deas