This weekend, we’re all about stories that take us on a journey, preferably involving crusades, fighting, knights, piracy, or something of that ilk. Go on a reading adventure with one of these action tales:
Fourteenth-century Italy: a country in upheaval as desperate cities struggle against both each other and venal Papal rule. Unable to rely on their own citizens to fight their battles, the cities and Popes are forced to pay vast amounts of money to mercenary captains to fight on their behalf.
Hawkwood, a valiant Englishman, shrewd and relentless on the battlefield, finds himself fighting for and against any state of Italy prepared to pay handsomely. If none will pay, he and the White Company brutally seize what they desire. As he leaves stains of his presence up and down the country, those who curse him at their defeat can soon be those who praise him for their deliverance.
It is a world of massacre and pillage in which life is less than cheap and no one can be trusted. To survive, a man has to be quick thinking, fleet of foot, and strong in his sword arm: Hawkwood is such a man.
Son of Blood
The first book in the Crusades trilogy
Following Ludlow’s earlier novels set in eleventh-century Europe, the de Hautville warrior dynasty shows no sign of falling back into obscurity. Under Robert Guiscard, the de Hautevilles have grown in importance and power throughout Italy and, through the Papacy, all of Christendom. Now it is Robert’s son Bohemund’s turn to take up arms – the opportunity to fight under the papal banner in the Holy Lands could bring him the glory and riches he desires and which have been cruelly denied him elsewhere. Ludlow has made a name for himself in the historical adventure genre with stand-out titles such as The Pillars of Rome and Mercenaries, this new series takes us from the Norman Conquest to the age of the crusaders.
The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk
“Come then, and I’ll tell you the tale of the Gypsy Hawk and her wily captain – the infamous Zachary Hazard…”
To Amelia Dauphin, freedom is her most prized possession and she will stop at nothing to keep it. Daughter of a Pirate King and the youngest captain in her father’s fleet, she lives on the island of Ile Saint Anne, where pirates roam free and liberty reigns.
Zachary Hazard, captain of the Gypsy Hawk, hasn’t been seen on Ile Saint Anne for six years but his reputation precedes him. To Zach, liberty is the open water and he has little time for the land-bound pirate island.
But when he hears that Amelia’s people could be in danger, he has no choice but to return. And what begins then is a desperate fight for freedom and a legend in the making…
Dust Clouds of War
1914. Simon Fonthill, a fit 59-year-old, is visiting his farm in Northern Rhodesia when the Great War breaks out. With him, as always, is his wife Alice, but also his old comrade and former batman, 352 Jenkins, holidaying with them after the marriage of his two step-daughters in South Africa. Fonthill immediately cables his old boss Kitchener, the newly appointed Minister for War in the British Cabinet, offering his services in the fight against the Kaiser’s Germany. However, he is instructed to remain in Africa in case of warfare in German East Africa. When war does break out, Fonthill proves his worth in a battle that proves to be equally frightful to the one in Europe and, indeed, to last even longer than that on the Western Front.