The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. In the battle for power, there can be only one ruler. England is fractured, torn apart more by internal fighting than the threat of Viking invasion. The ruler of Mercia is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. His wife is a formidable fighter and great leader, but no woman has ever ruled over an English kingdom. And she is without her strongest warrior and champion, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. So the scene is set for an explosive battle between elders and warriors for an empty throne. The vacant throne leaves a dangerous opportunity for the rival West Saxons to seize Mercia. But Edward of Wessex is distracted by the succession of his own throne, with two heirs claiming the right to be West Saxon king. And while the kingdoms are in disarray, the Vikings, this time coming from the west, will go on the rampage once more. The very future of England hangs in the balance. A hero is needed, a hero who can destroy the threat to Mercia, a hero who will ultimately decide the fate of a nation...
'I am with you always, even unto the end of the world...' Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible - his 'book of strange new things'. It is a quest that will challenge Peter's beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea. The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart. This momentous novel, Faber's first since The Crimson Petal and the White, sees him at his expectation-defying best.
1792. As a teacher at her parents' Academy for Young Ladies in the heart of London, Madeleine Moreau has lived her life sheltered from the outside world. But on the night of a dazzling Masquerade, tragedy strikes and she is left alone in the world. Desperate to find the family she never knew, Madeleine impulsively travels to France in search of them. But with war around the corner, and fearing for Madeleine's safety, the enigmatic Comte Etienne d'Aubery offers her shelter at his home, Chateau Mirabelle. Chateau Mirabelle enchants Madeleine with its startling beauty, but it is a place of dark and haunting secrets. As the Revolution gathers momentum and the passions of the populace are enflamed, Madeleine must take control of her own destiny and unravel events of the past in order to secure a chance at future happiness. The Chateau on the Lake is a breath-taking historical novel set during the time of the French Revolution; rich, evocative and immersive. If you love Philippa Gregory and Joanne Harris, you will adore Charlotte Betts.
1794. The Mediterranean is proving dangerous waters for John Pearce and his Pelicans. Having left is lover Emily, who is also the wife of his mortal enemy Ralph Barclay, in the Tuscan port of Leghorn, Pearce is detained in Naples. When he unknowingly delivers a letter promoting the shady and incompetent Admiral Hotham, Pearce finds himself entangled in a political plot that soon puts those closest to him at peril. When reunited with Emily, John Pearce faces a losing battle to keep her reputation intact. Although his Pelicans aid in the endeavour, Emily sees no future for her with Pearce and leaves while he is conveying private letters for Horatio Nelson to the British Ambassador, Sir William Hamilton. Learning of Emily's departure, Pearce sets off in pursuit and has to take on the superior force of Barbary Corsairs who have targeted the merchant ship Emily is travelling on, the Sandown Castle. Outgunned by a barbaric opponent, John Pearce's chances of survival - as well as those of Emily and Pearce's crew - re dubious. And even if they can win this fierce battle, another threat looms on the horizon as Pearce is not the only one chasing Emily; Ralph Barclay has learned of his wife's desertion and is on his way to recapture her.
The year is 1809, and the recruiting sergeants are hard at work, as the British army gathers strength for the next phase of the campaign against Bonaparte on the Spanish Peninsula. Captain Billy Pringle of the 106th Foot, however, has a somewhat more urgent reason to leave the country: having become embroiled in an ill-advised duel with a lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons, a posting to Spain would avoid any awkwardness for the regiment. Along with his friend Lieutenant Williams - whose sister Kitty was the cause of the duel - and the doughty veteran Sergeant Dobson, Pringle takes on the task of training Spanish troops to stand alongside their British allies. But what seems at first like easy duty soon turns into a desperate fight for survival as they find themselves besieged in the strategic fortress of Cuidad Rodrigo. For Bonaparte, taking the fortress will be the first step towards pushing the British back to the sea, and the task is entrusted to one of his most daring and successful generals, Marshal Ney. And Ney in his turn has found the perfect officer to lead the assault, a man not only desperate for advancement but also thirsting for revenge - a man whom Williams knows only too well.
There is one great love in everyone's life. For Ducky, Princess Victoria Melita, hers was a Romanov cousin, a member of the doomed Russian royal family. Her father is Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son. Her mother is Grand Duchess Marie, the daughter of Tsar Alexander III. Ducky seems doomed to be a pawn on her grandmother's dynastic chessboard. But Ducky is not so easily controlled. In an era when death is considered preferable to divorce she fights for the freedom to be with the true love of her life. From disgraced exile in Paris to the glitter of St Petersburg and the mud and carnage of the Eastern Front, she forges her own path. As Russia descends into the chaos of 1917 and the Romanov dynasty falters, Ducky is right at the heart of events. Exiled once more, she tells us her story.
Graham Hancock, an expert in ancient civilisations and author of the 7 million selling Fingerprints of the Gods, and expert too, on the use of hallucinogens to achieve higher states of consciousness, brings these two interests together in the second volume of the War God trilogy. The conquistador Hernan Cortes is dreaming of Tenochtitlan, the golden city of Aztecs. But in order to win the Aztecs' gold, Cortes and his small force of just five hundred men will have to defeat the psychotic emperor Moctezuma and the armies of hundreds of thousands he commands. Cortes expects that the warlike Tlascalans, hereditary enemies of the Aztecs, will join him, but instead finds himself locked in a deadly struggle. Even as Cortes risks all in the bloody campaign against the Tlascalans, he plays mind games with Moctezuma, aiming to dismantle the Aztec emperor's confidence and defeat him psychologically before ever having to face him on the battlefield. In this he is aided by his lover Malinal, a beautiful Mayan princess. It is from Malinal that Cortes learns of the myth of Quetzalcoatl, 'The Plumed Serpent'. She shows him how to exploit the prophecy of the fabled god king's return to weaken Moctezuma's resolve and keep alive the suspicion that the conquistador might actually be Quetzalcoatl himself. Meanwhile Malinal's friend, the witch Tozi, wages a supernatural war of her own against Hummingbird, the terrifying demon the Aztecs worship as a god, and against the evil sorcerer Acopol who does his bidding.
Set against the backdrop of the American South from the 1820s until the dawn of the Civil War, this is a remarkable story of fortitude, heartbrea, and indomitable will - and a tale that will forever illuminate the reading of Margaret Mitchell's unforgettable classic, Gone with the Wind. On the Caribbean island of Saint Domingue, an island consumed by the flames of revolution, a senseless attack leaves only one survivor: an infant girl. She falls into the hands of two French emigres, Henri and Solange Fournier, who take the beautiful child they call Ruth to the bustling American city of Savannah. What follows is the sweeping tale of Ruth's life as shaped by her strong-willed mistress and other larger-than-life personalities she encounters in the South: Jehu Glen, a free black man with whom Ruth falls madly in love; the shabbily genteel family that first hires Ruth as Mammy; Solange's daughter Ellen and the rough Irishman, Gerald O'Hara, whom Ellen chooses to marry; the Butler family of Charleston and their shocking connection to Mammy Ruth; and finally Scarlett O'Hara-the irrepressible Southern belle Mammy raises from birth.
Maya dances like not other. She becomes the dance ...Her dance can steal a man's soul. Tanjore, 1765. Maya plays among the towering granite temples of this ancient city in the heart of southern India. Like her mother before her, she is destined to become a devadasi, a dancer for the temple. She is instructed in dance, the mystical arts and lovemaking. It is expected she will be chosen as a courtesan for the prince himself. But as Maya comes of age, India is on the cusp of change. She is forced to flee to the bustling port city of Madras, where East and West collide. Thomas Pearce, an ambitious young Englishman there to make his fortune, is entranced from the moment he first sees her dance. But their love is forbidden, and comes at enormous cost. Weaving together the uneasy meeting of two cultures, The Pagoda Tree is a captivating story of love, loss and fate. 'Claire Scobie's seductive prose and immaculate layering of period detail capture India at her most exotic.' Susan Kurosawa, Author of Coronation Talkies A powerful, sensual perspective on a time of great transformation in India.' Sarah Macdonald, author of Holy Cow 'A richly textured tale full of the sights, sounds and smells of India, with all its complex beauty and troubled history ...' Sydney Morning Herald
Warrior of Rome: The Amber Road is the sixth book in Harry Sidebottom's Warrior of Rome series. AD 264 - The Roman Empire is torn in two. The western provinces - Gaul, Spain and Britain - have been seized by the pretender Postumus. To the east, on the plains of northern Italy, the armies of the emperor Gallienus muster. War is coming. Everyone must choose a side. On a mission shrouded in secrecy and suspicion, Ballista must journey The Amber Road to the far north to Hyperborea, back to his original home and the people of his birth. A fearsome, masked warlord attacks, bringing fire and sword against the Angles. Yet not all welcome Ballista's return. Does treachery pose the greatest danger? Dr Harry Sidebottom is a leading authority on ancient warfare - he applies his knowledge with a spectacular flair for sheer explosive action and knuckle-whitening drama. Fans of Bernard Cornwell will love Sidebottom's recreation of the ancient world. Praise for Harry Sidebottom: Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship . (The Times). The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction . (Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy). Dr. Harry Sidebottom is Fellow of St Benets Hall, and Lecturer at Lincoln College, Oxford - where he specializes in ancient warfare and classical art.
Ancient Egypt. Land of the Pharaohs. A kingdom built on gold. A legend shattered by greed. Now the Valley of the Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of its lifeblood as weak men inherit the cherished crown. In the city of Thebes at the Festival of Osiris, loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather to pay homage to their leader. But Taita - a wise and formidably gifted eunuch slave, sees him only as a symbol of a kingdom's fading glory. Beside Taita stand his proteges, Lostris, daughter of Lord Intef, beautiful beyond her fourteen years; and Tanus, proud, young army officer, who has vowed to avenge the death - at Intef's hand - of his father, and seize Lostris as his prize. Together they share a dream - to restore the majesty of the Pharaoh of Pharaohs on the glittering banks of the Nile.
This brilliant reconception of the Arthurian epic cuts through the familiar myths and tells the story of the real King Arthur: Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Artos here comes alive: bold and forceful in battle, warm and generous in friendship, tough in politics, shrewd in the strategy of war - and tender and tragically tormented in love. Out of the braiding of ancient legend, fresh research, soaring imagination and hypnotic narrative skill comes a novel that has richly earned its reputation as a classic.