Torn between his kingdom and the woman he loves...William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne. But England must still contend with those who doubt his legitimacy. William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still he has eyes only for his childhood friend Minuette, and court tongues are wagging. Even more dangerous - if discovered - is that Minuette's heart and soul belong to Dominic, William's best friend and trusted advisor...
That's how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you're invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.
Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets and lies. Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook's Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival - or her downfall ...
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...
On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways...
Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?
Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
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?
Independent and spirited, Georgie is her mother's daughter through and through. But after a house fire takes the life of her sister, Margot, and burns her home to the ground, Georgie is lost. She flees town with nothing but a cardboard box and the determination to be somebody, anybody, else.
After almost losing her adopted daughter, Cara's view of the world has radically shifted. She's decided that life is to be lived and love is to be cherished, even when that means crossing boundaries she'd never dreamed of. But is any love great enough to overcome an unimaginable burden of guilt and shame?
With her nest empty, Jenny is more lonely than ever. Rattling around her big old house with too much time to think, she's left to wonder: should her secrets stay buried forever or will revealing the truth set her free? As the new millennium draws ever closer and Woody Creek struggles to survive, one thing becomes clear - in order to face their futures, Jenny and her daughters must first make peace with their pasts. If it's not too late.
I didn't stand a chance: looking back over thirteen years, that's what I see. In the very first instant, I was won over, and of course I was: I was fifteen and had been nowhere and done nothing, whereas Katherine was twenty-one and yellow-silk-clad and just married to the golden boy...
Jane Seymour is a shy, dutiful fifteen-year-old when her eldest brother, Edward, brings his bride home to Wolf Hall. Katherine Filliol is the perfect match for Edward, as well as being a breath of fresh air for the Seymour family, and Jane is captivated by the older girl. Over the course of a long, hot country summer, the two become close friends and allies, while Edward is busy building alliances at court and advancing his career. However, only two years later, the family is torn apart by a dreadful allegation made by Edward against his wife. The repercussions for all the Seymours are incalculable, not least for Katherine herself. When Jane is sent away, to serve Katharine of Aragon, she is forced to witness another wife being put aside, with terrible consequences.
Changed forever by what happened to Katherine Filliol, Jane comes to understand that in a world where power is held entirely by men, there is a way in which she can still hold true to herself.
Rome, AD 51: Vespasian brings Rome's greatest enemy before the Emperor. After eight years of resistance, the British warrior Caratacus has been caught. But even Vespasian's victory cannot remove the newly-made consul from Roman politics: Agrippina, Emperor Claudius's wife, pardons Caratacus.
Claudius is a drunken fool and Narcissus and Pallas, his freedmen, are battling for control of his throne. Separately, they decide to send Vespasian East to Armenia to defend Rome's interests. But there is more at stake than protecting a client kingdom. Rumours abound that Agrippina is involved in a plot to destabilise the East. Vespasian must find a way to serve two masters Narcissus is determined to ruin Agrippina, Pallas to save her.
Meanwhile, the East is in turmoil. A new Jewish cult is flourishing and its adherents refuse to swear loyalty to the Emperor. In Armenia, Vespasian is captured. Immured in the oldest city on earth, how can he escape? And is a Rome ruled by a woman who despises Vespasian any safer than a prison cell?
A sinister Gothic tale in the tradition of The Woman in Black and The Fall of the House of Usher New England, the 1890s.
A man calling himself Doctor John Shepherd arrives at an isolated women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner Dr Morgan. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his own dark secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Who is the woman who wanders the corridors by night with murderous intent? Why does the chief nurse hate him? And why is he not allowed to visit the hospital's top floor? Shocked by Morgan's harsh treatment of the patients, and intrigued by one of them, Jane Dove, a strange amnesiac girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. As he attempts to solve the mystery of Jane's past his own troubled history begins to catch up with him and she becomes his only hope of escape, as he is hers. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what he or she seems.
The Girl Who Couldn't Read is the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed international bestseller Florence and Giles but can also be read as a gripping standalone novel.
In the summer of 9 CE, Publius Varus, the Roman governor of Germania, and Lucius Tullus, a centurion garrisoned on the Rhine, march east with three legions. As they prepare to return to their winter quarters, they are lured off the road and ambushed by German warriors.
The Germans are led by Arminius, a chieftain who is a trusted ally of Rome - and a man who has been secretly planning to betray the empire since childhood. Trapping Varus' legionaries between a hillside and a marsh, and thereby preventing them from forming up or using their artillery, Arminius and his warriors wreak a terrible slaughter. The Roman defeat is overwhelming, but it is not until the third day of the massacre that the scale of Arminius' victory becomes clear. Three legions, upwards of fourteen thousand men have been annihilated, and three treasured Eagle standards have been lost. Just a few hundred legionaries, including Tullus, manage to escape. Nor is the survivors' ordeal over.
Pursued to the last Roman fort east of the Rhine, they are besieged by thousands of bloodthirsty tribesmen. Only the gods can save them now...
AD 1081: Vast empires struggle for dominance. From the Normans in the north to the Byzantines in the south, battles rage across Europe and around its fringes. But in the east, an empire still mightier stirs, wielding a weapon to rule the world: gunpowder.
Seeking the destructive might of this 'fire drug', the mercenary Vallon is sent by the defeated Byzantine emperor on a near-impossible quest to the far-off land of Song Dynasty China. Leading a highly trained squadron, Vallon is accompanied by the physician Hero, Wayland the English hunter, and a young upstart named Lucas. All have their own reasons for going, all have secrets.
It's a quest that leads them across treacherous seas and broiling deserts, and into the uncharted land of mountains and plains beyond the Silk Road. Many will die... but the rewards are unbelievable.
The greatest literary sensation of recent times - and now the inspiration for a major BBC series, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis and directed by Peter Kosminsky. With this historic win for 'Bring Up the Bodies', Hilary Mantel becomes the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes (her first was for 'Wolf Hall' in 2009).
By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king's new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days.
An astounding literary accomplishment, 'Bring Up the Bodies' is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.
The greatest literary sensation of recent times - and now the inspiration for a major BBC series, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis and directed by Peter Kosminsky. In this staggeringly brilliant novel, Hilary Mantel brings the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors to bloody, glittering life.
It is the backdrop to the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell: lowborn boy, charmer, bully, master of deadly intrigue and, finally, most powerful of Henry VIII's courtiers. Both winners of the Man Booker Prize and already hugely successful stage plays, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies have now been transformed into a BBC television series starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, bringing history to life for a whole new audience.
1857, India. At nineteen years old, Sita is the shining star of Queen Lakshmi of India's imperial guard, having pledged herself to a life of celibacy in the name of protecting the young ruler. When Sita agrees to train Lakshmi in the art of military combat, a close friendship develops between the two women. But trouble soon threatens - Lakshmi's court is dangerously divided and rumours are rife that the country is at risk. Meanwhile, in London, advisors to Queen Victoria are looking to extend the power of the Commonwealth, and India is coveted as the next jewel in the imperial crown. In the ensuing battle, will the bond between Lakshmi and Sita be broken for ever?
August 1881: An attractive young married woman, Mabel Todd, arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband David, recently appointed assistant professor at Amherst College. The treasurer of the college is Austin Dickinson, the most respected citizen of the town, a married man with three children. Austin's sister Emily lives as a recluse in the Homestead, the house next-door to Austin's family. Over the months that follow the Todds' arrival, Austin falls passionately in love with Mabel, and she with him.
October 2013: Alice Dickinson, 24 years old, is struggling with her failure to find a boyfriend. At the same time she wants to escape her copy-writing job and make a living as a screenwriter. She takes time off work to research a screenplay on a story that has fascinated her since college days, where a love of Emily Dickinson's poems was triggered by the coincidence of her own surname.
The story is the illicit love affair between Austin Dickinson and Mabel Todd. The novel interweaves the stories of these two love affairs: the unfolding one between Alice and Nick, an older man she meets in Amherst, and the original love affair between Austin and Mabel, observed by Emily.
The eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected ThirdLegion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts. And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.
A new emperor, Aurangzeb, sits on India's glittering Peacock Throne - the throne he seized from his father while the old emperor still lived. He has paid for it with blood: during the brutal civil war he hunted down and killed his brothers. Now he must return the Moghul Empire to the true path and achieve new glory. But the exercise of great power is isolating.
With enemies everywhere, who should he trust? Certainly not his sons. He must rely on himself and the knowledge that there are more ways to subdue a man than on the battlefield.But as the years pass memories haunt him - memories of a father who never loved him and a mother who lies in the Taj Mahal; of murdered brothers and of sons and daughters locked in sunless prisons. He tells himself that everything he has done has been necessary - moral, even. But how will his God judge him?
A monumental new roman series is here. 3rd century Rome, like you've never seen it before: murder, coup, terror on the streets, counter-rebellions and civil war.
Spring AD235, Dawn on the Rhine. A surprise attack and the brutal murder of the Emperor Alexander and his mother ends the Severan dynasty and shatters four decades of Roman certainty. Military hero Maximinus Thrax is the first Caesar risen from the barracks. A simple man of steel and violence, he will fight for Rome. The Senators praise the new Emperor with elaborate oratory, but will any of them accept a Caesar who was once a shepherd boy? And in the streets of the eternal city, others merely pray to escape imperial notice. In the north, as the merciless war against the barbarians consumes men and treasure, rebellion and personal tragedy drive Maximinus to desperate extremes, bloody revenge and the borders of sanity.
Welcome to a world of intrigue, murder, passion and war, a world where men will kill to sit on the Throne of the Caesars.
In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat, employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity with this regime - the Mongols, after all, are invaders - he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind.
Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist. His paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them, one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China's natural beauty. But this is not a time for sitting still, and as The Ten Thousand Things unfolds, we follow Wang as he travels through an empire in turmoil.
In his wanderings, he encounters, among many memorable characters, other master painters of the period, including the austere eccentric Ni Zan, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights.
The Ten Thousand Things is rich with exquisite observations, and John Spurling endows every description - every detail - with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting. But it is also a novel of fated meetings, grand battles, and riveting drama, and in its seamless fusion of the epic and the intimate, it achieves a truly singular beauty. A novel that deserves to be compared to the classic Chinese novels that inspired it, The Ten Thousand Things is nothing short of a literary event.
Super sleuth Sister Fidelma returns in a brand-new historical mystery by Peter Tremayne, acclaimed author of Atonement of Blood, The Seventh Trumpet and many more.
Ireland, AD 671. When a curious deputation of religieux arrive in Cashel, death follows close behind. Sister Fidelma and her companion, Eadulf, seem unable to stem the bloodshed. Is one of the deputation responsible? What was the Venerable Verax, the scholar from Rome, hiding? Was there an evil secret behind the austere Bishop Arwald? Indeed, what was the real reason behind Eadulf's brother Egric's unexpected appearance at Cashel - could he be the culprit?
Victims and suspects combine to make a tangled skein of mystery more complex and bloody than Fidelma and Eadulf have ever faced.
14th century Yorkshire: the time of Chaucer. Father Peregrine is appointed Abbot of St Alcuin's Benedictine abbey. An arrogant, impatient man, a hawk trying hard to be a dove - his name in religion is Columba - he is respected, but not loved. A sudden, shocking act of violence changes everything. As the story unfolds, this community of monks, serious about their calling but as flawed and human as we are, come to love their ascetic but now vulnerable leader. They lived six centuries ago, yet their struggles are our own. Finding our niche; coping with failure; living with impossible people; and discovering that we are the impossible ones.
14th century Yorkshire: the time of Chaucer. Has Peregrine been broken? Injured in an attack by old adversaries, Father Peregrine transforms from a steely, articulate, impressive leader into a humbled, crippled, wise mentor. Relying on the kindness of his fellow monks, the fiercely independent, hawkish abbot begins to regain his feet. But he faces a fresh challenge. The Augustinian Priory of St Dunstan lies three days' ride to the southwest, the domain of Prior William, whose calculating self-interest makes enemies everywhere. When he and Peregrine cross swords over a matter of justice masked as doctrine, will ruthlessness triumph over integrity?
14th century Yorkshire: the time of Chaucer. Peregrine, strong and beloved abbot of St Alcuin's monastery, suffers a stroke. Now incapacitated, he begins an arduous recovery with the help of his brothers in the infirmary. Brother Tom, the young monk closest to him, is horrified by the suffering Peregrine's illness has inflicted. He keeps his distance, out of his depth. How will he find the courage to make this demanding journey of vulnerability with his friend? How will they communicate, now Peregrine can no longer speak? How will Tom respond to the terrible, secret promise his abbot asks him to make? In this journey to the depths of humanity, the two men discover together the treasures of darkness and the intimate mystery of compassion. Engaging and beautifully written, warm and haunting, The Long Fall concludes the first trilogy in The Hawk and the Dove series.