The sweeping and compelling new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. 'Dark, brutal, moving, powerful' Jane Harris 'A wonderful book; rich, evocative, original. I loved it' Joanne Harris In 1830s Ohio, the Goodenough family barely scratch out a living in the inhospitable Black Swamp. Robert and his sister Martha must watch as their parents' marriage is torn apart by disputes over whether to grow sweet apples to eat or sour apples for cider and applejack. One particularly vicious fight sends Robert out alone across America, far from his sister, into a life dominated not by apple trees but by the mighty redwoods and sequoias of California.
A thrilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Birth Of Venus and In The Company Of The Courtesan.
1502 and Renaissance Italy is in turmoil. Backed by the money and wily power of his ageing father Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia is soaring like a military comet, carving out a state for the Borgia dynasty. From Florence, a young diplomat, one Niccolo Machiavelli, is sent to shadow him to keep track of the danger. While many tremble in the presence of this brilliant unscrupulous man, Machiavelli is entranced and the relationship he forges with Cesare allows him - and us - to witness history in the making.
Meanwhile, the Pope's beloved daughter Lucrezia is on her way to a third dynastic marriage in the state of Ferrara, where if she is to survive she must fast produce an heir for the rival Este family. Cesare holds his sister dear, but striving always for conquest rather than conciliation, he pays little mind to her precarious position. As the Borgia enemies gather, in Rome, the pope grows older and ever more cantankerous.
Drawing us in with her dynamic prose and intimate knowledge of one of the most fascinating periods in Italian history, Sarah Dunant dramatises the rise of one of history's most fascinating characters, Niccolo Machiavelli, during the formative years of his life. In The Name Of The Family breathes new life into the daring and corruption of a family that history will never forget. This is a moment from which no one will emerges unscathed.
In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman - or child.
As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance.
Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.
While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. Most lethal of all is his own mother, Agrippina, whose only goal is to control the empire. But as her machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become - a legendary Emperor.
Impeccably researched and written in captivating prose this is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. From innocent youth to infamous ruler, his is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.
Can one man save his land and the woman he loves?
Fleeing the English court after the lecherous King John attacks her, Adela, the queen's hairbraider, finds employment in the entourage of Lady Alys. Alys is making a bridal journey to marry the lord of Mirascon, a city-state in southern France. Mirascon is a summer land of poetry and music where women are respected and religious tolerance prevails. But such sanctuary is already under threat as Pope Innocent III, angry that heresy has not been wiped out, has amassed a crusading army that will destroy anything in its path.
Having tried in vain to rally his fellow lords against the northerners, Ricart, Vicomte de Mirascon, makes an alliance with King John. A political marriage to the Lady Alys – the king's discarded mistress – will allow Ricart to safeguard his people from the merciless enemy force already on the march.
When the bridal party is ambushed, Adela is mistaken for her dead mistress by the people of Mirascon. Adela knows she must tell Ricart that she is not his betrothed, but as she is dragged deeper into the deception, she is also powerfully drawn to the beleaguered man trying to protect his people and his culture. Adela is recognised by the dwarf Derwent, Ricart's English jester, who seems willing to keep her secret for the time being. Yet as suspicion builds up against her, paying with her life seems inevitable.
As the savage army marches south, can Ricart and Adela overcome a web of deceit and treachery and evade the bonfires of the crusaders or will their land of troubadours and tolerance be destroyed forever?
Set in the time of the Crusades, Isolde Martyn's newest historical adventure has all the battle, action and romance of the Outlander series, plus the political intrigue and danger of a Philippa Gregory novel.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016. A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN NOTABLE BOOK 2016. A ship sets sail with a killer on board ...1859. A man joins a whaling ship bound for the Arctic Circle. Having left the British Army with his reputation in tatters, Patrick Sumner has little option but to accept the position of ship's surgeon on this ill-fated voyage. But when, deep into the journey, a cabin boy is discovered brutally killed, Sumner finds himself forced to act. Soon he will face an evil even greater than he had encountered at the siege of Delhi, in the shape of Henry Drax: harpooner, murderer, monster...
Seventeenth-century Amsterdam - a city in the grip of tulip fever. Sophia's husband Cornelis is one of the lucky ones grown rich from this exotic new flower. To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his beautiful young bride. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception and a reckless gamble.
The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
From Bernard Cornwell. the creator of the No. 1 bestselling Sharpe novels. Arthur seeks peace, with the aid of his sword Excaliber... After rebellions and betrayals by those he believed loved him most, Arthur looks at his most weak. His Saxon enemies decide to strike before he regains his strength, plunging Britain into war. It will require all Arthur's leadership and military cunning to win this last battle. But in this final struggle of the warlord, the intrigues of Mordred, now the adult heir to the throne of Britain, and the dark magic of the priestess Nimue could conspire to bring about Arthur's downfall. Even his trusty blade Excaliber may not be sharp enough to save him... Bernard Cornwell concludes The Warlord Chronicles, bringing the Arthurian legend to thrilling new life.
Uniting the restive British kingdoms behind him, Arthur believes he can now hold back the Saxons threatening the country. Meanwhile, Merlin sets out on a quest to uncover the sacred Treasures of Britain, hoping they will prove decisive in the coming battle. But in a country where the cult of the Christians is spreading, Merlin's quest is divisive. And the ambitions of the rival warlord Lancelot threaten the delicate peace. Could even those closest to Arthur be moved to betray him? In the second book of the Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell brilliantly retells the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history and thrilling battlefield action.
In the Dark Ages, a legendary warrior arises to unite a divided land... Uther, the High King of Britain, is dead. His only heir is the infant Mordred. Yet each of the country's lesser kings seek to claim the crown for themselves. While they squabble and spoil for war, a host of Saxon armies gather, preparing for invasion. But no one has counted on the fearsome warlord Arthur. Handed power by Merlin and pursuing a doomed romance with the beautiful Guinevere, Arthur knows he will struggle to unite the country - let alone hold back the Saxon enemy at the gates. Yet destiny awaits him... The first of Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, The Winter King is a brilliant retelling of the Arthurian legend, combining myth, history and thrilling battlefield action. '
There have been queer tales told of that shield, and maybe there are queerer yet to be told. It has been stamped for good or evil on this church, and on this town, for centuries, and every tavern loafer will talk to you about the 'nebuly coat'... A young architect is sent to the remote Dorset town of Cullerne to supervise restoration work on its ancient abbey church. He is soon caught up in local life and the haunting rumours that surround the claim to the title of Lord Blandamer, whose escutcheon is the nebuly coat of the title.
Elizabeth Fremantle's The Girl in the Glass Tower is a stunning historical thriller set in the chaos leading up to the death of Elizabeth I. Tap. Tap. Tap on the window. Something, someone wanting to be heard. Waiting to be free. Tudor England. The word treason is on everyone's lips. Arbella Stuart, niece to Mary, Queen of Scots and presumed successor to Elizabeth I, has spent her youth behind the towering windows of Hardwick Hall. As presumed successor to the throne, her isolation should mean protection - but those close to the crown are never safe. Aemilia Lanyer - writer and poet - enjoys an independence denied to Arbella. Their paths should never cross. But when Arbella enlists Aemilia's help in a bid for freedom, she risks more than her own future. Ensnared in another woman's desperate schemes, Aemilia must tread carefully or share her terrible fate... The Girl in the Glass Tower brilliantly explores what it means to be born a woman in a man's world, where destiny is strictly controlled and the smallest choices may save - or destroy - us.
Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias became Italy's most ruthless and powerful family, electrifying and terrorizing their 15th-century Renaissance world. To this day, Lucrezia Borgia, the Pope's beautiful daughter, is known as one of history's most notorious villainesses, accused of incest and luring men to doom with her arsenal of poison. Was she the heartless seductress of legend? Or was she an unsuspecting pawn in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and her own survival? From her pampered childhood in the palaces of Rome to her ill-fated, scandalous marriages and complex relationship with her adored father and her brothers, this is the dramatic, untold story of a papal princess whose courage led her to overcome the fate imposed on her by her Borgia blood.
'Graceful, moving and powerful ...a wonderful story that seems to have been waiting, all this time, for Kline to come along and tell it' MICHAEL CHABON For decades, Christina Olson's whole world has been a rocky, windswept point on the coast of Maine, the farmhouse her ancestors fled to from the Salem witch trials. A world she fears she will never leave. As a girl, farm life asked more of Christina than it did her family, her wasting limbs turning every task into a challenge. But the very tenacity that strengthened her may dash her chances for a life beyond her chores and extinguish her hopes for love. Years pass and Christina's solitude is broken by the arrival of Andrew Wyeth, a young artist who is fixated on the isolated farm house. In Christina he will discover more than a kindred spirit; for him, she will become a muse like no other...From the bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN comes a luminous portrait of a woman of grit and grace, as heartwarming as it is gripping. A story that allows the reader to marvel at Andrew Wyeth's iconic portrait from the other side.
The Benedictine whisked a brush of multicoloured feathers over the top of the book, puffed out his plump cheeks like the god of winds in an old nautical map, blew black dust from the leather cover, and, with a shiver of what in the circumstances seemed delicate trepidation, laid the volume open on the table. Palermo, 1783: The barons pursue feuds and petty plotting. Their wives indulge in forbidden French novels. And the porcine abbot Vella, eager to curry favour with Naples, 'invents' an ancient Arabic chronicle, The Council of Egypt, that rewrites Sicilian history.