As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War. When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.
In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.
Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin.
From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of Sixties London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known. *Includes family tree*
The year is 1346 and King Edward III is restless. Despite earlier victories his army has still not achieved a major breakthrough and the French crown remains intact. Determined to bring France under English rule and the French army to its knees he has regrouped and planned a new route of attack. And on the beaches of Normandy his men now mass, ready to march through France to victory. But the French are nowhere to be seen. Edward knows that the worst thing he could do would be to take the battle to the French, where they will have the advantage and so he sets up camp near a small hill at Crecy and waits. The Battle of Crecy will be a decisive turning point in the Hundred Years' Wars. This is the story of that battle and the men who won it.
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.
After ten years of uninterrupted war, blood and agony, the Trojans have finally been defeated. Odysseus and his men begin the epic journey of returning to Ithaca. Along the way, terrifying enemies await them: the cyclops Polyphemus, the lotus eaters who feast on narcotic flowers that give only oblivion, the sorceress who turns men into swine, and the deadly, enthralling sirens. Odysseus is determined to make his way home to Ithaca, where his beloved family have awaited him for many long years. But his journey will present him with new, terrible perils - ones that he could not have dreamed of even in his wildest nightmares. In this stunning new novel, Valerio Massimo Manfredi gives a new voice to one of the most adventurous and fascinating heroes of all time.
The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland, author of the hugely popular Company of Liars will thrill fans of CJ Sansom and Kate Mosse with its chilling recreation of the Peasants' Revolt. It offers an intelligent, beautifully researched glimpse of a more deadly, superstitious era ...'A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists' Daily Mail on The Falcons of Fire and Ice The reign of Richard II is troubled, the poor are about to become poorer still and landowners are lining their pockets. It's a case of every man for himself, whatever his status or wealth. But in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust? The dour wool merchant? His impulsive son? The stepdaughter with the hypnotic eyes? Or the raven-haired widow clutching her necklace of bloodstones? And when people start dying unnatural deaths and the peasants decide it's time to fight back, it's all too easy to spy witchcraft at every turn.
Winter, 1666. A second war has broken out between the English and the Dutch... Captain Matthew Quinton's fifth mission for King and country is to the Swedish court at Gothenburg. Sweden is at the height of its military power, and Quinton is charged with securing much-needed support in England's new war against her old enemy, the Dutch republic.
Accompanying him is the mysterious Lord Conisborough, who - unknown to his captain - is sworn to another, secret mission: to track down and kill the notorious regicide John Bale, alone among peers of the realm to sign the death warrant of Charles 1. Gothenburg proves to be a hotbed of dangerously conflicting loyalties, and Quinton and crew find themselves needing help from the most unexpected quarters.
In the fifth instalment of Robert Fabbri's bestselling series, Vespasian fights a battle on two fronts - ancient evil in Britannia and political intrigue in the heart of Imperial Rome. In the shadow of Stonehenge, an epic battle begins...Britannia, 45 AD: Vespasian's brother, Sabinus, is captured by druids. The druids want to offer a potent sacrifice to their gods - not just one Roman Legate, but two. They know that Vespasian will come after his brother and they plan to sacrifice the siblings on mid-summer's day. But to whom will they be making this sacrifice? What were the gods of this land before the Celts came? Only the druids still hold the secret and it is one of pure malevolence. Vespasian must strive to save his brother whilst completing the conquest of the south-west of the haunted isle, before he is drawn inexorably back to Rome and the heart of Imperial politics. Claudius' three freedmen remain at the locus of power. As Messalina's time as Empress comes to a bloody end, the three freedmen each back a different mistress. But which woman will be victorious? And at what price for Vespasian?
Some call the prize ring a nursery for vice ...Born into a brothel, Ruth's future looks bleak until she catches the eye of Mr Dryer. A rich Bristol merchant and enthusiast of the ring, he trains gutsy Ruth as a puglist. Soon she rules the blood-spattered sawdust at the infamous Hatchet Inn. Dryer's wife Charlotte lives in the shadows. A grieving orphan, she hides away, scarred by smallpox, ignored by Dryer, and engaged in dangerous mind games with her brother. When Dryer sidelines Ruth after a disastrous fight, and focuses on training her husband Tom, Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition. As the tension mounts before Tom's championship fight, two worlds collide with electrifying consequences. THE FAIR FIGHT will take you from a filthy brothel to the finest houses in the town, from the world of street-fighters to the world of champions. Alive with the smells and the sounds of the streets, it is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention and fighting your way to the top.
Starting life in the gutter, Jean-Marie d'Aumout rises through the ranks of eighteenth-century French society propelled by his wits and an obsession with finding the perfect taste. But beyond the palace walls, revolution is in the air and the country is clamouring with a hunger of a different kind.
'For readers who want to be entertained, but not at the cost of good writing, The Storyteller and his Three Daughters is the best kind of novel - exquisitely crafted prose, fully developed, believable characters, well-researched historically - and above all, a gripping plot' The Sydney Morning Herald TOKYO 1884: Sei has devoted his life to storytelling, captivating audiences with his tales. But now he is starting to wonder if the new world has left him behind.Just when he thinks he will never write again, his own life and the lives of the people around him begin to spiral out of control - providing the inspiration for the greatest story he has ever told. A story of love, jealousy, intrigue, and betrayal. Set against the background of Japan's first incursions into Korea, Sei offers a wise and witty reflection on the nature of storytelling, its perils and delights, its lies and, ultimately, its truth.P RAISE for the Tales of the Otori books and Blossoms and Shadows, also by Lian Hearn: 'a tour de force of pure storytelling' The Sydney Morning Herald'intelligent, accomplished, audacious and finely written' The Age'uniquely charming, flowing and seductive' The Courier-Mail'beautifully crafted' The Herald Sun
A stunning debut historical thriller set in the turbulent 14th Century for fans of CJ Sansom, The Name of the Rose and An Instance of the Fingerpost. London, 1385. A city of shadows and fear, in a kingdom ruled by the headstrong young King Richard II, haunted by the spectre of revolt. A place of poetry and prophecy, where power is bought by blood. For John Gower, part-time poet and full-time trader in information, secrets are his currency. When close confidant, fellow poet Geoffrey Chaucer, calls in an old debt, Gower cannot refuse. The request is simple: track down a missing book. It should be easy for a man of Gower's talents, who knows the back-alleys of Southwark as intimately as the courts and palaces of Westminster. But what Gower does not know is that this book has already caused one murder, and that its contents could destroy his life. Because its words are behind the highest treason - a conspiracy to kill the king and reduce his reign to ashes...
In the dry heat of an August morning Gaius Valerius Verrens wakes filthy and bearded and prepares for his last day on earth. Wrongly accused by enemies on his own side, Valerius is destined to die a coward's death for deserting his legion on the field of Bedriacum. It is the summer of AD 69 and after a year of slaughter and turmoil the Empire remains trapped in the coils of a desperate, destructive civil war. Valerius' old friend, Aulus Vitellius, victor in the decisive confrontation that left Otho's armies shattered, sits uneasily on a golden throne in Rome, and his rival is dead by his own hand. But a new challenge arises in the East where Titus Flavius Vespasian has been declared Emperor by his legions. The only way Valerius can survive to reach Rome and be united with his lost love Domitia Longina Corbulo is to ally himself with Vitellius' enemies. On the way he must battle through a maze of distrust, corruption, bloody conflict and betrayal, with as many perils behind as there are in front. A powerful enemy, a burning temple and divided loyalties all stand in his way, but the prize that awaits has never been more worthwhile.
In Florence, everyone has a passion. With 60,000 souls inside the city, crammed into a cobweb of clattering streets, countless alleys, towers, workshops, tanneries, cloisters, churches and burial grounds, they live their lives in the narrow world between the walls. Nino Latini knows that if you want to survive without losing yourself completely, then you've got to have a passion. But Nino's greatest gift will be his greatest curse. Nino can taste things that other people cannot. Every flavour, every ingredient comes alive for him as vividly as a painting and he puts his artistry to increasingly extravagant use. In an age of gluttony and conspicuous consumption, his unique talent leads him into danger. His desire for the beautiful Tessina Delmazza and his longing to create the perfect feast could prove deadly. Nino must flee Florence to save his life and if he ever wants to see his beloved again, he must entrust himself entirely to the tender mercies of fortune.
A mystery trapped in time In 1921, infamous Italian poet Galeazzo D'Ascanio wrote his last and greatest play, inspired by his muse and mistress, actress Celia Sands. On the eve of opening night, Celia vanished, and the play was never performed. Now, two generations later, Alessandro D'Ascanio plans to stage his grandfather's masterpiece and has offered the lead to a promising young English actress, also named Celia Sands-at the whim of her actress mother, or so she has always thought. When Celia arrives at D'Ascanio's magnificent, isolated Italian villa, she is drawn to the mystery of her namesake's disappearance-and to the compelling, enigmatic Alessandro. But the closer Celia gets to learning the first Celia's fate, the more she is drawn into a web of murder, passion, and the obsession of genius. Though she knows she should let go of the past, in the dark, in her dreams, it comes back...
Her name is legend. Her story, the epic of nations. The Queen of Sheba. A powerful new novel of love, power, and the questions at the heart of existence by the author of the award-winning brilliant ( Library Journal ) and masterful ( Publishers Weekly ) Iscariot. There is the story you know: A foreign queen, journeying north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king and god both before returning to her own land laden with gifts. That is the tale you were meant to believe. Which means most of it is a lie. The truth is far more than even the storytellers could conjure. The riches more priceless. The secrets more corrosive. The love and betrayal more passionate and devastating. Across the Red Sea, the pillars of the great oval temple once bore my name: Bilqis, Daughter of the Moon. Here, to the west, the porticoes knew another: Makeda, Woman of Fire. To the Israelites, I was queen of the spice lands, which they called Sheba. In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father's throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world--or of Sheba's queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite--and ruin--them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.
Beautiful and talented actress, poet and fashion icon, Mary Robinson was one of the most famous women of her time - yet she died virtually penniless, her reputation in ruins. For Mary was destined always to be betrayed by the men she loved - her father, her husband and, most seriously, by the Prince of Wales, later George IV, for whom Mary gave up her career, her husband and her independence, only to be cruelly abandoned. This is her enthralling story: a tale of ambition, passion, scandal and heartbreak.
A man becomes a hero ...As a young boy in Ithaca, Odysseus listens in wonder to his grandfather Autolykos, a man feared by many across the land as a ruthless fighter. He learns of his heritage and a lifelong passion is sparked: to become an adventurer and warrior. In Mycenae, he meets King Eurystheus and learns the terrible story of Hercules - the man with god-like strength who slaughtered his family and punished by the King to undertake impossible tasks to earn absolution. But is Eurystheus the man he says he is? When a child comes to Odysseus in the middle of the night, with another, very disturbing, version of what happened that fateful night, Odysseus embarks on the first of his extraordinary quests ...So begins the epic story of Odysseus, the first of two volumes: an adventure of love, war, courage and heroism, weaving from a small rocky island in Greece, to the mighty fall of Troy.
An irresistible novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and based on the real life of Tom Thumb, a young man only twenty-five inches tall, who became America's first internationally recognized entertainer. By a writer whose previous work has been called sprawling and elegant ( The New York Times Book Review ), this novel weaves together a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at life during the Civil War and a moving tale of one misfit's odyssey to find his place in the world. Discovered at age four by P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb soon finds himself traveling internationally, sitting on the laps of the queens of Europe, and entertaining the masses. He meets Czar Nicholas and the King of Saxony, and is invited to the Tuilleries by Louis Philippe. After marrying Lavinia Warren, Tom and wife are hosted at the White House by President Lincoln. With the country at war, Tom and Lavinia set out on their honeymoon tour and witness firsthand the fracture between the states, the heroism of young soldiers, and the unbreakable spirit of the American people. Written in a voice that is both witty and lyrical, and with a colorful secondary cast including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, P.T. Barnum, and notable figures of the period, this is an evocative, poignant imagining of one man's story at a unique moment in American history.
The Story of Land and Sea is a spellbinding, searing story of love, loss, and the bonds that make and break us. Katy Simpson Smith has already been acclaimed as an 'heir apparent to to Michael Ondaatje and Marilynne Robinson' August, 1793. On the hot, humid coast of North Carolina nine-year-old Tabitha fills her pockets with fish bones and shells, to bring the ocean back to her room. The act, perhaps, of a child conceived at sea. At night young Tab sits with her father by the shore to hear stories of her mother Helen, the pull of the ocean born into them both. John longs to sail the sea as he did before the war, but knows he must stay on steady land for his daughter. But when Tab catches yellow fever John turns to what he knows, and steals her onto a boat bound for Bermuda in the hope the sea air will cure, as Tab's precious life hangs in the balance. The same coast twenty years earlier, and Helen is given a slave girl for her tenth birthday. Moll's arrival is intended to teach Helen discipline but soon the girls are confidantes, an unlikely alliance. It's an enduring friendship until the arrival of John, a pirate turned soldier. And as the town is threatened in the dying embers of the Revolution, Helen must decide between a life of security on the family plantation and a sea adventure with the man she loves.
Little Helene Jegado had always been different. Schooled in the ancient beliefs of the Breton people by her mother, the beautiful child grows up feeling detached from the nineteenth-century world around her and yet destined for a terrible vocation: to do the work of l'Ankou, death's henchman. Beginning with the demise of her very own maman...