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Historical Fiction
The Lion Rampant

The Lion Rampant

Blanche D'Alpuget

$29.99

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The second novel in the compelling series about two of medieval history's most fascinating characters, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

It is 1154 and Henry Plantagenet avenges his family honour by taking back the English throne from Stephen the Usurper. The kingdom he inherits is impoverished, lawless and broken by years of civil war. By his side is the beautiful, wealthy and indomitable Eleanor of Aquitaine. Combining forces, this golden couple use their charisma and shrewd diplomacy to crush rebellious barons and restore England's prestige and glory. However, an equally ambitious financial magician is needed to restore the royal treasury. Opportunistic Thomas Becket answers the call, using his appointment of Chancellor to fill not only the King's coffers but also his own.

In a dance of ambition, vengeance and forbidden passions, Henry, his Queen and the Chancellor fight for political power and control against forces seen and imagined, each with their own agenda, each determined to hide their own shameful secrets.

"I was expecting the normal historical novel. This isn't it. This is fresh and invigorating and absolutely gripping.  Blanche d'Alpuget has now turned to medieval history to produce an extraordinary tale of ruthlessly pursued political and personal aims. It seems she has reproduced the very texture of those times, their grittiness and brutality. The revision she provides of the motives and character of Thomas Becket will rivet readers as they have not been riveted since Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell." Tom Keneally
Gutenberg's Apprentice

Gutenberg's Apprentice

Alix Christie

$29.99

'A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history' A. D. Miller 'If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it. As we go through another information revolution, Christie's novel takes us back in brilliantly observed detail to the first - the invention of the printing press. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever' Naomi Alderman In the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press. Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old. Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it.
Trinity: Wars of the Roses #2

Trinity: Wars of the Roses #2

Conn Iggulden

$32.99

1454: King Henry VI has remained all but exiled in Windsor Castle, struck down by his illness for over a year, his eyes vacant, his mind a blank. His fiercely loyal wife and Queen, Margaret of Anjou, safeguards her husband's interests, hoping that her son Edward will one day know the love of his father. Richard Duke of York, Protector of the Realm, extends his influence throughout the kingdom with each month that Henry slumbers. The Earls of Salisbury and Warwick make up a formidable trinity with Richard, and together they seek to break the support of those who would raise their colours in the name of Henry and his Queen. But when the King unexpectedly recovers his senses and returns to London to reclaim his throne, the balance of power is once again thrown into turmoil. The clash of the Houses of Lancaster and York will surely mean a war to tear England apart...
The Brewer's Tale

The Brewer's Tale

Karen Brooks

$32.99

It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother's family once prospered: brewing ale. Armed with her Dutch mother's recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father's aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well. Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring. Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer's craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.
The Lily and the Lion

The Lily and the Lion

Maurice Druon

$29.99

'This was the original game of thrones' George R.R. Martin The royal house of France has fallen. Charles IV is dead, fulfilling the curse of the Templars once and for all. This leaves the path to the throne open for Robert of Artois to place his cousin, Philippe of Valois, upon it. Having committed fraud, perjury and murder in the name of the new king, Robert expects to receive a title and his full reward. But the days of betrayal are far from over and Robert is banished to England. In the land of France's enemies vengeance sparks fresh conflict as King Edward III and his new ally prepare for war. As swords are sharpened the lion wakes and a pretender threatens France once more ...
The She-Wolf

The She-Wolf

Maurice Druon

$15.99

'This was the original game of thrones' George R.R. Martin Charles IV is now king of France and his sister is Edward II of England's Queen. Having been imprisoned by Edward as leader of the rebellious English barons, Roger Mortimer escapes to France, where he joins the war against the English Aquitaine. But it is his love affair with Isabella, the 'She-Wolf of France', who has come seemingly to negotiate a treaty of peace that seals his fate...
Return to Fourwinds

Return to Fourwinds

Elisabeth Gifford

$29.99

One house. Two families. A lifetime of secrets. At Fourwinds they gather: Alice and Ralph, Patricia and Peter, to celebrate the marriage of their children. The marquee is on the lawn, breathing in and out in the summer heat. But the bride is nowhere to be seen. As both families are drawn together, the past floods through the corridors of the old house. What secret has Ralph been keeping from his wife? What is it about Alice's wartime encounter with Peter that has haunted her ever since? And what could have caused Sarah to vanish without a word to any of the people she loves? Moving from the orange groves of Valencia and the spacious houses of the British countryside to the post-war slums in the north, Return to Fourwinds is a sweeping, lyrical story of the things we tell and the things we keep to ourselves. Is Sarah's disappearance a culmination of the pressures that have kept the two families apart? Or can they work together to bring her back to Fourwinds?
Good Man Friday

Good Man Friday

Barbara Hambly

$26.95

New Orleans, 1838. When Benjamin January suddenly finds that his services playing piano at extravagant balls held by the city's wealthy are no longer required, he ends up agreeing to accompany sugar planter Henri Viellard and his young wife, Chloe, on a mission to Washington to find a missing friend. Plunged into a murky world, it soon becomes clear that while it is very possible the Viellards' friend is dead, his enemies are very much alive - and ready to kill anyone who gets in their way.
Sword of Rome

Sword of Rome

Douglas Jackson

$19.99

AD 68. The Emperor Nero's erratic and bloody reign is in its death throes when Gaius Valerius Verrens is dispatched to Rome on a mission that will bring it to a close. With Nero dead, the city holds its breath and awaits the arrival his successor, Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania. The Empire prays for peace, but it prays in vain. Galba promises stability and prosperity, but his rule begins with a massacre and ends only months later in chaos and carnage.
Half the World in Winter

Half the World in Winter

Maggie Joel

$29.99

It is London, 1880, and Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah looks for fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on. A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice's father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting. Written with charm, humour and rich period detail, Maggie Joel has created an intriguing novel of a Victorian family adrift in their rapidly changing world.
Hannibal: Clouds of War

Hannibal: Clouds of War

Ben Kane

$19.99

As Rome's war with Carthage continues, two friends - now on opposing sides - confront each other in one of the most brutal sieges of all time. A new Hannibal novel by the Sunday Times best-selling author of The Forgotten Legion series. 213 BC. Syracuse. Under the merciless Sicilian sun, a city is at war. Outside the walls, a vast Roman army waits. Yet the city's incredible defences, designed by Archimedes, mean that Syracuse will not be taken easily. A veteran of the bitter war since its beginning, Quintus is ready to give his life in the service of the Republic. But dangers face him from within his own ranks as well as from the enemy - who include his former friend, the Carthaginian, Hanno. Hanno has been sent by his general Hannibal to aid Syracuse in its fight against Rome. Pledged to bring death to all Romans, he is diverted from his mission by the discovery of Quintus' sister Aurelia, a captive within the city. Two friends on opposing sides. A woman caught between them. They are about to meet in one of the most brutal sieges of all time. Who will survive?
The King and the Slave

The King and the Slave

Tim Leach

$27.99

Ten years after the fall of Babylon, Cyrus's army is on the march again. His slave Croesus, no longer a young man, accompanies him as always, as does the king's son and heir Cambyses, who has inherited none of his father's diplomacy or charisma and all of his vanity and violence. When the warriors of Persia are unexpectedly crushed in battle Cyrus is put to death, and Cambyses assumes the throne. Croesus, once a king himself, is called upon to guide the young man; but the young man cannot be guided, and after taking offence at an insult by an Egyptian ruler, Cambyses takes the full force of his father's empire to Africa for bloody and brutal vengeance...
Juliet's Nurse

Juliet's Nurse

Lois Leveen

$32.99

In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next fourteen years, the nurse learns the Cappelletti's darkest secrets. Those secrets-and the nurse's own deepest personal grief-erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family. By turns comic, sensual, and tragic, JULIET'S NURSE gives voice to one of literature's most memorable and distinctive characters, a woman who was both insider and outsider among Verona's wealthy ruling class. Exploring the romance and intrigue of interwoven loyalties, rivalries, jealousies, and losses only hinted at in Shakespeare's play, JULIET'S NURSE offers an original perspective and a never-before-heard tale of the deepest love in Verona-the love between a grieving woman and her precious milk-daughter. In the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, and Geraldine Brooks, JULIET'S NURSE is a rich prequel and reimagining of a classic tale. Drawing readers into the romance and danger of fourteenth-century Italy, JULIET'S NURSE is an engrossing novel of love and loss, suffering, and survival.
Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

Mary Renault ,  Tom Holland

$19.99

Alexander's beauty, strength and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's Iliad fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition.
Funeral Games: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

Funeral Games: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

Mary Renault ,  Tom Holland

$19.99

Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind an empire that stretched from Greece and Egypt to India. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. his only direct heirs were two unborn sons and a simpleton half-brother. Every long-simmering faction exploded into the vacuum of power. Wives, distant relatives and generals all vied for the loyalty of the increasingly undisciplined Macedonian army. Most failed and were killed in the attempt. For no one possessed the leadership to keep the great empire from crumbling. But Alexander's legend endured to spread into worlds he had seen only in dreams.
The Persian Boy: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

The Persian Boy: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic

Mary Renault ,  Tom Holland

$19.99

The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.
The Emperor's Knives

The Emperor's Knives

Anthony Riches

$22.99

The seventh novel in Anthony Riches' acclaimed Empire sequence brings Marcus Aquila back to Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family. But the revenge he craves may cost him and those around him dearly. The young centurion's urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands. A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum - the Death Bringer - lie in wait. The knives are unsheathed, and ready for blood ...
Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead

Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead

Sean Thomas Russell

$29.99

Under the command of Captain Charles Hayden, Royal Navy frigate HMS Themis is sent to counter the threat of the French forces in the West Indies. In the middle of the vast Atlantic, Hayden discovers two Spanish noblemen, castaway in a ship's boat - a stroke of almost impossible good fortune. The Spaniards' explanation for their plight seems so improbable that Hayden's officers suspect them of being criminals or even spies. But they have secrets far more shocking than that - secrets which will haunt Hayden in his new posting. Upon reaching the Barbados station, Hayden finds himself under the command of the vainglorious Sir William Jones, an impetuous and foolhardy officer. Refusing orders will cost Hayden his command. Accepting them might cost him his ship and crew. Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead is the brilliant fourth tale in the epic maritime adventures of Charles Hayden. A masterpiece already rivaling the stories of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brian.
Brothers in Blood

Brothers in Blood

Simon Scarrow

$29.99

The Sunday Times bestselling author of THE GLADIATOR and CENTURION returns with another unputdownable, thrilling and action-packed novel of the Roman army in Britannia. The Roman Empire's conquest of Britannia is under threat from within. A messenger on the streets of Rome has been intercepted and tortured, revealing a plot to sabotage the Roman army's campaign against Caratacus, commander of Britannia's native tribes. A treacherous agent's mission is to open a second front of attack against them and eliminate the two Roman soldiers who could stand in the way. Unwarned, Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro are with the Roman army pursuing Caratacus and his men through the mountains of Britannia. Defeating Caratacus finally seems within their grasp. But the plot against the two heroes threatens not only their military goals but also their lives. Includes 2 maps and Roman army organisation chart.
Bellman & Black

Bellman & Black

Diane Setterfield

$19.99

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforeseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.
Pasha

Pasha

Julian Stockwin

$29.99

An Admiralty summons to England cuts short Thomas Kydd's service in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. While the crew of L'Aurore can look forward to liberty and prize money, a shadow hangs over their captain: the impending court martial of his one-time commander, Commodore Popham, who led a doomed attack on South America. Following Nelson's death two years earlier, England is in desperate need of heroes and Kydd's Caribbean exploits are the talk of London. Feted by the king and a grateful country, Kydd is soon on detachment in a new and dangerous sphere of interest: the Dardanelles, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea and providing a route to India. The French have long coveted this route, knowing that it could be the key to toppling the British Empire in India. When they successfully whip up such strong anti-English sentiment that the British ambassador to Constantinople has to flee to L'Aurore, a deadly stand-off ensues. Meanwhile Kydd's closest friend, Nicholas Renzi, has assumed a new role that he can never make public. Sent under alias on a mission to Constantinople, Renzi must engineer a coup that will turn the tables on the French. But when he's taken prisoner, only Kydd's superb seamanship and sheer bravado can save the day.
The Homesman

The Homesman

Glendon Swarthout

$19.99

The Homesman is a devastating, humane story of early pioneers to America's West in the 1850's. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of-the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by that life of bitter hardship. When a nineteen-year-old mother loses her three children to diphtheria in three days, or a woman left alone for two nights has to shoot wolves as they crash through the window, it is no wonder they should lose their minds. After a dreadful winter, the Rev. Dowd finds there are four such cases in his parish and, as yet, no asylum in this frontier town. A 'homesman' must be found to escort the women East to civilization. Not a job anyone would volunteer for, it falls to Mary Bee Cuddy, ex-teacher, spinster-indomitable, resourceful, plain as an old tin pail. Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone, and the only companion available is the low-life and untrustworthy George Briggs, a claim-jumper.Thus begins a trek East, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, loneliness, and the unceasing aggravation of a disparate group of mad women, which provides a series of tough, fast-paced adventures and introduces two wonderful, idiosyncratic characters. Coming to cinemas in 2014 with an incredible cast - featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank and John Lithgow. Not to be missed!
           
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