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Historical Fiction

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

$19.99
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The long-awaited novel from the bestselling author of Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad.

The long-awaited novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.

Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.

Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan's first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.
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Order (#1 Kingdom of the Wicked)

Order (#1 Kingdom of the Wicked)

Helen Dale

$39.99
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The sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked: Book One Rules (Wilkinson Publishing, October 2017) From the best-selling author of The Hand that Signed the Paper, winner of the Miles Franklin Award, comes a sensational epic novel. Published in association with Ligature (www.ligatu.re) 786 ab urbe condita 33AD. Time is running out for Yeshua Ben Yusuf, on trial for capital crimes after rioting against the monmeychanges in the temple.

His Roman defence lawyer and the Legion's military prosecutor bring their witnesses before Pontius Pilate followers, soldiers, religious leaders, even his mother revealing the accused man in ways that surprise and move those gathering for the verdict, connecting and transforming their lives. As Yeshua Ben Yusuf awaits judgment, the wounded Zealots prepare a final desperate strike. On the outskirts of Jerusalem, the occupation, the resistance and one holy man will meet their fate together.
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Queen of the North

Queen of the North

Anne O'Brien

$29.99
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To those around her she was a loyal subject. In her heart she was a traitor. 1399: England's crown is under threat. King Richard II holds onto his power by an ever-weakening thread, with exiled Henry of Lancaster back to reclaim his place on the throne.

For Elizabeth Mortimer, there is only one rightful King - her eight-year-old nephew, Edmund. Only he can guarantee her fortunes, and protect her family's rule over the precious Northern lands bordering Scotland.

But many, including Elizabeth's husband, do not want another child-King. Elizabeth must hide her true ambitions in Court, and go against her husband's wishes to help build a rebel army.

To question her loyalty to the King places Elizabeth in the shadow of the axe.

To concede would curdle her Plantagenet blood.

This is one woman's quest to turn history on its head.
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Mr Peacock's Possessions: THE TIMES Book of the Month

Mr Peacock's Possessions: THE TIMES Book of the Month

Lydia Syson

$29.99
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Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island.

For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island's secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.
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The King's Witch

The King's Witch

Tracy Borman

$29.99
Already a great historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller.

As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields and ancient woods of her parents' Hampshire estate, where she has learned to use the flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer.

Frances is happy to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear and suspicion. His court may be shockingly decadent, but James's religion is Puritan, intolerant of all the old ways; he has already put to death many men for treason and women for witchcraft.

So when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to court, she is trapped in a claustrophobic world of intrigue and betrayal - and a ready target for the twisted scheming of Lord Cecil, the King's first minister. Surrounded by mortal dangers, Frances finds happiness only with the precocious young Princess Elizabeth, and Tom Wintour, the one courtier she can trust.

Or can she?
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Clash of Empires: First in an epic new series

Clash of Empires: First in an epic new series

Ben Kane

$32.99
After sixteen years of bloody war, Hannibal Barca is on the verge of defeat. On the plains of Zama, Felix and his brother Antonius stand in the formidable Roman legions, ready to deliver the decisive blow. Victory will establish Rome as the pre-eminent power in the ancient world. Meanwhile, young senator Flamininus is set on becoming one of the Republic's greatest military commanders with his eyes on the as-yet-unconquered Macedon and Greece.

But in the north of Greece, Philip V of Macedon has his own agenda. He is determined to restore his kingdom to its former glory but needs a strong army to help him do it. Young Demetrios dreams of fighting in the phalanx but is just a poor oarsman. Thirsty, hungry, burnt by the unforgiving Mediterranean sun, dreams are his only sustenance, until a chance encounter changes everything.

Flamininus will stop at nothing to bring Philip V to heel. The Roman wolf has tasted blood, and it wants more. But the sun of Macedon will not set without a final blaze of glory.

The gripping first novel in a new series from the master of historical fiction
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Lancelot

Lancelot

Giles Kristian

$32.99
In his epic new novel, the acclaimed and bestselling author of Raven and God of Vengeance reimagines and retells the story of one of the great figures of British myth and legends - the warrior who fought at King Arthur's side: Lancelot...

Set in a 5th century post-Roman Britain besieged by invading war bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel will tell - through the warrior's own words - the story of Lancelot, the most celebrated of all King Arthur's knights. And it's a story that’s ready to be re-imagined for our times.

It’s a story imbued with the magic and superstition that was such an integral part of the enchanted landscape of Britain during this dark times. Many of the familiar names from Arthurian mythology will be here - Mordred and Gawain, Morgana and, of course, Merlin - as will be those vital icons of the legend such as the Round Table and the sword in the stone but these will be reinvented, reforged for a new generation of readers. Lancelot: The Betrayal is a story of warriors and kings, of strife, warfare and bloodshed but it is also a story of friendship, of over-arching ambition, of betrayal, of love and lust, guilt and tragedy.
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The Contraband Shore (#1 John Pearce)

The Contraband Shore (#1 John Pearce)

David Donachie

$19.99
1787. Captain Edward Brazier, recently paid off from his frigate and comfortably off with prize money, he is headed to Deal to propose marriage to the young and lovely widow Betsey Langridge. He must navigate the bustle of the town's narrow streets that are busy with legal, illicit and depraved business flowing from and around the ships at dock. But all does not go well; between Betsy's brother and guardian Henry Tulkington prohibiting the match, and Brazier marked out for trouble by a local smuggling gang, his plans are in disarray. And when it slowly emerges that there may have been a decades old injustice closer to home, Brazier is caught up in more than he'd bargained for.
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Flying Colours

Flying Colours

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea A humiliated and shipless captive of the French, Horatio Hornblower faces execution unless he can escape and make a triumphant return to England . . .

Forced to surrender his ship, HMS Sutherland, after a long and bloody battle, Captain Horatio Hornblower is held prisoner in a French fortress. Prospects turn bleaker when he learns that he and Lt. Bush are to be tried and executed in Paris as part of Napoleon's attempts to rally the war-weary Empire. Even if Hornblower can escape this fate and make it safe to England, he still faces court-martial for surrendering his ship. With little hope for the future and little left to lose, Hornblower throws caution to the wind once more.

This is the seventh of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'A joyous creation, perfection in words' Conn Iggulden
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Lord Hornblower

Lord Hornblower

C. S. Forester

$19.99
1813, and Horatio Hornblower is propelled toward the heart of the French Empire and his old enemy, Napoleon...

Sir Horatio Hornblower has received strict and highly confidential orders from the highest rank: he must embark upon a grave and perilous mission to recapture the Flame in the Bay of Seine, where the brutal and foul-tempered Lieutenant Augustine Chadwick is being held prisoner by a mutinous crew. Rescuing the Lieutenant demands all of Horatio's spirit and seafaring prowess - for at the same time, he must contend with capturing two French cargo vessels and take part in negotiations to topple the faltering Napoleon once and for all...

This is the ninth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C.S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
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Hornblower in the West Indies

Hornblower in the West Indies

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea 1815, the Napoleonic Wars are over. Yet peace continues to elude Horatio Hornblower overseas . . .

As an admiral struggling to impose order in the chaotic aftermath of the French wars, Horatio Hornblower, Commander-in-chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels in the West Indies, must still face savage pirates, reckless revolutionaries and a violent hurricane.

And while his retirement at half-pay might well be in sight, Hornblower will need every ounce of his rapier wit and quick thinking - not to mention his courage and leadership - to ensure that the lasting peace in Europe reaches the turbulent seas of the West Indies. This is the tenth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower. 'The true master of the genre' Boris Johnson
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A Ship of the Line

A Ship of the Line

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea. May, 1810 - and thirty-nine-year-old Captain Horatio Hornblower has been handed his first ship of the line...

Though the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland is 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy' and a crew shortage means he must recruit two hundred and fifty landlubbers, Hornblower knows that by the time Sutherland and her squadron reach the blockaded Catalonian coast every seaman will do his duty. But with daring raids against the French army and navy to be made, it will take all Hornblower's seamanship - and stewardship - to steer a steady course to victory and home...

This is the sixth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'I recommend Forester to every literate I know' Ernest Hemingway
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Hornblower and the Atropos

Hornblower and the Atropos

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea.    1805, and Hornblower is both humbled and honoured in quick succession...   

After near disaster on board a canal barge, Horatio Hornblower is given his first assignment as Captain, taking charge of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop that will act as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon the Atropos is part of the Mediterranean fleet's assault upon Napoleon, and Captain Hornblower must execute a bold and daring salvage operation for buried treasure lying deep in Turkish waters. Under the guns of a suspicious port captain and the threat of a Spanish frigate more than double Atropos's size, Hornblower must steer his ship unscathed and triumphant...  

This is the fourth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C.S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horation Hornblower.   

'I recommend Forester to every literate I know' Ernest Hemingway   

'I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining' Sir Winston Churchill
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The Happy Return

The Happy Return

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea June, 1808 - and off the Coast of Nicaragua Captain Horatio Hornblower has his hands full . . .

Now in command of HMS Lydia, a thirty-six-gun frigate, Hornblower has instructions to form an alliance against the Spanish colonies with a mad and messianic revolutionary, El Supremo; to find a water route across the Central American isthmus; and 'to take, sink, burn or destroy' the fifty-gun Spanish ship of the line Natividad - or face court-martial. And as if he did not have enough trouble, Hornblower must also contend with the beguiling charms of an unwanted passenger: Lady Barbara Wellesley . . .

This is the fifth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining' Sir Winston Churchill
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Hornblower and the Crisis

Hornblower and the Crisis

C. S. Forester

$19.99
A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea. In the final instalment of the Horatio Hornblower series we visit some lesser known adventures across our hero's long career, including Napoleon's plans to invade England...

1805 and Horatio Hornblower is in possession of confidential dispatches from Bonaparte after a vicious hand-to-hand encounter with a French brig. The admiralty rewards Hornblower by sending him on a dangerous espionage mission that will light the powder trail leading to the battle of Trafalgar...

Hornblower and the Crisis was unfinished at the time of Forester's death, but the author left notes - included here - telling us how the tale would end. Also included are two further stories - Hornblower and the Widow McCool and The Last Encounter - that tell of Hornblower as a very young and very old man, respectively.

This is the eleventh and final book chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'The true master of the genre' Boris Johnson
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The Commodore

The Commodore

C. S. Forester

$19.99
1812 and the fate of Europe lies in the hands of newly appointed Commodore Hornblower...

Dispatched to northern waters to protect Britain's Baltic interests, Horatio Hornblower must halt the advance of Napoleon's empire into Sweden and Russia. But first he must battle the terrible Baltic weather: fog, snow and icebound waterways; overcome Russian political and commercial intrigues; avoid the seductive charms of royalty as well as the deadly reach of assassins in the imperial palace; and contend with hostile armies and French privateers. With the fate of Europe balanced on a knife edge, the responsibility lies heavy on a Commodore's shoulders...

This is the eighth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'A recipe for pure pleasure' Bernard Cornwell
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Cavalier's Commission

Cavalier's Commission

Stanley Goldyn

$24.99
A decisive Imperial victory; a casket abandoned after battle. A hunt for vital letters begins as Bohemia simmers in a cauldron of religious conflict.

With the brutal Thirty Years’ War broiling into the summer of 1619, Lieutenant Jack Channing takes on a cavalier’s commission and pursues the malevolent Sebastian Grieux, who reclaims the parchments for the Bohemian rebels. While negotiating the attentions of Anezka, the Princess Princess Stasna-Stechova and alluring chatelaine of Velesin Castle, and the distractions of Marianna, the countess that he adores, Jack searches for the casket and his nemesis, determined to recover the documents and preserve a reputation.

This sequel to The Cavalier Club is a swashbuckling yarn of love, honour and adventure. The Cavalier’s Commission captures the early events of Europe’s devastating conflict with genuine and immersive storytelling, woven from a rigorous study of historical material.
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Roots

Roots

Alex Haley

$24.99
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Tracing his ancestry through six generations of architects, lawyers, blacksmiths, farmers, freedmen and slaves, Alex Haley's research took him back to Africa and a sixteen-year-old youth named Kunta Kinte. Torn from his homeland and brought to the slave markets of the New World, re-imagining Kunta's journey would allow Haley to explore his family's deep and distant past.

'A gripping mixture of urban confessional and political manifesto, Roots not only inspired a generation of black activists, but drove home the bitter realities of racism to a mainstream white liberal audience' Observer
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The Half-Drowned King

The Half-Drowned King

Linnea Hartsuyker

$19.99
A Viking Game of Thrones packed with fantastic story-telling, intrigue and a vivid evocation of another time and place.

Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.

But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.

Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, THE HALF-DROWNED KING takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
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The Walworth Beauty

The Walworth Beauty

Michele Roberts

$19.99
From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue and Kate Atkinson 2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life.

1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels' promises of pleasure - and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house.

As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other - a breath at Madeleine's neck, a voice in her head - the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michele Roberts at her masterful best.
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The Baltic Prize (#19 Thomas Kydd)

The Baltic Prize (#19 Thomas Kydd)

Julian Stockwin

$19.99
1808. Parted from his new bride, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is called away to join the Northern Expedition to Sweden, now Britain's only ally in the Baltic. Following the sudden declaration of war by Russia and with the consequent threat of the czar's great fleet in St Petersburg, the expedition must defend Britain's dearly-won freedom in those waters.

However Kydd finds his popular fame as a frigate captain is a poisoned chalice; in the face of jealousy and envy from his fellow captains, the distrust of the commander-in-chief and the betrayal of friendship by a former brother-in-arms now made his subordinate, can he redeem his reputation?

In an entirely hostile sea Tyger ranges from the frozen north to the deadly confines of the Danish Sound - and plays a pivotal role in the situation ensuing after the czar's sudden attack on Finland. This climaxes in the first clash of fleets between Great Britain and Russia in history. To the victor will be the prize of the Baltic!
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The Iberian Flame (#20 Thomas Kydd)

The Iberian Flame (#20 Thomas Kydd)

Julian Stockwin

$32.99
'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' - Guardian

1808. With the Peninsula in turmoil, Napoleon Bonaparte signs a treaty to dismember Portugal and put his brother, Joseph, on the throne of Spain.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Renzi, the Lord Farndon, undertakes a deadly mission to stir up partisan unrest to disrupt this Napoleonic alliance with Spain.

Thrust into the crucible of the uprising, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is dismayed to come up against an old foe from his past - now his superior and commander - who is determined to break him. Kydd will soon face the greatest decision of his professional career.

Bonaparte, incensed by the reverses suffered to his honour, gathers together a crushing force and marches at speed into Spain. After several bloody encounters the greatly outnumbered British expedition have no option other than make a fighting retreat to the coast. Only the Navy can save them.

But the flame of insurrection has been lit - and the Peninsular War has begun.
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