Historical adventure fiction

The Clockwork Girl

The Clockwork Girl

Author: Anna Mazzola Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/01/2022

Paris, 1750. In the midst of an icy winter, as birds fall frozen from the sky, chambermaid Madeleine Chastel arrives at the home of the city's celebrated clockmaker and his clever, unworldly daughter. Madeleine is hiding a dark past, and a dangerous purpose: to discover the truth of the clockmaker's experiments and record his every move, in exchange for her own chance of freedom. For as children quietly vanish from the Parisian streets, rumours are swirling that the clockmaker's intricate mechanical creations, bejewelled birds and silver spiders, are more than they seem. And soon Madeleine fears that she has stumbled upon an even greater conspiracy. One which might reach to the very heart of Versailles... A intoxicating story of obsession, illusion and the price of freedom.

Sharpe's Assassin

Sharpe's Assassin

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2021

SHARPE IS BACK. This September, global bestseller Bernard Cornwell returns with his iconic hero, Richard Sharpe. If any man can do the impossible it's Richard Sharpe . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it's been his home ever since. He's a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon. So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one war is only the beginning of another. Napoleon's army may be defeated, but another enemy lies waiting in the shadows - a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries hell-bent on revenge. Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying . . . SHARPE'S ASSASSIN is the brand new novel in the bestselling historical series that has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

 Rizzio: Darkland Tales

Rizzio: Darkland Tales

Author: Denise Mina Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2021

At once historically evocative and infused with the rapier-sharp universality of basic drives and emotions (love, lust, envy and revenge), Denise Mina’s Rizzio is an immensely engaging novella. Wise, inventive and un-put-down-able, it’s a riveting read-in-one-sitting road-trip through a shadowy episode in Scottish history. It’s 1566 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant, unaware that her Palace of Holyrood is surrounded by an army intent on murdering her private secretary and confidante, handsome, charismatic David Rizzio. And all this was arranged by Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley who, intoxicated, relishes “thinking about how sorry they’ll all be when he is king, they’ll all be sorry then. He’ll see they are". Recounting the events of a fateful, bloody night, Mina’s present tense narrative is delivered with verve, taut dexterity and atmosphere, with a powerfully palpable sense of mounting tension.

eBooks of the Month
Moonfleet (Wordsworth Exclusive Collection)

Moonfleet (Wordsworth Exclusive Collection)

Author: J. Meade Falkner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

With its swashbuckling scenario and big themes of betrayal, revenge and sacrifice, J. Meade Falkner's Moonfleet is an undeniable classic of adventure fiction. And, with its embossed gold foil features and beautiful cover, this edition (part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection) makes a great gift for readers young and old. Fifteen-year-old orphan John Trenchard lives in Moonfleet with his aunt. When she banishes him, John is looked after by grumpy innkeeper Elzevir Block, whose son was killer by customs officials. In the smuggler’s care, John falls under the spell of the local legend of ghostly Blackbeard, who’s said to rise each winter to search for a missing diamond. As John sets out on his own quest to find Blackbeard’s gem, he becomes embroiled in the village’s real secret - and Elzevir’s. Brimming with bravery, atmosphere and all-out action, this is a tale to be dazzled by, and lose yourself in.

A Case of Royal Blackmail

A Case of Royal Blackmail

Author: Sherlock Holmes Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

I never expected to ever be given the opportunity to read a book by consulting detective Sherlock Holmes(!). Until very recently, I didn't even know that he wrote any books! Yet here one is - A Case of Royal Blackmail. Written in 1881 when he was in his late 20s, the book features Sherlock Holmes's personal musings on several entertaining cases of his, including blackmail of the Prince of Wales in 1879. His narrative is filled with his trademark astute observations, unconventional humour and remarkable reasoning skills. None of the characters evade his intense scrutiny or suspicion, and his sharp attention to detail eventually solves several mysteries and discovers the culprits. The historical and forensic content within the book is enlightening, along with the insight into his personal life and eccentric behaviour. I loved the 'Finder's Notes' at the end too (revealing how his book came to exist). A fascinating – and slightly off-the-wall – read for Holmes fans and for anyone who loves authentic historical crime fiction. 

Great Circle

Great Circle

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

I WAS BORN TO BE A WANDERER From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger. In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian's life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace. Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a brilliant, troubled Hollywood starlet is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life. An enthralling journey over oceans and continents and a drama of exhilarating power, GREAT CIRCLE is perfect for book clubs and fans of William Boyd and Donna Tartt.

The Outcasts of Time

The Outcasts of Time

Author: Ian Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/08/2018

From the author described by The Times as 'the most remarkable historian of our time', this is a stunningly high-concept historical novel that is both as daring as it is gripping, and perfect for fans of Conn Iggulden, SJ Parris and Kate Mosse. December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last. John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived. As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment and war. But their time is running out - can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up? What readers are saying: 'Wow, what a book! I absolutely adored this. This was ambitious but done to perfection' Sara Marsden 'The Outcasts of Time is a tour de force, rich in spellbinding detail. Haunting and atmospheric, there is warmth and humour alongside fear and torment; all human life is here. As perfect a novel as any I've ever read' Ophelia's Reads 'A fascinating trip through seven centuries of history ...The author has done well to traverse such a sweep of time ...it's a great read and I'd recommend it' Netgalley reviewer, 4 stars

eBooks of the Month
The Harrowing

The Harrowing

Author: James Aitcheson Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/03/2017

 In the aftermath of 1066, a Norman army marches through the North of England: burning, killing and laying waste to everything in its path. The Harrowing has begun. As towns and villages fall to the invaders, five travellers fleeing the slaughter are forced to band together for survival. Refugees in their own country, they journey through the wasteland, hoping to find sanctuary with the last stand of the Saxon rebellion. But are they fleeing the Normans or their own troubles?

eBooks of the Month
Ravenspur Rise of the Tudors

Ravenspur Rise of the Tudors

Author: Conn Iggulden Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/01/2017

A stunning conclusion to ‘The Wars of the Roses’ series, ‘Ravenspur’ launches Henry Tudor, while around him Kings battle for survival. This series is absolutely fascinating and even more compelling knowing it is based on some of the most bloody and twisted history of our land. Conn Iggulden captures the nuances of political manoeuvring beautifully, and truly breathes life into the men and women of this time. These are not shallow caricatures from history, but distinct, observable people, I felt their intense passion and conviction, I saw them at their best, worst, and everything in-between. As I read, I occasionally found myself returning to the family trees at the beginning, and found them essential in order to understand just how tangled and contorted a battle for supremacy this really was. This series has, quite simply, been breathtakingly glorious from beginning to end.

eBooks of the Month
The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels

The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels

Author: Patrick O'Brian Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2016

Patrick O'Brian's twenty-one-volume Aubrey/Maturin series of nautical adventures set during the Napoleonic War has delighted generations of devoted fans, inspired a blockbuster film, and sold millions of copies in twenty-four languages.

Britannia

Britannia

Author: Simon Scarrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

Marching straight into action, Simon Scarrow has created a wonderfully evocative and energetic addition to the ‘Eagles of the Empire’ series. You could read this as a standalone, however I do recommend starting at the beginning with ‘Under the Eagle’. ‘Britannia’ is the 14th novel, maps, the chain of command and cast list set you up nicely. Set in AD52, Scarrow keeps the intrigue and warfare just galloping along. The honourable Cato and steadfast Macro find themselves yet again, even in the most far flung corner of the empire, smack in the centre of some serious political wrangling. The writing ensures your senses are as aware of the surroundings as your mind. While I’ve always felt in safe hands, Cato and Macro are most definitely in the most precarious of positions, consequently this is edge of your seat reading.   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'This is a terrific read from Simon Scarrow, whose Eagles of the Empire novels are regular bestsellers. The setting is western Britannia in the first century AD. Such is the confidence of Rome’s military leaders in the superiority of their army that they are unprepared for the trap the native enemy springs on them, stranding thousands of the best trained soldiers in the world in the wintry mountains far from the safety of their fort. Simon writes very powerfully about courage and cunning, about fighting for survival, about standing by your comrades till the last. This is unmissable for anyone interested in history, the Roman world, or the military escapades of any era.' Click here to see Hearts of Stone by the same author.

eBooks of the Month
Enemy of Rome

Enemy of Rome

Author: Douglas Jackson Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2015

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.

eBooks of the Month