England, 1346: For Thomas Blackstone the choice is easy - dance on the end of a rope for a murder he did not commit, or take up his war bow and join the king's invasion. As he fights his way across northern France, Blackstone learns the brutal lessons of war - from the terror and confusion of his first taste of combat, to the savage realities of siege warfare. Vastly outnumbered, Edward III's army will finally confront the armoured might of the French nobility on the field of Crecy. It is a battle that will change the history of warfare, a battle that will change the course of Blackstone's life, a battle that will forge a legend.
FRANCE: 1356. Ten years ago, the greatest army in Christendom was slaughtered at Crecy when Thomas Blackstone and his fellow archers stood their ground and rained death on the steel-clad might of French chivalry. Blackstone left that squalid field a knight. Now, Blackstone commands a war band and has carved out a small fiefdom in northern France. But the wounds of war still bleed and a traitor has given the King of France the means to destroy first his family, and then the English knight himself. As the traitor's net tightens, so the French King's army draws in. Blackstone will stand and fight - in pitched battle and in single combat. He will defy his friends, his family and his king. He may yet defy death, but he can't defy his destiny: BLACKSTONE: MASTER OF WAR.
'Like a punch from a mailed fist, MASTER OF WAR gives a true taste of the Hundred Years War. It is a gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty. The stench and harshness of medieval life is ever present' ROBERT FABBRI, bestselling author of the Vespasian series. Tuscany, 1358: Thomas Blackstone has built a formidable reputation in exile, fighting as a mercenary amid the ceaseless internecine warring of Italy's City States. But success has bred many enemies, and when a dying man delivers a message recalling him to England, it seems almost certain to be a trap. Yet Blackstone cannot disobey - the summons is at the Queen's demand. On his journey, Blackstone will brave the terrors of the High Alps in winter, face the Black Prince in tournament, confront the bloody anarchy of a popular revolt and submit to trial by combat. And every step of the way, he will be shadowed by a notorious assassin with orders to despatch him to Hell.
'A gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty' ROBERT FABBRI. Provoked by the Dauphin's refusal to honour the terms of his father's surrender, Edward III has invaded France with the greatest army England has ever assembled. But the English lion's attempts to claw the French crown from its master are futile. After defeats at Crecy and Poitiers, the Dauphin will no longer meet the English in the field. Mired down in costly sieges and facing a stalemate, Edward's great army is forced to argee a treaty. But peace comes at a price. The French request that Blackstone escort their King's daughter to Italy to see her married to one of the two brothers who rule Milan - the same brothers who killed Blackstone's family to revenge the defeats they suffered at his hand. Blackstone, the French are certain, will never leave Milan alive...
'Heart-pounding action' THE TIMES. Winter, 1361. After two decades of conflict, Edward III has finally agreed a treaty with the captive French King, John II. In return for his freedom, John has ceded vast tracts of territory to the English. But for five long years mercenary bands and belligerent lords have fought over the carcass of his kingdom. They will not give up their hard-won spoils to honour a defeated king's promises. If the English want their prize, they'll have to fight for it... Thomas Blackstone will have to fight for it. As he battles to enforce Edward's claim, Thomas Blackstone will see his name blackened, his men slaughtered, his family hunted. He will be betrayed and, once again, he'll face the might of the French army on the field. But this time there will be no English army at his back. He'll face the French alone.
WINTER, 1362 After decades of successful campaigning in France, Thomas Blackstone, once a common archer, has risen to become Edward III's Master of War. But the title is as much a curse as a blessing. Success has brought few rewards: his family - bar his son Henry - is dead, slaughtered; his enemies only multiply. Death, in so many guises, beckons. As he battles to enforce his King's claim to French territory, Blackstone will assault an impregnable fortress, he'll become embroiled in a feud between French aristocrats, he'll be forced into pitched battle in the dead of winter... and he'll be asked to pay an impossible price to protect something much more precious to the King than mere land. All the while, out of the east, a group of trained killers, burning with vengeance, draw ever closer. Praise for David Gilman: 'The level of suspense is ratcheted up to a truly brutal level' SHARON PENMAN 'A gripping ride' WILBUR SMITH 'Gilman does heart pounding action superlatively' THE TIMES 'Like a punch from a mailed fist, Master of War is a gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty' ROBERT FABBRI
Winter, 1364.The King is dead. Defeated on the field of Poitiers, Jean Le Bon, King of France, honoured his treaty with England until his death. His son and heir, Charles V, has no intention of doing the same. War is coming and the predators are circling. Sir Thomas Blackstone, Edward III's Master of War, has been tasked with securing Brittany for England. In the throes of battle, he rescues a young boy, sole witness to the final living breaths of the Queen of Castile. The secret the boy carries is a spark deadly enough to ignite conflict on a new front - a front the English cannot afford to fight on. So Blackstone is ordered south to Castile, across the mountains to shepherd Don Pedro, King of Castile, to safety. Accompanied only by a small detachment of his men and a band of Moorish cavalrymen loyal to the king, every step takes Blackstone further into uncertain territory, deeper into an unyielding snare. For the Master of War, the shadow of death is always present. Praise for David Gilman:'The level of suspense is ratcheted up to a truly brutal level' SHARON PENMAN 'A gripping ride' WILBUR SMITH 'Gilman does heart pounding action superlatively' THE TIMES 'Like a punch from a mailed fist, Master of War is a gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty' ROBERT FABBRI
The seventh instalment of David Gilman's gripping chronicle of the Hundred Years' War, following Thomas Blackstone, Edward III's Master of War. Winter, 1364. Sir Thomas Blackstone, Edward III's Master of War, has travelled to France to secure Brittany for England. In the throes of battle, he rescues a Castilian boy, Lazaro, who just witnessed the murder of the young queen. It is suspected that the king - along with Velasquita Alcon de Lugo, the beautiful witch who serves him - assassinated his queen. But Lazaro knows that is not the case. With the king in hiding and the French army advancing Castile is on its knees. So Blackstone is ordered to Castile, to defend England's ally from the French. Accompanied only by a small band of his men and a group of Moorish cavalrymen loyal to the king, Blackstone must protect Lazaro if they are to uncover the true assassin. They will face extreme danger, savage battles and a cold and bitter winter on their journey, and Blackstone will find himself the assassin's target. For the Master of War, the shadow of death is always present. 2021 Head of Zeus