Release Date: 26/04/12
1072 - England is firmly under the heel of its new Norman rulers. The few survivors of the English resistance look to Edgar the Atheling, the rightful heir to the English throne, to overthrow William the Conqueror. Years of intrigue and vicious civil war follow: brother against brother, family against family, friend against friend. In the face of chaos and death, Edgar and his allies form a secret brotherhood, pledging to fight for justice and freedom wherever they are denied. But soon they are called to fight for an even greater cause: the plight of the Holy Land. Embarking on the epic First Crusade to recapture Jerusalem, together they will participate in some of the cruellest battles the world has ever known, the savage Siege of Antioch and the brutal Fall of Jerusalem, and together they will fight to the death.
Having read the first book by Stewart last year I was left wondering if the second would live up to what the reader would be expecting, after all the first title is to announce them to the reader, whereas the second is the one that either keeps a reader or turns them against the writer.
What Stewart presents is a story of heroism, one of high ideals and whilst taking the reader on the crusades, he also manages to intertwine the fates of so many with in the pages. Add to this solid prose, a decent understanding of pace and when added to a wide story arc, generates a story that will have many gripped within its fist to the final page. All in a solid second novel and whilst he’s still learning the craft, he’s an author who seeks to improve with each release. Here’s hoping the third improves just as much.