Thursday 25 July 2019

Check out #HistoricalFiction author, David Pilling's fabulous book — Longsword (IV):The Hooded Men @RobeH2

Longsword (IV):

The Hooded Men

By David Pilling

This novella is the fourth in the chronicles of Hugh Longsword, a soldier and secret agent for the English crown in the late thirteenth century.

England, 1273 AD.

Henry III is dead. The new king, Edward I, is thousands of miles away in the Holy Land. In his absence, old enemies plan to shatter the fragile peace and plunge England into another civil war. Robert Ferrers, the outlawed Earl of Derby and Edward’s bitter enemy, raises the standard of revolt. He gathers an army of outlaws and secretly dreams of seizing the crown itself.

Hugh Longsword arrives home in disgrace after his failure to protect Edward from an assassin’s blade. He is given one chance to redeem himself and sent to investigate disturbances in northern England. The scale of the conspiracy soon becomes apparent as Hugh encounters enemies old and new: Sir John d’Eyvill, the outlaws of Sherwood, and a mysterious knight who calls himself the King of the North Wind.

Longsword IV: The Hooded Men is the latest historical adventure novel by David Pilling, author of Reiver, Soldier of Fortune, The Half-Hanged Man, Caesar’s Sword and many more novels and short stories.


The Comte was his opponent. Not for the first time, Edward wondered if he should have refused the challenge to tourney against the Frenchman and his knights. Nobody could have blamed him if he did. Thanks to his exploits in the Holy Land, Edward’s reputation had soared. All over Christendom, from Cyprus to Aquitaine, his name rang like a trumpet. French and Aragonese minstrels composed martial ballads in honour, hailed him as the best lance in all the world.

Such a reputation came with a price. Nobody would have dared to call Edward a coward if he refused to fight the Comte; a pilgrim who risked his life on crusade, in the holiest cause of all, had no need to prove his courage. Nobody, that is, save Edward himself.

Damn my pride, he thought, staring gloomily at his reflection in a steel helm. His face, distorted by the brightly polished metal, was long and thin and pale. So was the rest of him. The long voyage from Acre to Italy, followed by an equally difficult trek across the Alps into France, had taken its toll. His wounds were taking a long time to heal, and on occasion he had been forced to the indignity of being carried in a litter. Edward could ride and fight again now, but lived in fear of his scars cracking open.

He knew his pride had gotten the better of him. Again. Edward wasn’t some penniless knight-errant, free to spend his time on quests and tournaments. He was the King of England, with massive responsibilities. The entire fate of a kingdom rested on his shoulders. If he had any sense, he should have laughed at the Comte d'Chalon’s vain challenge and sped home as quickly as possible.

Guilt gnawed at him. He had no idea of the state of England. Not a word had reached him from home since the news of King Henry’s death the previous November. Like his father, Edward was easily moved to tears, and wept like a little child over the old man’s passing. Whatever their differences, father and son had loved each other deeply.

A man may have many sons, Edward thought gloomily. But only one father.

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David Pilling

I'm a writer and researcher, addicted to history for as long as I can remember. The medieval era has always held a fascination for me, perhaps because I spent much of my childhood exploring the misted ruins of castles in Wales. I also have an interest in the Byzantine Empire, the post-Roman period in Britain and the British & Irish Civil Wars.

I am a prolific author and have written and published a number of series and stand-alone tales. These include my first published novel, Folville’s Law, which chronicled the adventures of Sir John Swale in the last days of the reign of Edward II of England. This was followed by The White Hawk series, set during the Wars of the Roses, a six-part Arthurian series, and many more. I have also co-written two high fantasy novels with my good friend, Martin Bolton.

I am currently working on a book about the Montfortian civil wars in England in the late 13th century, and hope to produce more nonfiction works in the future, as well as continuing to work on fiction.

Most of my books are available as ebooks and paperbacks, and many are in the process of being converted to audio.

Connect with David: BlogFacebookKing Edward I page on Facebook Twitter.

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Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx