Every week Tanzanite features upcoming historical fiction and history related non-fiction books that have come to her attention and may be of interest to others. Since she has an out of control TBR pile, so should everyone else!
This brilliant second novel, featuring the hero of Sworn Sword, begins in June 1069 on the war-torn Welsh Marches and ends with William the Conqueror’s brutal campaign known as the Harrying of the North.
The story begins on the Welsh Marches, where Tancred has been given land by his new lord, Robert Malet, in return for his services in the battle for York. Now a lord in his own right, he has knights of his own to command and a manor to call home. But all is far from peaceful. The Welsh are joining forces with the English against the Normans and when skirmishes turn into a full scale battle at Shrewsbury, Tancred is betrayed by a rival border lord and taken prisoner by the Welsh. Meanwhile the woman he loves is taken hostage by enemy English forces and the Vikings invade the east coast. Never has Tancred faced a more impossible situation.
The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman. UK release November 1, 2012.
All talk is of the End-time...and the dead are rising. At the end of the sunless summer of 1560, black rumour shrouds the death of the one woman who stands between Lord Robert Dudley and marriage to the young Queen Elizabeth. Did Dudley's wife, Amy, die from an accidental fall in a deserted house, or was it a calculated murder? Even Dr John Dee, astrologer royal, adviser on the Hidden and one of Dudley's oldest friends, is uncertain. Then a rash promise to the Queen sends him to his family's old home on the Welsh Border in pursuit of the Wigmore Shewstone, a crystal credited supernatural properties.
With Dee goes Robert Dudley, considered the most hated man in England. They travel with the entourage of a London judge sent to try a sinister Welsh brigand with a legacy dating back to the Battle of Brynglas, in which close to a thousand Englishmen died at the hands of the Welsh. After the battle, many of the bodies were, according to legend, obscenely mutilated. Now, on the same haunted hill, another dead man has been found, similarly slashed. Devious politics, small-town corruption, twisted religion and a brooding superstition leave John Dee isolated in the land of his father...
The Alterpiece by Sarah Kennedy . UK release March 7, 2013.
It is 1535 and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII's break from Rome, the religious houses of England are being seized by force. Twenty-year-old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Priory of Mount Grace in a small Yorkshire village. Catherine, like her adoptive mother, has a gift for healing, and she is widely sought and admired for her knowledge. Catherine's hopes for a place at court have been dashed by the king's divorce, and she has reluctantly taken the veil. In the remote North, the nuns enjoy the freedoms unavailable to other women. England is their home, but the times have changed, and now the few remaining nuns dread the arrival of the priory's new owner, Robert Overton.
When the priory's costly altarpiece goes missing, Catherine and her friend Ann Smith find themselves under increased suspicion. Only the illness of Robert's brother, William, preserves the nuns from immediate expulsion and arrest. Catherine heals him, and when she undertakes a quest across England, he offers to accompany her and Ann. They visit the deposed queen, and during their journey to uncover the truth, Catherine begins to doubt her church and her God. She finds herself drawn to William, even though he has spoken his oath to the crown and serves her greatest enemy. King Henry VIII's soldiers have not had their fill of destruction, and when they return to Mount Grace to destroy the priory, Catherine must choose between the sacred calling of her past and the man who may represent her country's future.