It's been awhile since I've posted a Weekly Wishlist, so this week's list is rather lengthy...
The Gothic King: A Biography of Henry III by John Paul Davis. Non-fiction. UK release November 30, 2012.
Henry III was the son and successor of Bad King John, reigning for 56 years from 1216 the first child king in England for 200 years. England went on to prosper during his reign and his greatest monument is Westminster Abbey, which he made the seat of his government indeed, Henry III was the first English King to call a parliament. Though often overlooked by historians, Henry III was a unique figure coming out of a chivalric yet Gothic era: a compulsive builder of daunting castles and epic sepulchres; a powerful, unyielding monarch who faced down the De Montfort rebellion and waged war with Wales and France ¬ and, much more than his father, Henry was the king who really hammered out the terms of the Magna Carta with the barons. John Paul Davis, biographer of Robin Hood and Guy Fawkes for Peter Owen, brings all his forensic skills and insights to the grand story of the Gothic King in this, the only biography in print of one of our most remarkable monarchs.
The Kings and Queens of Wales by Timothy Venning. Non-fiction. UK release December, 28, 2012.
The Welsh kings and queens who ruled prior to the Norman Conquest of Wales are shrouded in mystery. Most of what we know is from legend, names in annals, and from their opponents. This book sets out to identify what we know or can reasonably surmise about these rulers, to disentangle their history, and to assess their achievements. The Welsh ruled over large areas of Britain in the pre- and post-Roman eras, before they were pushed back into Wales itself by the Anglo-Saxons. Caratacus and Boudicca are names that stand out from early tribal states, and Medieval Welsh legends refer to shadowy 'High Kings' who ruled after the Romans left - Vortigern, Ambrosius and of course the enigmatic 'Arthur'. Venning explores these mysterious figures before discussing the kings and queens of each area of what we now know as Wales - the north, the centre and south-west, and the south-east - as well as the short-lived Welsh states in the rest of Britain. The thirteenth-century unifiers of Wales, Llewelyn 'Fawr' and his grandson Llewelyn 'the Last', were contemporaries of great nation-builders in England, Scotland, and France, but their political achievements did not last. The precarious Welsh state was permanently overrun by the English war-machine.
Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s First “True” Wife by David Loades. Non-fiction. UK release January 28, 2013.
Jane was Henry VIII's third Queen, and she was described by him as 'his first true wife', both his first two marriages having been annulled. She was twenty-seven when he married her, and came of a solid gentry family with good court connections. She had served both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as a Lady of the Privy Chamber, and her failure to find a suitable marriage is something of a mystery. He was forty-four and desperate for the male heir who had so far eluded him, but which Jane's placid disposition and sexual availability seemed to promise. She was no great beauty, but came of a good breeding stock, and therein lay his hope. They married at the end of May 1536, and she became pregnant at about the end of the year, a condition which advanced normally, but which caused the King acute anxiety as the summer of 1537 advanced. Then in October 1537 Jane performed the great miracle, and bore Henry a son, who lived and flourished. Tragically she died of puerperal fever a few days later, leaving the court in mourning and the king devastated. Her obsequies were elaborate and prolonged, and Henry stayed in mourning for many weeks. The king's son, Prince Edward was carefully nurtured, and probably did not miss the mother he had never known. When the time came, his education was overseen by Henry's sixth Queen, Catherine Parr, and he seems not to have had much of the Seymour in his make up. He was very much his father's boy.
The Heretics by Rory Clements. UK release February 28, 2013.
From Rory Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, comes THE HERETICS, the fifth in his acclaimed John Shakespeare Elizabethan mystery series. 'Does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times
England may have survived the Armada threat of 1588, but when Spanish galleys land troops in Cornwall on a lightning raid seven years later, is it a dry-run for a new invasion? Or is there, perhaps, a more sinister motive? The Queen is speechless with rage. But as intelligencer John Shakespeare tries to get a grip on events, one by one his network of spies is horribly murdered. What has all this to do with Thomasyn Jade, a girl driven to the edge of madness by the foul rituals of exorcism? And what is the link to a group of priests held prisoner in bleak Wisbech Castle?
From the pain-wracked torture rooms of the Inquisition in Seville to the marshy wastes of fenland, from the wild coasts of Cornwall to the sweat and sawdust of the Elizabethan playhouses, and from the condemned cell at Newgate to the devilish fantasies of a fanatic, THE HERETICS builds to a terrifying climax that threatens the life of the Queen herself.
Holy War by Jack Hight. UK release March 28, 2013.
In HOLY WAR, the final book of the Saladin Trilogy, telling the story of the legendary war leader who united Arabia, Saladin recaptures Jerusalem from the Crusaders, and prepares for his ultimate battle against Richard the Lionheart. A full-blooded historical adventure novel for all fans of Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, Anthony Riches, Ben Kane, Robyn Young and Simon Scarrow.
While Saladin ruthlessly sets about uniting the whole of Arabia under his rule, the Kingdom of Jerusalem is torn apart by treachery and intrigue, and when the murderous knight Reynald of Chatillon raids a caravan heading from Damascus to Mecca and rapes Saladin's sister, the scene is set for war.
In June 1187, Saladin marches into the Kingdom with an army of over 24,000 and imposes a crushing defeat on the Crusader forces at the Horns of Hattin. It is only a matter of time before he marches on a panicked and demoralized Jerusalem.
But what about Saladin's longtime ally, the Saxon knight John of Tatewic? In the face of annihilation, is he friend or foe? It will take all John's knowledge of the man he calls his brother to negotiate a peaceful fate for Jerusalem - but this is not the end of the story. For in England the soon-to-be crowned King Richard has pledged revenge and a new Crusade.
Rome: The Art of War by MC Scott. UK release March 28, 2013.
Rome: AD69, The Year of the Four Emperors. Three Emperors have ruled in Rome this years and a fourth, Vespasian, has been named in the East.
As the legions march toward civil war, Sebastos Pantera, the spy whose name means leopard, returns to Rome intent on bribery, blackmail and persuasion: whatever it takes to bring the commanders and their men to Vespasian's side.
But in Rome, as he uses every skill he has ever learned of subterfuge, codes and camouflage, it becomes clear that one of those closest to him is a traitor, who will let Rome fall to destroy him.
Together the two spies spin a web of deceit with Rome as the prize and death the only escape.
The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis. UK release April 11, 2013; US release June 11, 2013.
First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco.
Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now twenty-eight and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view Roman society and its traditions as a bemused outsider and also as a woman struggling for independence in a man's world.
The first novel takes place on the plebeian Aventine Hill, with its mix of monumental temples, muddy back lanes and horrible snack bars. We meet Albia's personal circle - some familiar, some new. We glimpse old haunts and hear of old friends, but the focus is on Albia herself, a tough, witty, winning personality who fearlessly tackles inhumanity and injustice, braving any risks and winning the friendship of unexpected allies.
Daughter of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf. US and UK release April 16 , 2013.
In Daughter of Jerusalem, readers will quickly identify with Mary Magdalene– a woman of deep faith who used her wealth and influence to serve Jesus. This fictionalized story of Mary Magdalene is, in the truest sense of the word, an inspirational novel for modern people who are looking to renew in themselves the message of Christ. It’s the greatest story ever lived, told by one of the most famous women who ever lived, and it’s a page-turner. Joan Wolf’s years of success as a novelist enable her to combine storytelling and a faith plot in this beautifully written biblical fiction.
Brother’s Fury by Giles Kristian. UK release May 23, 2013.
Rebel: Cast out from his home, rejected by his family, Tom Rivers returns to his regiment. But his commander believes the young hothead's recklessness and contempt for authority has no place in his troop. But to a spymaster like Captain Crafte, Tom's dark and fearless nature is in itself a weapon to be turned upon the hated Cavaliers - who else would dare to infiltrate Oxford, now the Royalist capital, to destroy the King's printing press and strike a blow at the very heart of the enemy?
Renegade: Raw with grief at the death of his father, Edmund Rivers rejects the peace talks between Parliament and the King. He chooses instead to lead a hardened band of marauders across the moors, appearing out of the frozen world to fall on unsuspecting rebel columns like wolves. But Prince Rupert - recognising in Mun a fellow child of war - has other plans for him, from stealing a colossal gun, to tunneling beneath the walls of Lichfield. The only peace the enemy will get from Mun Rivers is that of the grave.
Huntress: Her heart broken following the deaths of her beloved Emmanuel and her father, Bess Rivers takes the hardest decision of her life: to leave her new-born son and depart Sheer House in search of tghe one person who might help her re-unite what is left of her broken family. Risking her own life on the road, Bess will do whatever it takes to find her brother Tom and secure his Royal pardon, but can she douse the flames of her brothers' fury and see them reconciled?
Templar by Michael Jecks. US & UK release June 1, 2013.
The Holy Land, 1291. A war has been raging across these lands for decades. The forces of the Crusaders have been pushed back again and again by the Muslims and now just one city remains in Crusader control. That one city stands between the past and the future. One city which must be defended at all costs. That city is Acre. And into this battle where men will fight to the death to defend their city comes a young boy. Green and scared, he has never seen battle before. But he is on the run from a dark past and he has no choice but to stay. And to stay means to fight. That boy is Baldwin de Furnshill. This is the story of the siege of Acre, and of the moment Baldwin first charged into battle. This is just the beginning. The rest is history.
Venus in Winter by Gillian Bagwell. US & UK release July 2, 2013.
Based on the first 40 years of the life of Bess of Hardwick, 1527-1608, the formidable four-times widowed Tudor dynast who began life in genteel poverty and ended as the richest and most powerful woman in England after Queen Elizabeth; built Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall; and is the forebear of numerous noble lines including the Dukedoms of Devonshire, Norfolk, Somerset, and Newcastle, the Earls of Lincoln, Portsmouth, Kellie, and Pembroke, the Baron Waterpark, and the current royal family of Britain.