‘Hawker is a terrific creation’ Bernard Cornwell
Are they saving a prince, or unchaining a monster?
December 1476. The infamous Vlad the Impaler – Dracula – is reported killed in a Turkish ambush: the brutal scourge of the Ottomans is no more…
November 1485. Nine years later, mysterious Hungarian noblewoman Maria Hunyadi lays a quest at the feet of Sir John Hawker, loyal retainer to the fallen King Richard III and protector of Richard’s illegitimate son, Sir Giles Ellingham. The mission: to liberate her father from imprisonment in a remote Wallachian mountain fortress. The prisoner: Vlad Dracula.
Indebted to Maria for saving his men’s lives in Venice, Hawker reluctantly accepts her story and agrees to come to her aid. But any rescue will be fraught with danger. There are powerful forces at work who would not want the great warlord found alive.
But is Maria really who she says she is? Is she looking for more than just her father? And is the Impaler truly alive, after all this time – a lost prince?
From the fringes of the Hungarian empire to the dark mountain forests of Saxon Transylvania, Hawker must contend with enemies on all sides, and those unseen within the company itself. The exciting sequel to Hawker and the King’s Jewel – described by Bernard Cornwell as ‘brilliant’ – perfect for fans of Christian Cameron and David Gilman.
Praise for Hawker and the King’s Jewel
‘A brutal, brilliant tale, told with verve and pace. Hawker is a terrific creation’ Bernard Cornwell
‘Bale takes the reader from the terror of battle where a crown is lost and won to the sparkling jewel that is Venice, teeming with intrigue and treachery. Great storytelling’ David Gilman, author of the Master of War series
'An absolute gem of a novel. I was taken aback by Bale's skill and talent. Meticulously researched, with a totally authentic medieval feel, the novel fizzes with action, romance and intrigue. A gripping yarn' Angus Donald, author of the Outlaw series
‘Hawker is an ageing, flawed character and it is in his description of the man's inner turmoil, his bursts of energy and, above all, loyalty that the author has created a living soul… Compelling, authentic characters, a tight narrative which drives the story with verve; dialogue which is neither mock Gothic nor anachronistic, all allow the reader to feel part of the sounds and sights of the late fifteenth century. The novel deserves high praise’ The Ricardian
What readers are saying about Hawker and the King's Jewel
‘I bought this to read on holiday on the back of a friend's recommendation. I don't normally read historical fiction like this but was blown away by the experience - it was a great story, told at a good clip with wonderful characters, action and lovely historical touches that made you really “feel” and appreciate the period but without weighing down the whole. I more than surprised myself by sneaking in the odd hour of reading here and there in ways that I never normally do. It was an absolute treat’
‘The characterisation and period detail are superb and with plenty of action. The pace is just right, making it a really good and engaging read’
‘A rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns’
‘I can honestly say the book grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in from the opening pages. It opens your mind to all sorts of possibilities to where the narrative is heading, then suddenly switches track, leaving you grasping for answers. It certainly had me riveted and enthralled’
‘You will be drawn into the political intrigues of15th century Europe. Very informative and not too heavy. I would thoroughly recommend it.’
‘Beautifully researched; an exciting & gripping tale of what might have been’
‘Breathless and rollicking… This reader could hardly bear to put it down’