Longsword by David Pilling

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Folville's Law review!

Nice review of Folville's Law by The Historical Novel Society - I am very happy right now :)

FOLVILLE'S LAW David Pilling, Musa Publishing, 2011, e-book (Kindle edition), $4.99, 398 KB, ASIN B00669O0BO

The very grimness of this novel of the last year of the reign of Edward II is one of its best features. The plot follows several of the players in the events leading to the fall of the Despensers and their king and the mixed benefit of the new regime under the queen, her lover, and her son, the future Edward III—and no character, fictional or factual, is entirely sympathetic. The result is a novel that tells more of the real story of the time, no glossing over or romanticizing, something this reviewer found rather refreshing. The central plot concerns Sir John Swale, a Despenser follower sent to discover why justice has not been served on a blatant murder, leading the reader into the decay of Edward II’s base of support and the rise of his enemies’. Corruption has become the standard, and ironically, it is outlaws and corruption that spell the reign’s doom. The most admirable of the characters know they must make painful compromises. Away from Swale’s story, we receive insightful glimpses into the historical figures Isabella, Mortimer, Hugh le Despenser the Younger, and Edward II himself. No warm fuzzies here. They all are flawed and forced to make compromises as well. The writing itself is sound and compelling, and for the most part, the research faithful to the events and conditions of the setting. --Nan Hawthorne



The 2nd of February sees the release of 'Exiles', the third episode in the saga of Sir John Swale, and by no means the last.

As the title suggests, this latest mini-sequel to Folville's Law follows the (mis)adventures of Sir John and his wife Elizabeth, now living in exile in Gascony, one of England's few remaining territories on the Continent. However, war is looming on the horizon between the King of France and England's new hyper-aggressive monarch, Edward III, and Sir John has an itchy sword hand...

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Chronicles of Sir Kay

Today sees the release of MORDRED'S APPLE, first in my series of short stories written from the perspective of Sir Kay, King Arthur's foster-brother. I've put it up for just one shiny U.S. dollar (or 77pence) on Amazon:


The much-altered and abused character of Kay has always interested me, and I thought it was high time he was permitted to voice his own version of events at Camelot (or Caerleon, as I've called it in my version of the tale, after the naming of Arthur's city in Geoffrey of Monmouth).

Kay is also one of the oldest characters in the legend. He first appears in various Welsh texts as Cai, one of Arthur’s chief warriors and capable of superhuman feats, such as breathing underwater for nine days and nights and giving off magical heat with his hands. In Geoffrey of Monmouth he is downgraded to a brave but ordinary knight, and from Chretien de Troyes onwards he is downgraded further to a malicious, spiteful, incompetent braggart, a foil for the more heroic knights to play off against.

Pondering the development, or degeneration, of his character led me to create my own version of Sir Kay. ‘My’ Kay is a sort of Francis Walsingham figure, a ruthless, scheming politico whose chief concern is to protect Arthur and the security of Arthur’s realm, no matter the cost.
The following is my first attempt at recasting him in this mould. See what you think…

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Kristie Davis Dean!

Something different today. The lovely Kristie Davis Dean (pictured) has a book out full of helpful advice for those who wish to travel to Europe on a budget. Check out a preview below!

How I Travel to Europe Every Year on a Teacher’s Salary

I am a school teacher, so I don’t get paid all that much. Yet, I’ve managed to travel every year to Europe since 2001. I’m often asked, “How do you do it?” like there is some secret fountain of travel wealth to which only I have access.

How You Can, Too

It’s not a secret – I manage to go to Europe – especially the United Kingdom – because I’ve studied the information necessary to do it. I’ve practiced what I’ve learned and worked out what did and didn’t work. Now, I’m planning to show you how to benefit from my experience. And on a tight budget, too.

Budget travel itself is not glamorous. But, the joy of seeing another country for the first time or meeting people from another country and learning firsthand about their customs is amazing. Seeing places that you’ve only dreamed about is an experience worth repeating often!


Friday, 13 January 2012

Release Day!

THE KING STAG, first in a series of mini-sequels to FOLVILLE'S LAW, is now available - and for a mere 99 cents :)