Longsword by David Pilling

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

I'd buy that for a dollar...

...and hopefully, so will a few other people. The White Hawk, my novel set during The Wars of the Roses in medieval England, is now on sale for just 99 cents or £1 on Amazon.

The book has already garnered some nice reviews, for which I am very grateful. It was certainly a lot of fun to write - the era is hugely fascinating, full of larger-than-life characters indulging in mass slaughter and shameless treachery in an England so far removed from modern times one might as well be describing an alien planet.

To give a flavour of the book, here's an extract describing the climactic (and traumatic) Battle of Towton:

'The stricken man screamed and fell onto one knee. Giddy with bloodlust, Richard smashed the hammer-head of the poleaxe down onto his helm, crumpling the iron and stoving in his skull. A third Yorkist stabbed at him with a spear, but he dodged and buried his bloody point into the man’s face, dropping him where he stood.
     All along the line it was the same. Despite having the advantage of the slope, the Yorkists were being slaughtered, and each casualty they suffered struck fear into the men behind. Dismayed and demoralised, Fauconberg’s division was forced to give ground.
     Richard lunged at an unprotected kneecap and cracked it open. His poleaxe blade sliced with ease through a leather jack and chopped open a belly. Trampling on the mess of entrails that poured forth, he risked a glance to his left and saw Henry grinning like a madman as he wielded his two-handed broadsword, red to the elbows in Yorkist blood. Richard uttered a wordless cheer. They were winning. God and Saint George were on the side of Lancaster. And the white hawk. 
     Fifteen miles away, King Henry knelt and prayed in the keep of York Castle. No-one was listening. Not his commanders, who had ignored his wish for the battle to be postponed since it was Palm Sunday. Not his Queen, who sat in a window-seat, gaunt and pale and quivering with tension as she turned over her rosary beads. Not his son, just eight years old and a miniature Attila, playing on the floor with his toy soldiers and uttering a gleeful cry each time he knocked one over.
     And not God, who is deaf to my pleas and allows men to slaughter each other on a holy day.
     Why did he pray? Because Christ was his Saviour and England was his charge. Henry had no other security. The deaths of thousands of his subjects were on his conscience. If he had been born a better man, a stronger man, all might have been avoided. Instead God had seen fit to punish the House of Lancaster in the third generation from its unjust usurpation and murder of Richard II. Henry was nothing more than the tool of persecution.
     He wept. God was cruel and terrible and undeniable. Out there, in the snow and ice, his people were murdering each other, and Henry could do nothing to stop it.
     “Oh, for the blanket of madness to cover me again,” he whispered, “and veil me from the world’s evil.”

If thou dost like what thou dost read, sirrah, then check out the the Kindle and paperback versions of the book on sale at Amazon below:

The White Hawk

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