The first bit of news is that I've started work on the sequel to Soldier of Fortune (I): The Wolf Cub, which was a something of a hit on the Amazon Bestsellers list and floated around the Top Five in the Historical Fantasy section for a few months. The adventures of Sir John Page, an English mercenary captain knocking around Europe in the early 1400s, seem to have struck a chord, and there are plenty more to come.
|The death of Jan Hus|
Jan Hus was a Bohemian priest who spoke out against the corruption of the Catholic church. One of his main bugbears was the sale of indulgences, whereby the church effectively sold pardons, guaranteeing an individual redemption for his or her sins, in exchange for cash. Anyone from the lower classes who spoke out against this practice was beheaded, and these victims were later considered the first Hussite martyrs. Hus himself, after many years preaching against the abuses of the church, was lured to an assembly at Constance in Germany in 1415 with the promise of a safe conduct. There he was betrayed and burned at the stake, his ashes thrown into the Rhine. His last reported words were 'Christ, son of the Living God, have mercy on us!"
|Hussites at war|
With the support of the Pope, and the military backing of his own kingdom as well as allies in Germany and a huge number of mercenaries, Sigismund might have expected to roll over Bohemia's apparently feeble defences. Against his enormous and well-equipped army, bursting at the seams with armoured knights and men-at-arms equipped with all the latest gear, the Hussites could only muster a few thousand peasants and a tiny number of loyal Bohemian nobles, nowhere near enough to face the might of their enemies in the open field. It should have been a wipe-out, a massacre, all over inside a few weeks if not days, similar to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
|Statue of Jan Zizka in Prague|