12th Century Italy. The domination of the Normans, the most feared warriors in Christendom, is causing trouble. At their head is the feared Robert de Hauteville, the “Guiscard”, who has colonized much of Italy, but Robert has made many enemies including the ever-powerful papacy in Rome. The newly elected Pope Gregory exercises his vendetta against the Normans by encouraging them to sail to Byzantium and fight the Turks. Robert’s first-born son Bohemund, now seventeen, has come to fight in his army. Already recognized as a formidable warrior, Bohemund seeks to assert his natural right as the heir of Robert’s dukedom but it is not without difficultly as Robert’s second son Borsa is now legally entitled to inherit...a battle between the sons is inevitable and loyalties and blood ties will count for nothing.
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JACK LUDLOW is the pseudonym of David Donachie, who was born in Edinburgh in 1944. The author of a number of bestselling books, he now lives in Deal with his wife, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook. He is active on the event circuit and is an extremely eloquent and engaging speaker.Review:
Land battles, and especially those at sea or in harbour, are reported with clarity and precision. The author, assured and convincing, is to be congratulated, likewise on the whole background of time and place... It is an ideal book for students needing to understand the gritty intransigence of Norman invaders who had so much to gain or lose in that turbulent world. (Historical Novels Review)
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