Friday, January 24, 2014

The Bloody City by C B Hanley


1217: Lincoln is not a safe place to be. A French army has captured the city, and the terrified citizens huddle in the rubble of their homes as the castle, the last remaining loyal stronghold in the region, is besieged. Edwin Weaver finds himself riding into grave danger after his lord volunteers him for a perilous mission: he must infiltrate the city, identify the traitors who are helping the enemy, and return to pass on the intelligence. The last man who attempted such a thing was captured over the castle war was a warning. The city is awash with violence and blood, and Edwin is pushed to the limit as he has to decide what he is prepared to do to protect others. He might be willing to lay down his own life, but would he, could he, kill?


This is Ms Hanley’s second story featuring Edwin Weaver, once a commoner but now in the service of Lord William Warenne for his brains, not his fighting skills when he takes his army to help William Marshall and his son, William, break the siege of Lincoln - in fact all the leading barons in the ‘Barons War’ appeared to go by the name of William!

Edwin is certainly not a soldier, but he is given some basic defensive skills by his comrades who take pity on him. This also gives the author a perfect opportunity to explain fighting techniques and weapons of the era which is fascinating in itself.

Once inside the city, Edwin discovers the townsfolk are suspicious of strangers, with secrets of their own and no one quite knows whom to trust. The author pulls no punches as to the realities and hardships of Medieval life – where dying of hunger was a real possibility.

The author brings new life to a period of history I knew nothing about before reading this story, and includes plenty of suspense, action and gentle moments, including the fascinating character of Lady Nicola de la Hay, the custodian of Lincoln Castle.

Against the backdrop of the siege itself is Edwin’s solving of a crime and a love story involving Alys, whose father died whispering a secret to his daughter which plunges her into danger other than the burden of having to provide for her siblings in the besieged city.

For those who love Medieval fighting stories with lots of authentic detail, this is a must. 

Anita Davison is a Historical Fiction Author whose latest release, ‘Royalist Rebel’ a biographical novel set in 17th Century England, is released by Claymore Press under the name Anita Seymour

TWITTER: @AnitaSDavison


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