Michael Arnold’s Stryker series gets better and better as it goes on. This is the third in the series, set in 1643. I said in my review of the previous book that Arnold is at his best describing actual military events. Assassin’s Reign is almost entirely concerned with an actual event, the siege of Gloucester. This home territory for me; one of our archaeological digs had to be suspended while we called in the military to deal with a Parliamentary grenade.
There are two sub-plots, one of which gives the book its name, an attempt to kill the king. This is not the main focus of the book. This is really the story of how the run of Royalist victories stalled and Parliament’s defeat no longer seemed inevitable. An ill-fortified, undermanned provincial city defined the entire Royalist army and survived. This time Captain Stryker is not on the winning side.