A Clash of Lions (The Hundred Years’ War, 2)

Written by A. J. Mackenzie
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

In 1346, right after the English victory at Crécy, Simon Merrivale, herald to the Prince of Wales, is sent back to England to follow the domestic ramifications of the Europe-wide conspiracy he just unearthed. In tow he has the wilful Tiphaine de Tesson, a Norman noblewoman intent on exacting vengeance on a former lover, who just happens to be one of the lead conspirators and determined to be at the herald’s side—whether he wishes it or not. Once in London, Merrivale and Tiphaine pick up the trail of their foes—and it leads North, where the young King of Scotland, David Bruce, is preparing to invade England in earnest… but just who is filling David’s famously empty coffers? What is really behind this sudden burst of hostility? And, most of all, who can be trusted in the morass of divided loyalties spanning across the Border? A subtle diplomat on speaking terms with everyone who’s anyone in Europe, and able to outmatch any armed foe with his bare hands, the Herald is an unusual, slightly unlikely, but very likeable hero in this tightly plotted, well-researched story of intricate espionage and derring-do. A word of caution, though: second in a series, A Clash of Lions will be more enjoyable if read after Book One, A Flight of Arrows.