Honour and the Sword

Written by A.L. Berridge
Review by Mike Ashworth

1636 – the height of the Thirty Years War. As the story opens, Spanish armies invade King Louis XIII’s France. The sleepy border village of Dax-en-roi stands in their way. Facing the overwhelming might of the Spanish forces, the Chevalier de Roland rallies a valiant defence, but in vain – his household guard is no match for the invaders. There is only one survivor – a young boy by the name of André de Roland, the new Sieur of Dax. He must take on the mantle of leader of resistance, while learning what it means to be a nobleman.

The book is a collection of contemporary documents supposedly translated by historian ‘Dr Edward Morton’. Although written in modern idiom it still retains the voice of the period. As it is meticulously researched, you become immersed in the culture of the time. Written in the first person from a variety of points of view – but interestingly not from the view of the central character Andre de Roland – you see the same incident from different angles, bringing an urgency and excitement to this action packed novel. The pace is fast and unrelenting. This is a real page turner. I finished it with a loud sigh of satisfaction – and then started to read it again. If you like your action hot and in large doses, this is for you. Highly recommended.