Shadow of the Hawk (Master of War 7)

Written by David Gilman
Review by Mike Ashworth

Winter 1364. Once again, war between England and France is coming. Sir Thomas Blackstone, Edward III’s Master of War, is sent to secure Brittany for England. In the throes of battle he rescues a young Castilian boy, Lazaro. The boy carries a deadly secret – he has witnessed the murder of the Queen of Castile. The main suspects are Don Pedro, the King of Castile, and Velasquita Alcon de Lugo, a witch who serves him. When a French army threatens Castile, Blackstone and his men are given the job of rescuing the King and bringing him to the safety of English lands. The stage is set for a tale of battle, murder, assassination attempts and general all-round mayhem.

This is the latest instalment in the excellent Master of War series, but can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. With a strong plot and characters, the story is fast-paced and exciting, full of intrigue, with action sequences which are realistic without being overly graphic. The tension is held right to the end. This is a superb tale – historical fiction at its best. Highly recommended.