Sword & Scimitar

Written by Simon Scarrow
Review by Mike Ashworth

The battle for Malta in 1565 is the setting for Simon Scarrow’s latest novel. Recalled by the Knights of St John from a twenty-year exile, Sir Thomas Barrett returns to Malta to help defend the island against a vast Ottoman army. But Malta holds a secret which threatens the throne of Elizabeth, Queen of England, and Sir Thomas must secure it. While trying to survive the battle against overwhelming odds, Sir Thomas finds old feuds and passions, long dormant, are reawakened and are just as deadly as any enemy weapon. Will the secret be revealed to threaten the throne of England?

As with all Scarrow’s novels, this is well researched, with a very effective plotline. The author brings alive the battle and the potential implications of defeat. The action scenes are exciting and realistic without being gratuitous and form the backdrop for the unfolding story of personal and political secrets. All the various plotlines come together in a satisfying climax. This is the latest offering from a bestselling author at the top of his game. Recommended.