The Dragons of Archenfield

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

When you turn over a stone, what may crawl out? Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are on a Royal Commission to investigate any discrepancies that appear in the information for the Domesday Book, a complete survey ordered by William the Conqueror. They arrive in Hereford to examine the details surrounding lands that near the Welsh border but, on arrival, they find a key witness has been brutally murdered, burned alive in his own home. Evidence points to the Welsh; is there a political edge to the killing? There is also a problem with nobles trying to make a name, and a profit, for themselves, here on the border of the Kings Writ. Bret and Delchard have the King’s Authority… but they must be able to assert it. Anything may ‘hinder’ the Royal Officers, even contrived accident. Then Gervase Bret disappears! This is a great story of intrigue, far away from the places of power. It has a good sense of values of the time and the actual plot is both realistic and thrilling.