The Long Sword

Written by Christian Cameron
Review by Fenella Miller

The Long Sword, the second book in Cameron’s new series, the first of which was The Ill-made Knight, begins in Pisa in 1364. William Gold, now Sir William Gold, is expecting to spend the next few years fighting as a mercenary and collecting sufficient funds to buy himself the lands to go with his new title. However, Father Pierre de Thomas, Papal Legate of the crusade, sent for him, and he was obliged to put his personal ambitions to one side.

Immediately William is embroiled in plots and counter-plots and discovers that not all Christians are in favour of the crusade. Cardinal Robert of Geneva is determined to have the Papal Legate assassinated and has in his employ the Count D’Herblay, the husband of the woman William still loves.

Cameron is described as “one of the finest historical fiction writers in the world,” and I must agree with that comment. I was immediately drawn into the complex and dangerous world of the 14th century, seen from the viewpoint of Sir William Gold. He is a charismatic and courageous hero and, through his actions, the reader is able to understand the world of chivalry and knights.

The history is impeccable, the story compelling and every character superbly drawn. I devoured this book in three sittings and cannot recommend it highly enough. It will be a long wait for the next book in the series.