Hotspur series

Of Faith and Fidelity: Geoffrey Hotspur and the War for St. Peter’s Throne

Now out by Endeavour Press!

Of Faith and FidelityAvignon 1394. The schism in the Catholic Church has reached its peak. The rival claimants to the throne of St. Peter in Rome and Avignon are mustering armies to decide whose might makes right. And the key to winning the mighty throne by the Way of War lies in a band of territory stretching the breadth of Italy that owes fealty to whoever can rule it.

Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. Yet, as an orphan-squire bonded to the Duke of Lancaster, uncle of the English King Richard II,    his prospects are few. An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey compounds his troubles by getting involved in a deadly street brawl. As punishment, he is deprived of a chance to campaign in France and instead is ordered to join an obscure commission bound for Florence.

Accompanied by a mysterious Frenchman, Jean Lagoustine, whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs. Barely escaping  with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves in the middle of preparations for a final showdown between the rival popes.

Released 3 December 2015 amazon

Of Fathers and Sons: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Este Inheritance

Now out by Endeavour Press!

Of Fathers and Sons1Italy 1395. The Este family lands wedged between Venice and Milan    are vulnerable. The untimely death of the clever Marquis of Ferrara, Alberto d’Este, has left his illegitimate eleven-year-old son, Niccolo, as the sole direct heir. A regency council governs in his name, but in an age when great lords ruled by the sword as much as by the law, such a formal arrangement offers dubious protection.

Made unhappy by the father, several Este vassals want to humble the son, and they see their opportunity in Niccolo’s insecure minority rule. Championing their cause is the head of a reduced branch of the Este clan who is not only a famous condottiere, but also a captain of the powerful lord of Milan. Fearing that the defeat of Niccolo will lead to a major shift in the already fragile balance of power in favor of Milan, the city-states of Florence, Venice and Padua have combined to keep the Este inheritance in the boy’s hands.

Relased 18 February 2016!amazon

Of Relics and Romance: Geoffrey Hotspur and the Truce of Leulinghem

Now out by Endeavour Press!

Of Relics and RomanceFrance 1389. The Christian Crusades against the Saracen ‘heathens’ are on hold after its chief instrument of missionary and military zeal, the Order of the Knights Templar, have been discredited and disbanded.

But the threat remains.

Amid an atmosphere of suspicion, representatives of the warring kings of England and France meet to try to agree a truce and ‘take up the Cross’ together against a common heathen enemy.

Lancastrian noble John of Gaunt is the English side’s negotiator and aspiring knight Hotspur is there trying to prove his worth as guardian of one of the duke’s prized sacred relics – the Finger of St Bernard of Clairvaux, a French monk and fervent promoter of the Second Crusade. It’s an age where the owners of such grisly remains are thereby believed to be endowed with superhuman powers.

Like many a red-blooded young man, Geoffrey aspires to join the courtly circle with its entourage of beautiful women – and is soon seduced by the physical charms of Inge, the handmaiden of a powerful French lady.

But of course there’s more to siren Inge than meets the eye – and Geoffrey quickly finds out she’s on a mission which could wreck his ambitions.

Ostryzniuk’s novel is an elegant restatement that history is a continuum, part of the present, that ‘the more things change, the more they are the same’. It also uncovers real human hearts beating once the dust of the past has been blown away.

Released 1 June 2016!amazon

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