Geoffrey Hotspur adventure series
Of relics and romance
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 crusading. 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 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. An elegant restatement that history is a continuum, part of the present, that ‘the more things change, the more they are the same’, Of Relics and Romans also uncovers real human hearts beating once the dust of the past has been blown away.
Of faith and fidelity
As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime. Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few. An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey eagerly accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. However, his plans go awry after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court. As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence. Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman 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 forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army. The unlikely duo must navigate the war-torn lands of the Patrimony and the intricacies of honour and allegiance. Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire’s understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged. The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict. With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfil his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself. As the war culminates in an epic final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honour?
Of fathers and sons
Italy during late-fourteenth century. Wandering into the midst of the many warring factions comes young English would-be knight Geoffrey Hotspur and his crafty French criminal manservant, Jean Lagoustine, a debt collector for the notorious Gamesmaster. The hapless Quixote-like pair stumble from mishap to disaster as Hotspur pursues his ever–pressing dream of becoming a fully-fledged knight fit to fight in the Crusades. Although his friends and fellow squires have already served a knight on a proper campaign, Geoffrey has not yet crossed swords with anyone, let alone a knight. No matter how hard he tries to bloody his sword, some event is sure to intervene. His big chance comes when he becomes embroiled with the court of the child ruler Niccolo d’Este, who is thrust into power when his father, the popular Alberto, unexpectedly dies and leaves him too young to rule on his own. It is left to the naïve and unbloodied Geoffrey to escort Niccolo to safety through the battlefields and stave off the warlords and family rivals determined to kill and replace the young ruler. This thrilling adventure tale is woven into actual events, people and places from a period that had a major influence on Renaissance Italy and for many years to come. The author’s thorough research ensures a story that is set against a background in which fashions, food, lifestyles and habits, from peasant to prince, are described in rip–roaring and vivid detail. Of Fathers and Sons is an engaging tale of knights, courtesans and villains built around the Battle of Portomaggiore, waged in the muddy marshes of a snowbound northern Italy in the late fourteenth century.
THE HOTSPUR OMNIBUS
Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of a knighthood. Fortunately for him, the opportunities to prove himself in battle are endless in the violent Medieval period. Over three epic novels, Hotspur’s ambitions take him across Europe, from the company of John of Gaunt to the ranks of the Papal Army in Rome. Told with faithful accuracy to the period and filled with compelling figures, this thrilling Medieval box set brings the past to life and is a must for any historical fiction fanatics.