Dark Age – In Shops Now

Order it from your favourite bookshop, or check it out here…

The blurb:

Bridging the gap between ‘Game of Thrones’ and Bernard Cornwell comes the second chapter in James Wilde’s epic adventure of betrayal, battle and bloodshed . . .

It is AD 367, and Roman Britain has fallen to the vast barbarian horde which has invaded from the north. Towns burn, the land is ravaged and the few survivors flee. The army of Rome – once the most effective fighting force in the world – has been broken, its spirit lost and its remaining troops shattered.

Yet for all the darkness, there is hope. And it rests with one man. His name is Lucanus who they call the Wolf. He is a warrior, and he wears the ancient crown of the great war leader, Pendragon, and he wields a sword bestowed upon him by the druids. With a small band of trusted followers, Lucanus ventures south to Londinium where he hopes to bring together an army and make a defiant stand against the invader.

But within the walls of that great city there are others waiting on his arrival – hidden enemies who want more than anything to possess the great secret that has been entrusted to his care. To seize it would give them power beyond imagining. To protect it will require bravery and sacrifice beyond measure. And to lose it would mean the end of everything worth fighting for.

Before Camelot. Before Excalibur. Before all you know of King Arthur. Here is the beginning of that legend . . .

Pendragon received a lot of attention, including an award nomination.  Dark Age takes the story to a new level, showing how the Arthurian myths we know may have arisen from history.

Hereward Invades Germany

The first Hereward novel is now in shops in Germany.  The second will follow in the new year.  World conquest continues as planned.

And don’t forget that Dark Age is published in the UK and Commonwealth on Thursday (October 4).  Make sure you tell your favourite bookstore to reserve your copy.

If you’re interested in signed copies, they’ll be available at Goldsboro Books and Forbidden Planet in London, available to all via their online services.

 

University Of Oxford Talk

Later this year you’ll find me lecturing on writing at the University of Oxford – open to the public, by the way. The event is Here Be Dragons: the Oxford Fantasy Literature Summer School, which will look at different aspects of the genre across three days, with a banquet thrown in for good measure in the fantastic setting of Wadham College. That’s the course logo above, by artist Minjie Su.

Arthurian fiction is a part of it (so, you know, Pendragon), but you can also hear about Tolkien, C S Lewis, J K Rowling, George R R Martin, H P Lovecraft and M R James, among others, from some of the brightest minds in the country (I slipped through the net).

It runs from September 11 – 13.  If you fancy booking a place, you can do so here.

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Pendragon Gets An Award Nod

The new novel (Dark Age, out in October) is now with the editor, ready for the next phase.  In the meantime, I wanted to flag up that its predecessor, Pendragon, has been nominated for a major award: the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel. The five other shortlisted titles look fantastic and I’ll certainly be dipping into them before the award is announced in September. With all the great books published last year, it really is an honour that Pendragon made it into such prestigious company. More details here.

How Medieval Old Wives Can Save Lives Today

One of my particular interests is how knowledge is often embedded in folklore and myth.  In the past these fireside stories were usually dismissed as flights of imagination by the ignorant – by modern standards – and of little use.  That view is changing.

Plenty of noses turned up at ancient medical treatments too.  So this caught my eye: the formation of a multi-disciplinary ‘ancientbiotics’ team, comprising pharmacologists, microbiologists, medievalists, chemists and data experts in the UK and US.  The aim is to test if medieval medical treatments have anything to offer modern medicine.

The team was formed at the University of Nottingham in response to the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Erin Connelly, a fellow in digital manuscript studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is creating a database of the ingredients used in medieval medical recipes, and also how they are used in combination.  “The past could inform the future'” she says.

“The team believes that novel routes to antibiotic discovery are necessary, and that present-day research may also reveal something about the methodology of medieval practitioners.”