Viper’s Blood is the fourth book in David Gilman’s Master of War series continuing the saga of The Hundred Years' War and the fictional tale of Sir Thomas Blackstone. Edward III has invaded
as the winter of 1359 turns to the spring of 1360 there is a stalemate between
the two armies, with the Dauphin refusing to leave Paris,
the English army must cross ,
taking supplies where they can. Thomas Blackstone is tasked with seizing gold
for the King and while seeking a healer for his oldest friend Killbere he
rescues a young woman accused of witchcraft; a woman his men believe brings bad
luck. Recalled to France Paris as a truce is arranged
Blackstone is tasked with taking the French King’s daughter to Italy for her wedding, into the heart of and the family
responsible for the murder of Blackstone’s wife and daughter. Blackstone seeks
vengeance. The Dauphin hopes to be rid of Blackstone at last. Milan
This is a book full of carefully researched details of war, siege and weaponry as might be expected but it is also a treasure trove of details about medieval life, herbal remedies, folk beliefs and the power of the medieval church. Blackstone is a man of his times; a warrior, a leader, hard on his son and on himself but also just, fair and loyal. A great addition to the series this book could also be read as a standalone novel. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Giles Kristian and Conn Iggulden.
Published by Head of Zeus and available now in hardback.
This review originally appeared in The Historical Novel Review Issue 80 May 2017 and can be viewed online and the link below