Julian Stockwin’s standalone historical novel, THE SILK TREE, is published today by Allison & Busby.
Forced to flee the sacking of Rome, merchant Nicander and his unlikely ally Marius, a fierce Roman legionary, escape to a new life in Constantinople. Determined to make their fortune, they plot a number of outrageous money making schemes, until they chance upon their greatest idea yet. Armed with a plan to steal the seeds of the silk tree from the far-off land of Seres, Nicander and Marius embark upon a terrifying journey across unknown realms. But first, they must deceive the powerful ruler of the Byzantine Empire, Justinian, in order to begin their voyage into the unknown and discover the closely guarded secret of silk.
Stockwin’s novelisation of the Western discovery of silk is the first of a series of high-concept fictional explorations of commodities that changed the course of history. THE SILK TREE will be followed by a novel provisionally titled THE CRAKYS OF WAR, exploring gunpowder’s introduction to Europe. Julian recently wrote a fascinating blog on marrying fact and fiction in historical novels.
Julian Stockwin’s maritime historical action-adventure series, featuring Thomas Kydd, is published by Hodder & Stoughton. The 15th in the series, PASHA, was published on 9 October. He plans for the series to become 21 novels, and Hodder have already commissioned books 16 and 17.
About Julian Stockwin:
Julian Stockwin joined a tough sea-training school at 14, followed by the Royal Navy, transferring to the Royal Australian Navy when his family emigrated. He saw service in the Far East, the Antarctic, the South Seas and Vietnam, and was on board the Melbourne at the time of its disastrous peace time collision with the Voyager. He left the navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He later worked for NATO on the strategic deployment of merchant shipping for which he was awarded the MBE, presented by H. M. The Queen. He was shortlisted for the Mountbatten Maritime Literary Award 2008.
Praise for THE SILK TREE:
'Stockwin's page-turning prose, vividly drawn characters and ability to draw the reader right into these ancient times create a grand and compelling historical epic. Completing each chapter is tantamount to unlocking the secret compartments in a Chinese puzzle box.' – Quarterdeck
Praise for the Thomas Kydd novels:
‘Historical fiction is a tricky beast. As a writer you have to keep your history in proper shape while combining it with a narrative that someone actually wants to read. Score two out of two for Julian Stockwin...It is engrossing.’ – Ian Barry, Daily Mail
‘Stockwin assembles an exciting and suspenseful historical loaded with action, intrigue, treachery, and the bloody gore of 1805 warfare.’ – Publisher’s Weekly