MASTER OF WAR: VIPER'S BLOOD by David Gilman - out in hardback from Head of Zeus (and THE LAST HORSEMAN out in paperback)!

VIPER’S BLOOD, the fourth title in the bestselling MASTER OF WAR series, is published in hardback today by Head of Zeus. This novel sees Gilman continuing his gripping take on the Hundred Years War, following on from the events of GATE OF THE DEAD, in which Thomas Blackstone left his life as a mercenary in 1350s Tuscany.

As VIPER’S BLOOD begins, Edward III has invaded France at the head of the greatest host England has ever assembled. But his attempt to win the French crown is futile. The Dauphin will no longer meet the English in the field and the great army is mired in costly sieges, scavenging supplies from a land ruined by decades of conflict.

Facing a stalemate – or worse – the English are forced to agree a treaty. But peace comes at a price. The French request that Blackstone escort their King's daughter to Italy to see her married to one of the two brothers who rule Milan – the same brothers who killed Blackstone's family to revenge the defeats he inflicted on them. Blackstone, the French are certain, will never leave Milan alive...

Robert Fabbri, bestselling author of the Vespasian series, has described the MASTER OF WAR series as a “gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty”. The series has been sold in Brazil, Hungary, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Germany, where Rowohlt will publish the first three titles this year with a major marketing campaign.

David’s "gripping... smart and subtle" standalone THE LAST HORSEMAN, featuring American and Irish characters in the South African War, was published by Head of Zeus last year and is also out today in paperback. The Bookbag picked THE LAST HORSEMAN as one of the Best Historical Fiction Books of 2016.


Praise for the MASTER OF WAR series:

‘Move over Bernard Cornwell! Historical fiction at its best.’ – Historical Novel Society

‘Like a punch from a mailed fist, MASTER OF WAR gives a true taste of the Hundred Years War. It is a gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty.' - Robert Fabbri, bestselling author of the Vespasian series.

‘If you only read one historical debut this year, make it this one. The prose is sharper than a bodkin arrow, the pace faster than thought and to be honest it was a book that I just couldn’t put down. Great stuff.’ – Gareth Wilson, - Falcata Times

 ‘A violent, tempestuous, glorious novel. I was gripped from the very beginning and the book never once let go of me until its end, by which point I was exhausted by its intensity, thrills and trauma. Among my top historical fiction reads of the year.' – For Winter Nights

 ‘See-saw drama at its best… so many reasons why, when life tried to encourage me to put the book down, I resisted stridently. This is writing that twists around seldom seen hist-fict depth.’ – Ani Johnson, The Bookbag



'Gritty, compelling, an exciting yet moving tale of love, war and Africa.' - Tony Park, bestselling author of RED EARTH

'Gilman's writing is, as always, powerful and sympathetic to the subject...The simply excellent writing drags you from rain-soaked Ireland to the dusty plans of the Transvaal, making you experience every step and emotion along the way.' - Parmenion Books

'Gripping and full of action, but is also smart and subtle about questions of loyalty and guilt in a war with few good guys.' - The Times

'David once again proves his ability to add texture into his tapestry in the form of sub-plots and back stories...A novel that packs so much alongside and under a totally riveting story.' - The Bookbag Top Ten Historical Fiction Books of 2016

'Gilman had me hooked from page one...[He] has actually remained neutral in telling the story, a feat that shows what a truly great author he is.' - Breakaway Reviews

'The writing is sharp, contains some great characterisation...Back this up with top notch action sequences, more than a few heart-in-mouth moments, backed with good pace and all round it's a series for me to savour with each new offering. Cracking' - Gareth Wilson, Falcata Times

'Packed full of intrigue, adventure and excitement...The writing is skilful, and while the story is a page turner full of adventure, there are moments in which we are reminded that though most of the characters are fictional, the horror of this war was not...A perfect read for fans of Bernard Cornwell.' - Historical Novel Review

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David Gilman’s epic standalone THE LAST HORSEMAN is published in hardback on 11 August 2016 by Head of Zeus. David Gilman is the bestselling author of the MASTER OF WAR series, set during the 100 Years War, and his new historical novel is already receiving plaudits from readers. Bestselling adventure and thriller writer Tony Park has said: 'Gritty, compelling - an exciting yet moving tale of love, war and Africa.' 

Dublin, 1899. On a foul night in a troubled city, lawyer Joseph Radcliffe watches the execution of a young Irish rebel. Radcliffe, together with his black American comrade Benjamin Pierce, has made a living defending the toughest cases in Dublin, but is haunted by the spectre of his defeats, the loss of his wife and child and his difficult relationship with his surviving son, Edward. While Ireland smoulders with rebellion, war breaks out in South Africa and when, after an argument with his father, Edward runs away to join the Irish forces fighting there, Radcliffe, accompanied by Pierce, sets out to find him and bring him home.

South Africa, 1900. Both Radcliffe and Pierce have known war. Former cavalrymen in the US army, they have seen enough killing to last them a lifetime. But eight hundred miles north of Cape Town, amid the trackless veld, they experience the bloody brutality of a conflict that the British generals are shocked to discover they are losing. Under fire from Boer snipers and artillery, distrusted by the British forces, the two old soldiers will find their survival skills tested to the hilt as they search for the missing boy in this epic tale of heroism and treachery, love and loyalty.

The MASTER OF WAR series is sold in Brazil, Spain, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic.  The paperback for the third title in the series, GATE OF THE DEAD, will be out in September 2016, with the fourth book VIPER’S BLOOD out in hardback in January 2017.  

Praise for David Gilman, the MASTER OF WAR series and THE LAST HORSEMAN

‘Once again Mr Gilman demonstrates why he's a superlative talent in his field and why historical fiction fans like me will continue to hang onto his every breath-taking, shock-ridden, plot-twisting word.' - The Book Bag.

'THE LAST HORSEMAN is gripping and full of action, but is also smart and subtle about questions of loyalty and guilt in a war with few good guys.' - The Times.

‘THE LAST HORSEMAN is a book I highly recommend, for the stand-alone story, for the sympathetic way it’s told, and for the simply excellent writing that drags you from rain-soaked Ireland to the dusty plains of South Africa, making you experience every step and emotion along the way.’ –  Robin Carter, Parmenion Books.

‘Takes no hostages, this fast-paced story never lets up.' - The Independent.

‘Gilman is a master author. His books are meticulously researched and historically accurate whilst at the same time being thrilling and suspenseful, he is an author in the same class as Bernard Cornwell, and if you like that author's books, then you will be delighted with this author.’ -  Army Rumour Service.

About David Gilman

David Gilman has had many careers, including firefighter, soldier and photographer, before turning to writing full time. He is an award-winning author and screenwriter.

Find out more about David Gilman on Blake Friedmann’s or David’s own website.

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