TWO KINGS, TWO FAITHS, TWO ARMIES – AND THE BATTLE FOR IRELAND
THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE VICTOR . . .
August 25, 1689
The English Army is besieging Carrickfergus in Ireland. Brilliant but unusual gunner Holcroft Blood of the Royal Train of Artillery (son of Col. Thomas Blood), is ready to unleash his cannons on the rebellious forces of deposed Catholic monarch James II. But this is more than war for Captain Blood, a lust for private vengeance burns within him.
French intelligence agent Henri d’Erloncourt has come across the seas to foment rebellion against William of Orange, the newly installed Dutch ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland. But Henri’s true mission is not to aid the suffering of the Irish but to serve the interests of his master, Louis le Grand.
Michael ‘Galloping’ Hogan, brigand, boozer and despoiler of Protestant farms, strives to defend his native land – and make a little profit on the side. But when he takes the Frenchman’s gold, he suspects deep in his freedom-loving heart, that he has merely swapped one foreign overlord for another.
July 1, 1690
On the banks of the River Boyne, on a fateful, scorching hot day, two armies clash in bloody battle – Protestant against Catholic – in an epic struggle for mastery of Ireland. And, when the slaughter is over and the smoke finally clears, for these three men, nothing will ever be the same again . . .
Holcroft must decide whether to join the conspirators, including his old friend Jack Churchill, now Lord Marlborough, and support Dutch William’s invasion – or remain loyal to his unpopular king.
Kent-based author Angus Donald was born in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University. He has worked as a fruit-picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and as an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia. For 20 years he worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London. He is now married with children and writes full time from a medieval farmhouse in Tonbridge, Kent.
Angus is a distant relative of Col. Thomas Blood who is best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671.
Angus is also the author of the bestselling Outlaw Chronicles.
This isn’t the sort of book I’d normally pick up even though I enjoy historical fiction as I tend to avoid military history. But this is so well written and draws you in so well I actually quite enjoyed it.
The history of England and Ireland is shameful and blood stained and the period this book covers is the same. After James II was deposed from the throne he seized after Charles II’s death he fled to Ireland where he waged war with borrowed soldiers against William and Mary’s troops.
Using real names and places Angus Donald builds a realistic picture of life in the English army during the Irish campaign.
Holcroft Blood is a Captain in the Ordnance (what we call Artillery now) but he also has his own agenda.
The author is distantly related to the read Blood, which adds another interesting layer to the book.
All in all I found it interesting and thoroughly well written with a real sense of the time and place it’s set.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.