Master of War (Master of War, Book 1) (UK Edition)
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England, 1346: For Thomas Blackstone the choice is easy - dance on the end of a rope for a murder he did not commit, or take up his war bow and join the king's invasion of France.
As he fights his way across northern France, Blackstone will learn the brutal lessons of war - from the terror and confusion of his first taste of combat, to the savage realities of siege warfare.
Vastly outnumbered, Edward III's army will finally confront the armoured might of the French nobility on the field of Crécy. It is a battle that will change the history of warfare, a battle that will change the course of Blackstone's life, a battle that is just the first chapter in a book of legend - Blackstone: Master of War.
Thomas, we’ll need some cover from up there,’ Matthew said as he took up position. ‘And don’t get separated from the others. It’s easy done in twisting corridors. Have your knife ready if you do.’ Blackstone nodded and went into the castle’s gloom and chilled air. Men moved hurriedly, and the scraping of armour on stone walls along narrow passageways heralded de Harcourt’s approach. One of the men cursed as his couter, an elbow guard, caught a protruding piece of badly mortared stone. If
at his shoulder, even carrying Sir Gilbert to safety. Perhaps Richard was the better soldier after all. If there was a truce could he stay? Would a common man ever be allowed to see such a girl as Christiana again? She wasn’t nobility, unlike the family she served. If she was ever to be more than a simple desire, what would happen to his brother? There was something else his father had told him: A man’s duty only ended in death. He found Sir Gilbert with Elfred, the knight’s horse already
her brother and four kinsmen at Crécy. Time has not yet healed her wounds.’ In that brief moment Blackstone felt an enormous gratitude to the French nobleman whose gentle manner and quick thinking had saved him from the embarrassment they had all been waiting for. He was also under no illusion that he was seen as the butcher who sat at their table, and who had slaughtered their loved ones. How far could their civility be stretched before someone drank from the poisoned chalice and betrayed his
given the chance to serve an honourable master. ‘All right, get back to the others before the squires return and check on you. Obey them and learn, young Master Guillaume. It seems we have both been given a second chance to change our lives.’ The boy bowed and turned away, disappearing quickly into the shadows, using the darkness to mask his return. The boy’s instincts serve him well, Blackstone thought, and then stepped back himself into the darkness offered by a pillar as a servant opened the
the entrance. ‘What is this? Do you assault my guests, Blackstone?’ he said, knowing full well what had happened, having seen everything from his vantage point. ‘I apologize, lord,’ Blackstone answered. ‘The count was keen to give me instruction and I caught him by surprise with my common brawling. I was trying to show him how we fight in an alehouse.’ De Harcourt looked at de Vitry. ‘Is that how it was, Louis?’ The young count’s anger had been quenched by the fight but he still hesitated in