Saturday 25 March 2023

The King's Spy (The Rebellion Series Book 1) - Mark Turnbull


14th June 1645.

The Battle of Naseby is set to decide the outcome of the civil war in England.

The armies of King Charles I face those of Parliament and its untested New Model Army. Yet amidst the carnage, an intensely personal battle takes place between two men.

Captain Maxwell Walker is a royalist cavalry officer, widower and father. Loyal and brave, but haunted by his grief, Maxwell thirsts for revenge. His life has never been the same since his encounter with the parliamentarian Gervase Harper, a man whose ruthless streak sees him prosecute the war with vigour. Harper cuts down anyone who gets in his way. Maxwell’s wife was no exception.

The outcome of Naseby causes Maxwell to be tasked with a royal rescue mission. The King’s most personal possession must be retrieved. His cypher would allow Parliament to decode captured royal correspondence and that would deal a major blow in the propaganda war.

The soldier must play the spy.

His actions, however, earn him the enmity of both sides. The hunter becomes the hunted.

Facing a murder charge, as well as a great siege, Maxwell makes a discovery that might just save himself and the King’s remaining cavalry.

However, all of this rests upon his next encounter with Gervase Harper.

What did I think?

I love historical fiction and I have been choosing to read more books set during the English Civil War so I was eager to read The King's Spy and I was not disappointed.  It's a period of history I used to know very little about, but my knowledge is gradually increasing thanks to wonderful authors such as Mark Turnbull bringing the period to life.

The King's Spy is a 125 page novella but there is so much going on that it reads like a full length novel.  There's not just war on the battlefield, there's a personal battle for the main character as he comes back into contact with the man who killed his family.

The writing is so vivid that it drew me into the story and I experienced all of the sights and sounds of the Civil War.  I loved the revenge story that adds depth to the characters and made me want to read more.  I often feel unfulfilled by novellas but Mark Turnbull has got the balance right between writing a satisfying conclusion and leaving the reader thirsty for more.

Filled with adventure and danger, The King's Spy is an incredibly entertaining and impressive novella.  It's a wonderful start to an exciting new historical fiction series and one I'd definitely recommend.

Many thanks to the author for sending me a digital ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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