I’ve been reading William Napier, first his two books Clash of Empires: the Great Siege about the Siege of Malta and Clash of Empires: the Red Sea, on the Battle of Lepanto, which arguably changed the course of European history –
“Nicholas Ingoldsby and his manservant Hodge, English soldiers who had fought alongside the Hospitaller Knights of St. John at the victory in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, are now, in 1571, slaves at the oars of a corsair galley on which they have spent the past two years…”
I found there is a third Nicholas Ingoldsby adventure published in 2014 – The Last Crusaders: Ivan the Terrible – can’t wait!
My appetite whetted, I am now half way through his Attila the Hun trilogy, which also includes, just as a side plot: The Fall of the Roman Empire.
And a note on the author – educated at Cheltenham College (expelled), Leicester University (dropped out), Oxford Polytechnic and Birkbeck College, London, where he completed a PhD on W.B.Yeats, now that’s my kind of author.
Good historical authors can read hundreds of reference books just as background, but it should only show like an iceberg – 7/8 below the water line. Napier’s deep backgrounding is prodigious and one of the extra thrills of reading him: too good to read only once.
Score : Gripping historical reads = 5/5
But be warned – Blood and Gore quotient = 6/5
Reviewed by: John