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Assassin's Reign (The Civil War Chronicles) [Hardcover]

Michael Arnold
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
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Book Description

4 July 2013 The Civil War Chronicles

The forces of King Charles are victorious; their Parliamentarian enemies in deep crisis. In the west, the crucial port city of Bristol has fallen, and Royalist eyes fall quickly upon neighbouring Gloucester. Its walls are weak, its garrison under strength, and its governor - Sir Edward Massie - suspected of harbouring sympathy for the King.

Stryker and his men are with the army as it converges on Gloucester, still reeling from the loss of a close friend at the bloody Battle of Stratton. Ordered to infiltrate the rebel city on a mission to discover whether Massie will indeed surrender, Stryker reluctantly embarks upon his most desperate mission yet. But Gloucester's defenders are more resolute than any had imagined, and catastrophe soon befalls him. With his life seemingly forfeit, Stryker is spared by an unlikely saviour; Vincent Skaithlocke, his former commander. The mercenary has returned to England to fight for Parliament, and offers Stryker his protection. As old friends adjust to life fighting for opposing sides, Stryker begins to question his own loyalties . . . but a chance discovery makes him realise that all in Gloucester is not what it seems, for a hidden menace threatens his own life, and that of King Charles himself.


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Assassin's Reign (The Civil War Chronicles) + Hunter's Rage (The Civil War Chronicles) + Traitor's Blood (The Civil War Chronicles)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848547560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848547568
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Arnold's interest in British history is lifelong, and childhood holidays were spent visiting castles and battlefields. He became a Sharpe junkie at the age of 13, and his particular fascination with the seventeenth century was piqued partly by the fact that his hometown Petersfield is steeped in the history of the period. Michael is the bestselling author of Traitor's Blood and Assassin's Reign. He is also the author of the short story Stryker and the Angels of Death.

Michael is the first historical series novelist of our time to have used the English Civil Wars as his backdrop, and, in his exclusive new sequence of Highwayman novellas, turns his attention to the period when England was a republic.

You can find out more about Michael Arnold, Captain Stryker and The Civil War Chronicles by visiting www.johnmurrays.co.uk, Michael Arnold's website www.michael-arnold.net, his facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/MichaelArnoldBooks, or by following Mike on Twitter www.twitter.com/MikeArnold01

Product Description

Review

'Captain Stryker . . . is being pushed as "the Sharpe of the civil war", but Stryker is a character well able to attract readers on his own merits . . . The novel ends with the Battle of Hopton Heath in the spring of 1643. Many of the most famous engagements of the civil war are still to come, and the enigmatic Stryker's involvement in them promises much entertainment' (Sunday Times)

'A dark-hued romp, livid with the scents, sounds and colours of a country on the brink of implosion . . . impressive' (Daily Express)

'Michael Arnold's Civil War Chronicles have the makings of a fun, Sharpe-like series' (History Today)

'If you love Sharpe, you'll be knocked out by the 17th-century civil war adventures of Captain Innocent Stryker . . . at times this one-eyed veteran makes Sharpe look rather civilised' (Peterborough Evening Telegraph)

'Arnold is at his best describing real events . . . if you like Cornwell you will like Arnold' (Historical Novels Review)

'Heart-thumping action . . . Arnold brings the English Civil War to colourful life' (Lancashire Evening Post)

'A thumping good read. With considerable skill, Arnold has reached back in time to create a living, breathing depiction of 17th century England. From his vividly described battle scenes to the richly drawn descriptions of everyday life, from the earthy vernacular of its characters to the precise details of military equipment, every last part of this book oozes authenticity. Fans of Cornwell's Sharpe novels will love Captain Innocent Stryker - he's uglier, meaner and cleverer than Sharpe. Tremendous!' (Ben Kane, bestselling author of The Forgotten Legion Chronicles)

'A swashbuckling novel which I did not want to put down! Arnold's series of 'Stryker Chronicles' are "must-haves" on my birthday and Christmas lists. Along with Cornwell, Samson and O'Brian, Arnold seems to have been an eye witness to the events he describes' (Battlefield)

'Mike Arnold has created a fascinating cast of characters . . . I have no doubt that Hunter's Rage will count among my favourite reads of 2012' (forwinternights.wordpress.com)

'Has the makings of a fun, Sharpe-like series' (BBC History Today)

'Arnold throws us into his most vivid and thrilling book yet . . . Crackling with the sound of musket fire and punctuated with the roar of cannon, this book brings the Cromwellian conflict to life in an intense battle of wits and weaponry' (Press Association)

At the close of each novel, Mike Arnold reassures us that Captain Stryker will return. The wait, though, is not an easy one and it isn't helped by each book proving itself even better than its predecessor. The Stryker Chronicles brings the English Civil War to life in all its blood-spilt, mud-drenched, gunpowder-smoked colour and noise and it has become one of my favourite series of any genre. Not surprisingly, then, ASSASSIN'S REIGN, the fourth in the series, is every bit as excellent as I knew it would be . . . Don't underestimate the power of this series to get under your skin! It brings history alive (For Winter Nights blog)

Book Description

Assassin's Reign, the fourth in The Civil War Chronicles, Michael Arnold's acclaimed series of historical thrillers, sees battale-scarred hero, Captain Stryker, 'the Sharpe of the Civil War', in the fight of his life.

'Stands in comparison with the best of Cornwell' Yorkshire Post


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assassin,get your hair cut! 29 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover
This is the fourth outing for Stryker and the gang and by now they have established a successful formula for a cracking good page turner and i am please to report that Assassin`s Reign is a real page turner.One of the strength`s of Michael Arnold books is how he uses the secondary characters in the story and a really nice touch this time,is that it is the Siege of Gloucester that takes centre stage.Stryker is put in the position of having to become a turncoat and take up arms against his own men,when he should be in London to help Lisette get our heroine from Hunter`s Rage Miss Cecily Cade out of the hands of the parliamentarian`s.Michael Arnold puts you right into the heart of the action with detailed research of the period,that has you on the wall`s of Gloucester with the rebel leader Lieutenant Colonel Edward Massie or down in the trenches with Prince Rupert.Once again Stryker pass catches up with him,when Colonel Vincent Skaithlock walk`s back into his life and a even darker plot unfolds.The heroine`s of our story Lisette and Cecily have a rollicking adventure from London to Oxford and then on to the siege at Gloucester as they race to find Stryker and the King.This the fourth Stryker book,show`s that this is a series to be recon with,and as it say`s on the cover "Stryker is the Sharpe of the Civil War,a cracking read.If you are a e-book reader,then Stryker and the Angels of Death is a must read,as it gives us another look into Stryker pass.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stryker goes from strength to strength 15 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The fourth book in a series is, I sometimes find, a stumbling block for an author. The debut can be strong, the second where they find their feet, and the third where they really shine. Often, though, the fourth is where they over-reach, run out of ideas or become formulaic.

I am delighted to say that none of this holds for Michael Arnold's new opus.

Continuing a trend of increasing quality, Assassin's Reign is indeed better even than the excellent Hunter's Rage, which was itself a triumph.

In this fourth book we find the current dour and acerbic Captain Stryker once more called to carry out the clandestine whims of Prince Rupert, though this time his mission will take him far from the companionship of his company and friends, not only deadly danger, but also into a situation that threatens his very soul. While facing dilemmas and impossible choices - torn between two conflicting duties - Stryker comes face to face with an important figure from his past only to uncover a dastardly plot with far-reaching consequences.

As these troubles progress, we are also treated to a separate thread following the resourceful and dangerous spy Lisette, and her search for the heiress Cecily Cade. Gradually, as armies manoeuvre around the country to deal with the crucial fortress of Gloucester, Lysette and her mission converge with Stryker and other, more sinister characters, leading to a masterly crescendo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars English Civil War 8 Oct 2013
By mikeyb
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good addition to the series. Still would not call Stryker the Sharpe of his day, but nevertheless a good read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and enjoyable read 27 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Free flowing book and a good story line. As a fan of B Cornwall this is up there with Sharpe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stryker 4 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The more I read of Stryker's adventures the more I want to.The twists and turns of the stories are incredible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 1 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read, just like the rest of the series, waiting with baited breath for more please Mr Arnold. Thank you
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series brings history alive! 18 July 2013
By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
At the close of each novel, Mike Arnold reassures us that Captain Stryker will return. The wait, though, is not an easy one and it isn't helped by each book proving itself even better than its predecessor. The Stryker Chronicles brings the English Civil War to life in all its blood-spilt, mud-drenched, gunpowder-smoked colour and noise and it has become one of my favourite series of any genre. Not surprisingly, then, Assassin's Reign, the fourth in the series, is every bit as excellent as I knew it would be. This is quite an achievement because the last novel in the series, Hunter's Rage (review here) was among my top books of 2012.

Assassin's Reign could be read as a standalone novel but that would mean you have lost the development of the characters as well as knowledge of key events which have shaped Stryker the soldier and the man. I would suggest you begin with Traitor's Blood (Stryker Chronicles 1).

The focus of the series is always the one-eyed, brutally scarred Captain Stryker. He fights for the Royalist cause but this has much more to do with his loyalties to other men and women than to the King and his generals. He has almost as many enemies among the King's men as he does among Parliament's. Enough battles have been fought now for the blood of good people to have been spilt on both sides and in Assassin's Reign it all becomes much more complicated. We get to learn a little more about the King, we witness the bravery and courage of Gloucester's citizens and their very young military leader and we are presented with the horror and death that the men on both sides of the city's old walls experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Has become boring
This writer has become boring in characters as he uses the same at term and formula to write
Published 10 days ago by Sue Wassell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Outstanding
Published 11 days ago by F S Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Can't wait to read the next one. Enjoyed all of the books in the series. Likeable rough characters - all of them - and truly believable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by lovereading
3.0 out of 5 stars ok read
Very meandering story ,starts ok then just seems to have bits added in ad hoc, it has the makings of a good series,but I remember reading a similar book about the Templars .
Published 2 months ago by Mr. K. D. R. Rushman
5.0 out of 5 stars More great reading
Another good book in the series. It pulls you into the story especially as you recognize the various towns and areas. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mulli
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
I found it a very good story, in keeping with the first three in the series.I highly recommend all of them.
Published 2 months ago by S. P. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars assasins
Good historical story. Great for civil war fans,sometimes a bit predictable with the minor characters,but a great read.
Look forward to book 5.
Published 2 months ago by blake
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Civil War HF
The fourth outing for Captain Styker and one that really will test not only the mettle but the heroes limits as the author weaves a staggeringly addictive story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
the story line was good and kept you waiting for the next turn. hopefully there will be more from the author about stryker.
Published 5 months ago by m h b
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant page turner
Mr Arnold gets better and better. Stryker et al are as well rounded as ever. The description of the siege of Gloucester is superbly paced, the details well described. Read more
Published 5 months ago by R martin
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