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The Sword of Albion: The Sword of Albion Trilogy Book 1 (Sword of Albion Trilogy 1) Paperback – 3 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553820214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553820218
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspapers as well as contributing to magazines and TV.

When his first short story won Fear magazine's Best New Author award, he was snapped up by an agent and subsequently published his first novel, Underground, a supernatural thriller set in the coalfields of his youth. Quitting journalism to become a full-time author, he has written stories which have transcended genre boundaries, but is perhaps best known in the fantasy field.

Mark has also forged a parallel career as a screenwriter with many hours of produced work for British television. He is a senior writer for BBC Drama, and is also developing new shows for the UK and US.

An expert on British folklore and mythology, he has held several varied and colourful jobs, including independent record company boss, band manager, production line worker, engineer's 'mate', and media consultant.

Having travelled extensively around the world, he has now settled in a rambling house in the middle of a forest not far from where he was born.

Product Description

Review

"Smart, fun, at times surprisingly moving, and occasionally downright shocking...impossible to put down." (Realms of Fantasy magazine)

"Combining the best elements of a spy thriller, heroic fantasy and Elizabethan mystery, Chadbourn deftly mixes gruesome brutality, a shadowy world of plots and counter-plots and a vivid cast of characters...creates an alternate reality as tangible and authentic as the history we think we know...In a year of outstanding fantasies, The Sword of Albion may just be one of the best so far." (Monsters and Critics)

"Gets off to a smashing start. The historical detail sets a believable backdrop, and the main character, a spy, could pass for a fantastical James Bond. Chadbourn sets a fast pace, pitting his characters against supernatural threats with a bit of horror thrown in." (RT Book Reviews)

Book Description

Will Swyfte, Elizabethan England's greatest spy, takes on the fiendish forces of Faerie, in a fantastical, swashbuckling and fun-filled historical adventure...

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
A fine novel where the unrealities of the spy trade, if you like, are not overshadowed by the fantasy.

The spies that work for Walsingham, with Swyfte as point man have it about as easy as they do on Spooks. That is, they are likely to die or fall apart a lot, and descend into vice. Here the spies have the added pressure of the Call of Cthulhu style investigator - there are actual horrors in the night that can drive you mad.

A secret war with the Unseelie is kept from the public eye, and even those involved do not know the whole story about what is going on, except right at the top - that is, Queen Elizabeth and her direct coterie.

A detente has been struck as Dr John Dee managed to erect a defense that lessend the depradations of the monsters upon English humanity, but those in other countries still suffer, particularly in Scotland. The inhumans are not happy about this, and are looking to gain back the advantage.

Swyfte and his Bond style exploits are used as PR and propaganda. There is also the very real conflict with Spain going on - so the secret agents have multiple enemies to deal with, and in fact, this novel is set during the time of the invasion of King Philip's Spanish Armada. In fact, Swyfte's Spanish counterpart plays a significant role.

Several items are key - the titular object and its very disturbing past, a Shield, and a Key. With these weapons, some rather more modern-style weapons of war are available to those controlling them.

More of Swyfte's adventures, along with his sardonic assistant Nathaniel can be found in the Solaris Book of Fantasy, the long story therein shedding further light on what is going on in the background to this Elizabethan milieu. Also a highly recommended piece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Jeffels on 19 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author, Mr CHADBOURNE, has entered the world of the Elizabethan age more completely than any other author I have read. His knowledge of, and feel for, the world of the 16th Century, is remarkable. 'The Sword of Albion' is a real page turner of a book, and is excellent entertainment throughout.

Mr CHADBOURNE has described the social conditions, history, clothes, technology, folk beliefs, and magic with such accuracy that he might have lived in the Elizabethan age.

The reader would gain much in appreciation of the age by reading the plays of William Shakespeare, especially 'A Midsummer Night's dream' A Midsummer Night's Dream. The reader might also benefit from a modern study of Doctor Dee The Queen's Conjuror: The Life and Magic of Dr. Dee: The Science and Magic of Dr.Dee.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By disrep on 9 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyable swashbuckling thriller set against the backdrop of the Spanish Armada attempting to invade England. Will Swyfte has to try and recapture a dangerous weapon from the Otherworld that has fallen into the hands of the Spanish. The book has all the ingredients of a top spy thriller but with a slightly different slant. The Otherworld element really adds to the tension and scare factor, nothing can be relied upon to be just what it seems.

It has very good pace especially the latter third. Enough scene setting to paint the picture but not so much as to dull the story.

I really liked the attention to detail on the historical and nautical facts, plus I liked the language. It's not posh english (not all "what ho my good man") but they all speak correctly, no slang. They speak like gentlemen which aided the feel of the book for me. Chadbourn has put his own spin on history to great effect, involving the stuff of nightmares and making you wonder about what does go bump in the night.

Will Swyfte appears in another unrelated Chadbourn book, Jack of Ravens, and it is great to see him have his own tales to tell. This is his story and I hope the first of many adventures of a very likeable if troubled character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom on 6 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book follows in the style and universe of the Age of Misrule etc. It truly is one of those books which is hard to put down, and leaves you wanting more. My knowledge of history at the time this is set is somewhat shaky, but I would imagine given the depth of research evident in all other aspects of his writing, that you can use Chadbourn's book as a text book if you strip out the fiction. Although... given the reality that he creates, I find myself believing in Chadbourn's version of the world more and more, and hoping that it is true.

Although set in the same universe, there are subtle differences in how the players from the various factions operate, but this itself is consistent with the ever-changing nature of his universe. The book finishes conclusively, and I was afraid that it was a stand alone work, but I see that it is listed as Book 1, so here's hoping for the next to come very soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Mark is one of the stable British Writers of Fantasy today, you can virtually guarantee a reasonable novel that will not only win the reader over but of a level that will please the majority of Fantasy fans.

Departing from the fantasy set in modern times, we see an offering set in the Elizabethan period that seems to be coming very popular with other author. Add to the mix a touch of humour (with a Q like character) an international (or rather European) man of mystery and a whole host of villains from the fae world for the hero to over come and you know its going to be something a bit different. It is well written, the descriptiveness pretty tight and dialogue that will definitely win the reader over. A solid offering that will open a new branch into the fantasy world, I just hope he can maintain the quality with his second release.
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