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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Stryker is back in what is the best of a most excellent series
Ever since Michael Arnold ignited in me a fascination with the English Civil War - in fiction and in the hitherto unexplored history of places around me - I have seized upon his Stryker Chronicles. Captain Stryker has my full attention. A one-eyed, brave and formidable Royalist, he leads a small band of battered men on desperate missions to put a halt to the progress of...
Published on 2 Aug 2012 by Kate

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame
Not as good as two previous books. Slow and ponderous in however loved the descriptions of Devon as that's where I grew up really.
Published 22 months ago by Timothy Payton


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Stryker is back in what is the best of a most excellent series, 2 Aug 2012
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Ever since Michael Arnold ignited in me a fascination with the English Civil War - in fiction and in the hitherto unexplored history of places around me - I have seized upon his Stryker Chronicles. Captain Stryker has my full attention. A one-eyed, brave and formidable Royalist, he leads a small band of battered men on desperate missions to put a halt to the progress of rebel forces. Always, though, matters get personal.

In the first two novels, Traitor's Blood (Civil War Chronicles) and Devil's Charge (Civil War Chronicles), we have seen Stryker under fire at Edgehill and under siege at Lichfield. Now, in the third novel Hunter's Rage, Stryker is located on the border of Parliamentarian Devon and the staunchly Royalist Cornwall. While news spreads of forces amassing on either side, Stryker is marooned with just a few men on Dartmoor. With nothing but ancient stones for cover, Stryker has to fight off two rebels with very personal grudges against him. Colonel Wild, known for the black cormorant feathers in his cap and those of his men, wants vengeance on the man who stole from him a wagon of gunpowder but Osmyn Hogg is another matter entirely. Hogg is a witch finder, freshly returned from Salem. He can never forget an injury done to him by Stryker and he will prick and torture his way to his sole goal - Stryker hanging on a rope not long enough to break his neck.

To complicate matters further, Stryker has to protect a young woman Cecily who holds the secret to something that both sides want desperately. By Stryker's side though are his loyal men and the extraordinary Payne, a giant of a man, a real figure from history, who strikes fear into the heart of every enemy but very different emotions in ours.

The excitement of the adventure never eases and yet through it all we have glimpses of the relationships between Stryker and his men. There are familiar figures here from the previous two novels and so I would urge you to read these novels in sequence if you haven't done so already. Matters do get complicated and they have consequences. You'll feel it more if you've read the previous books.

While Traitor's Blood and Devil's Charge are both excellent novels, it is clear from a very early stage that Hunter's Rage exceeds even them. Each of the three novels are as exciting as the others, but in Hunter's Rage, the characterisation and storytelling reach new heights. I was especially struck by the quality of the dialogue and the relationships between the characters but, more than anything, it is the mood of this third novel that makes such a deep impression. With the setting of the bleak and exposed moors a constant factor, we vividly watch men scramble to stay alive. As usual with the Stryker Chronicles we are struck by how Civil War can create demons on both sides and it's the innocent who suffer. Good men fight good men but there are also truly evil men here who are given free reign by the excuse of war.

I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of Hunter's Rage. I loved the friction caused between the men by Cecily. I was also terrified by Hogg.

The story is tightly plotted and the fact that everything takes place over just a few weeks during the spring of 1643 means that we are never allowed to take our eyes off the action. The familiar places of Bude and Okehampton have new colour for me now as I think of the unmarked graves that cover this landscape, the result of forgotten skirmishes.

There is something else that impresses me about Hunter's Rage. Mike Arnold has created a fascinating cast of characters but such is the strength of his storytelling he doesn't need to use all of them all of the time, or even for an entire novel.

I have no doubt that Hunter's Rage will count among my favourite reads of 2012
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seek Wisdom but not for the Hogg and the Toad, 23 July 2012
The joy of a good series is that when the next adventure arrives it adds strength to the series and Hunter`s Rage certainly does that in this third outing of Stryker and his merry band.The label on the cover states that its the Sharpe of the Civil War,but for me it now should be Stryker of the Civil War, as Stryker is big enough not to need the back up.Once again Michael Arnold passion for the period has you right in the thick of the action and with the prologue he gives us a insight into the early life of our hero and sets us up for the adventure to come.As with the other books we have villians of the highest order who make life for Stryer and the boys most uncomfortable.With all top Historical writers its the battle scenes that make the book come to life and as with the other Stryker books you smell the powder smoke and hear the battle-crys as Stryker and the boys are pitched into the middle of the battle of Stamford Hill.It is sad that we lose one of Strykers most trusted band, but i think that in Seek Wisdom and Fear the Lord Garden we could have a excellant replacement.My only regret was that my heroine,that lady of the sword Lisette Gaillard does not appear until the last page, but it sets up the next Stryker book and for me that can not be to soon.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure gold. action, adventure, plot, drama, History and the dark side of war all in one book, 23 July 2012
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Review

I have been fortunate enough to meet Captain Stryker before:
Civil War Chronicles
1. Traitor's Blood (2010)
2. Devil's Charge (2011)
3. Hunter's Rage (2012)
4. Warlord's Gold (2013)

But this latest adventure (number 3) Hunters Rage is a step up, as each book in the series appears to have been. Our Hero? if that's the right word for a man built by and driven by war. Yet a man who believes he is on the right side, a man who really deep down cares for every man under his commend, not that he would show it. I think a true professional Soldier is a better name than hero.

Stryker in this tale stumbles across a cache of powder, shot etc and is lucky enough to pull off a daring capture of these goodies. Only his temper and in built arrogance (and we all have it) gets the better of him and he makes an enemy for life in Colonel Wild. The story that then unfolds is full of twists turns, moments of almost unnoticed heroism, sorrow, sacrifice and brilliant characters.

The cover of the book quotes the Yorkshire times "Stands in comparison with the best of Cornwell" I think that's wrong, I love the character Sharpe, but i think Stryker is much more complicated and misunderstood. Where Sharpe is a man from the ranks trying to fit in among the Officer class. Stryker doesn't, he doesn't really care about that. He cares about doing the job, doing it right, doing it well and bringing his men back alive. he seems to live for the buzz and adrenaline of battle and accept the vagaries of fate that mean you or the man next to you could die any minuet.

As reads go its not a book you will devour in a single sitting, its much more complex than that, you need to take your time to savour every single sentence, to appreciate the great and complex characters, to feel the damp of the grass, the cold of the morning, and the boom of the guns. This book has the ability to totally immerse you in the English Civil war, in 1643. And having been out on hikes on the moors in the winter months I can attest to the accuracy of the descriptions, the bleak but also magical landscapes.

This book will take you on a ride through an epic period of history, with a band of real men, hard men but honest men, and also allow you a glimpse of the not so nice side of war in the witch finder Hogg.
I really encourage you all to go and buy the book and enjoy the same journey I have just taken. A Journey that leaves me knowing what the Warlords Gold is...yet wondering how the hell Stryker and his band of men can stand a chance of getting it back.

Very Highly Recommended.
(Parm)

Book description (From back of book)

Posted to the hostile territory of Dartmoor, Captain Innocent Stryker and his men are attacked by an elite cavalry unit commanded by the formidable Colonel Gabriel Wild and suffer heavy losses. Stryker has already clashed once with Wild, and the Roundhead has sworn to seek his revenge. After the attack, Stryker is faced with the annihilation of his company as he is hounded across the moor, eventually seeking shelter on an isolated tor populated by an enigmatic former priest who harbours no love for the King's cause. Colonel Wild is assisted in his revenge by Osmyn Hogg, Parliamentarian Witchfinder, who shares his own deadly history with Stryker. To save his honour and his life, Stryker must lead his men to glory from the protection of the lonely granite-topped hill. Into this atmosphere of intrigue and danger comes the beautiful but mysterious Cecily Cade. Stryker comes to her aid, unaware that she carries with her special knowledge that may prove the key to Royalist victory.
The battle between Stryker and his old foes takes him from the bleak isolation of Dartmoor, through the war-ravaged lands of southern England and finally to Stratton, where the bloody battle between Cornwall and Devon will decide the fate of the south-west.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HUNTER 'S RAGE, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Hunter's Rage: Book 3 of The Civil War Chronicles (Kindle Edition)
BEST BOOK I HAVE READ I A WHILE .CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE .THANK YOU MICHAEL ARNOLD FOR THREE GRATE BOOKS
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure authenticity, 15 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Hunter's Rage: Book 3 of The Civil War Chronicles (Kindle Edition)
I'm no expert on this period of English history but I have totally bought in to Michael Arnold's description of life during the English Civil war. The battle scenes are exciting and on a par with Bernard Cornwall but what makes this series stand out for me are the character's names and their language.
Hardly anyone has a normal first name and one new character in particular (and if you've read the book, you know who i mean) has the best name I have ever read in fiction.
The language and in particular the oaths, are outstanding and why did we ever let phrases such as , Sir, you have the right of it," drop from common usage.
I loved it and can't wait for the next instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arnold does it again, 23 Sep 2012
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Michael Arnold's writing just gets better & better. The characters are developing well & although Stryker is the main character you are waiting for updates on other key characters. THe twists & turns also left you guessing until the very end. I was fully expecting a daring plan by Stryker to rescue Lieutent Burton but the storyline read well. I am already awaiting the 4th installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rip roaring entertainment, 17 Sep 2012
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The third book about Civil War superhero Captain innocent Stryker and every bit as good as the previous two. This concerns the battle of Stratton (Stamford Hill) and like all good historical novels contains a good mixture of fact and fiction.

Michael Arnold`s battlefield descriptions are so good you can almost smell and taste it, not though you`d want to mind. His avoidance of tedious characterization makes for a fast paced and truly exciting tale. Unputdownable

It will be very interesting to see how the Stryker character develops as he is after all fighting on the losing side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 16 Sep 2012
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The best in the series so far - the characters are starting to take shape and have depth - I'm already looking forward to next in series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hunter's Rage, 1 Sep 2012
This review is from: Hunter's Rage: Book 3 of The Civil War Chronicles (Kindle Edition)
I read this book whilst on holiday, borrowing it from a friend. Although I hadn't read first two books in series and although I'm not familiar with the civil war Michael Arnold makes things accessible and entertaining. Loved the banter between the soldiers (squaddie's today may sympathise). Arnold has good feel for action. It's authentic without being overly gory. Book could have been edited and cut a bit, but really enjoyed it. Was something different for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Civil War Read, 31 Aug 2012
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Matthew Arnold is undeniably a good writer of this particular genre - he manages to convey in a most convincing fashion the rather bleak, destructive nature of the Civil War at its most basic level. He weaves personalities into the plot that are so convincing and redolent of that era that you sometimes feel you are there, experiencing it in all its tawdriness. Loads of action and very unpleasant, vindictive individuals abound! Very human and readable all round.
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