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on 11 April 2017
I got slightly addicted to these... I have always been keen on historical fiction and this series are good versions, well written, well researched and a good rip-roaring story line. Probably won't win any awards - but then most "award winning" fiction tends to be utterly unreadable. Worth a read and it'll keep you engrossed for the duration. Might even spike an interest in Civil War history...
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on 31 July 2017
great blend of fact and fiction, I'm routing for Stryker and his crew as they feel like family now; was sorry to lose the young, stalwart, Lieutenant Andrew Burton, and I suspect there'll be more losses along the way; these stories really make you think about the soldiers and civilians who were caught up, often unwillingly, in this very bloody period of history where families were frequently divided in their choice of king or parliament and men and horses were sacrificed, considered acceptable and necessary losses by their commanders
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on 1 May 2017
like this author , a good read
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on 31 July 2017
Very good book
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on 2 August 2017
as above
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on 22 August 2017
like it
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on 7 September 2017
Enjoyed this adventure!
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on 12 May 2017
A good read, not great, but good.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 August 2012
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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OK, I haven't spent time with Michael Arnold or his character Stryker before, although from friends in the know I have been tipped the nod that this is a series that I really had to try. Whilst this is the third book in the Civil War Chronicles, I felt that I didn't have any problems fitting into the time period (although to be honest here I recently spent quite a bit of time reading up on this particular time in English history so that probably helped.)

What unfurls within is a story of high adventure, gripping action, heart rending sadness and of course justified vengeance. Its full of fascinating facts and when you add a descriptive style of prose that really transports you to the various scenes, leaves me wondering how much I've missed by not reading the previous outings (hopefully something I'll get chance to rectify soon. All in a great read and one I'm pleased I took the time to discover. Thanks to my friends for the recommendation and to John Murray for sending.
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