I’m really happy to be a part of the blog tour for David Churchill’s new novel The Leopards of Normandy: Devil! David has very kindly written a guest post about his Top 5 Historical Novelists. If you’ve read a few of my posts you’ll know how much I love Historical Fiction so I’m super excited to read and review his book for you guys which I will soon. For now I hope you enjoy David Churchill’s Guest Post! 🙂
1. George MacDonald Fraser: Not only are the Flashman books funny, sexy, action-packed, stuffed with wonderful characters both real and imaginary, and in every way pleasurable, but the way Fraser uses his historical notes to illuminate the fictional action is brilliant. One of the great literary conceits, almost flawlessly executed.
2. Wilbur Smith: A splendid storyteller in the grand, traditional style. His best books in the Courtney and Ballantyne family sagas (‘The Burning Shore is my absolute favourite) are not only proper, page-turning yarns, but are also superb guides to colonial African history, geography and wildlife. No one brings Africa alive as well as Smith.
3. Ken Follett: I loved Pillars of the Earth when it first came out and since then Follett’s own transition as a writer from thrillers to historical fiction (something also true of Wilbur Smith and, of course, Robert Harris) has been a great inspiration to me. Follett, of course, was allowed to keep his name as he made the transition. My only regret is having to change mine from Tom Cain to David Churchill – bah!
4. Jason Goodwin: There’s nothing like really knowing ones subject, and Goodwin’s Yashim novels – detective mysteries set in 19th century Constantinople – are rich with detail that only a real expert would know. But Goodwin’s erudition is worn very lightly and it’s the richness and delicacy of the detail that really brings the stories alive – that and the character of Yashim, who is surely the first eunuch sleuth in the history of the genre.
5. Mary Renault: This is really a childhood memory. My parents had half a dozen hardback Mary Renault novels – including the King Must Die and the Persian Boy- and as a bookish, solitary boy, who’d already devoured children’s books about the Greek myths and legends I devoured them all. Looking back, all those rainy afternoons spent nose down in a book laid down the foundations for my career as a writer over the past 35 years.
The fate of England hangs in the balance of a fight between brothers
The noble families of Europe are tearing themselves apart in their lust for power and wealth.
Emma, Queen of England, is in agony over the succession to her husband Canute’s throne … while the sons of her brother, the Duke of Normandy, battle in the wake of his death.
Robert, the younger son, has been cheated of Normandy’s mightiest castle and sets out to take it by force. He emerges from a bloody siege victorious and in love with a beautiful – and pregnant – peasant girl.
Robert’s child will be mocked as William the bastard. But we have another name for him
… Conqueror .
The first instalment in the Leopards of Normandy trilogy paints a world seething with rivalry and intrigue, where assassins are never short of work.
Check out the rest of the posts in this tour below!