Great Medieval Fiction 2013!


Dangerous WomenDangerous Women

Author: George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Published: December 3, 2013 (Tor Books)

Summary

All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities—including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones. Also included are original stories of dangerous women–heroines and villains alike–by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others. Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.”

The White Queen (The Cousin’s War)

Author: Philippa Gregory

Published: July 9, 2013 (Touchstone)

Summary

The White Queen Three different, yet equally relentless women who will scheme, manipulate, and seduce their way onto the English throne. The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned Edward IV. Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for her family’s dominance, but despite her best efforts, her two sons become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London. In this dazzling account of the deadly Wars of the Roses, brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England. Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

Queen's GambitQueen’s Gambit: A Novel

Author: Elizabeth Fremantle

Published: Aug 6, 2013 (Simon & Schuster)

Summary

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen. Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

1356 - A Novel
 1356: A Novel

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Published:August 27, 2013 (Harper Paperbacks)

Summary

Bernard Cornwell, the “master of martial fiction” (Booklist), brings Thomas of Hookton from the popular Grail Quest series into a new adventure in 1356, a thrilling stand-alone novel. On September 19, 1356, a heavily outnumbered English army faced off against the French in the historic Battle of Poitiers. In 1356, Cornwell resurrects this dramatic and bloody struggle—one that would turn out to be the most decisive and improbable victory of the Hundred Years’ War, a clash where the underdog English not only the captured the strategic site of Poitiers, but the French King John II as well. In the vein of Cornwell’s bestselling Agincourt, 1356 is an action-packed story of danger and conquest, rich with military strategy and remarkable characters—both villainous and heroic—transporting readers to the front lines of war while painting a vivid picture of courage, treachery, and combat.


The Bastard's Crown

(The Normans)

Author: H.A. Culley

Published: March 31, 2013 (H A Culley)

Summary

H A Culley’s first historical novel brings the Norman invasion of England to life through the eyes of both Normans and Saxons. In 1057 William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, is surrounded by enemies on the continent who he must overcome before he can pursue his claim to the English crown. In 1066 Harold Godwinson narrowly defeats a Norse army near York only to find that William has landed in the south. Even after the Normans have killed Harold and broken the military strength of the Saxons at Senlac Hill near Hastings, William faces another five years of hard campaigning before he can call himself the ruler of all England. Against this setting Hugo de Cuille, heir to a manor in Maine as a boy, is disinherited before being kidnapped and kept as a slave. Later he is knighted for bravery but faces many more trials including the enmity of powerful nobles and rejection by the Saxon girl he loves. The book ends with the horrifying “harrying of the north” and the winter march over the Pennines to capture Chester, the last important town to hold out against the new regime

Sharan Newman