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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781914495618

Price: £18.99

ON SALE: 9th November 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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New Year’s Eve, 1746. A castle in the depths of France. A thunderstorm. A pair of lovers in a hay-loft. A wounded soldier toppling from his horse.

So begins the second instalment of the life of William Neilson, Scottish soldier in French service and Jacobite agent against his will. Around his neck, William carries the most precious jewel on the surface of the earth, but it is not his, and he must carry it to the exiled King of England, Scotland and Ireland in Italy. Before that, he wishes to see for a last time the woman he has loved for more than half his life.

The scene shifts from the wastes and marshes of the Sologne, to the disorderly houses and prisons of the Most Serene Republic of Venice and the desolate court-in-exile of James Stuart in Rome. Along the way are sword-fights, love stories, intrigues, assassinations, blasphemies, kidnappings, musical performances, and treacheries.

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An epic voyage well worth taking . . . exhilarating
Marianka swain, Telegraph
I don't believe this country has a better writer to offer than James Buchan
Michael Hofmann, London Review of Books
There is nothing quite like a James Buchan novel
John Self, Financial Times