The Powder of Death
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1261. Oxford, England. An envoy returns from the land of the Tartars to meet with an English scholar and share a deadly secret that touches on the future of Christianity itself. The two men vow that the knowledge of gunpowder must die with them as the consequences are otherwise too fatal to contemplate.
1290. Hurnwych Green, England. After his quiet life is shattered by tragedy, local blacksmith Jared begins a pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Aboard a ship to Venice, he meets Sir Nicholas Gayne who invites him to join the Knights Hospitallers as their blacksmith on a holy crusade for King Edward.
The adventure that follows sees Jared encounter men from distant Cathay who harbour the secret of huo yao, and so begins one man’s obsession with the powder of death and a king’s determination to change the very nature of warfare . . .
What The Critics Said
Stockwin writes brilliantly, bringing wonderful characters to life in a wholly realistic setting exploring history and times in thoroughly researched detail, which is his habit.
I'm a big fan of Julian Stockwin novels. He doesn't disappoint. Powder of Death is a good example. Like The Silk Tree before it and his long-running Kydd Series novels that continue as I write, Stockwin is a master teller of grand historical fiction tales. Pick one, any one, and you will be highly entertained. Today, I suggest you read Powder of Death. It's a great adventure.
'Julian Stockwin, a master of the historic novel, writes with a zeal, re-creating ancient times, with fast-paced prose, vivid characters, and matchless authenticity. Powder smoke and the stench of brimstone waft off the pages.'
'A novel brimful of characters...an excellent example of using factually historical detail to create a sense of period and atmosphere.'