|Mercenaries (2009) [Novel]|
by Jack Ludlow
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(From the publisher):
1033, the Norman/French border. Six brothers, the sons of Tancred de Hauteville, prepare to experience their first taste of battle. They have been trained since birth to become great warriors, following in their father’s footsteps. As knights, they have but one true purpose: to fight. Nothing matters more to a Norman of noble birth than the ability to engage in battle; nothing has greater importance than skilful swordsmanship and winning a fight – and the de Hautevilles are used to winning.
Denied service with their duke, they are forced to take employment as mercenaries: the de Hautevilles have pledged no direct allegiance; their unequaled battle skills are for hire to the highest bidder. Through their position as a band of warriors, they are able to turn events to their advantage, eventually claiming victory and lands of their own.
Meanwhile, having witnessed the betrayal of his father by the Normans, sixteen-year-old Guaimar vows to avenge his father’s death by taking back the fiefdom that was stolen by Pandulf Prince of Capua, known to all as the Wolf. Guaimar is prepared for the dangers of the Wolf’s lair, but not for the actions of his sister, Berengara. With little in his favour, only Guaimar’s determination brings him the chance to defeat those he despises so much.
Victory and defeat, betrayal and revenge combine as the desperation to rule becomes an intense battle, testing even the strongest of ties. But through it all shines the loyalty of blood that binds families – and warriors – together.
Original title: Mercenaries
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Medieval