Matthew Willis & J.A. Ironside: A Black Matter for the King. Two powerful rivals — one decisive battle. Now a political hostage in Falaise, Ælfgifa forms an unlikely friendship with William, Duke of Normandy. William has been swift to recognize her skills and exploit them to his advantage. However, unbeknownst to the duke, Gifa is acting as a spy for her brother, Harold Godwinson, a possible rival for the English throne currently in the failing grip of Edward the Confessor. Homesick and alienated by the Norman court, Gifa is torn between the Duke’s trust and the duty she owes her family. William has subdued his dissenting nobles, and a united Normandy is within his grasp. But the tides of power and influence are rarely still. As William’s stature grows, the circle of those he can trust shrinks. Beyond the English Channel, William has received news of Edward’s astonishing decree regarding the succession. Ælfgifa returns to an England where an undercurrent of discontent bubbles beneath the surface. An England that may soon erupt in conflict as one king dies and another is chosen. The ambitions of two powerful men will decide the fates of rival cultures in a single battle at Hastings that will change England, Europe, and the world in this compelling conclusion to the Oath & Crown series on the life and battles of William the Conqueror. Now available in ebook and paperback editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online vendors.
“There is little which is quite so exciting for me as discovering afresh, new talent in historical writing. In Willis and Ironside I feel I’ve found two writers who can carry me back to the past and can show me a time when, amid the brutality and irrationality of politics, there were still great characters, men of vision and daring, and women of intelligence and foresight…Not only did I find it impossible to put these books down, I found myself being dragged deeper and deeper into the horrible times leading up to the Norman invasion of 1066, and although I was at the time trying to write a story based on much more recent history, these two forced me to keep harking back to the Saxons, to Harold, to Edith Swan-neck, to William and his mercenaries …In fact these stories are a lot more than a short war series. They are a rich, extraordinarily well-researched, and meticulously told history of love, jealousy, honour, betrayal, deceit and death. It gives one version – convincingly told – of the curious oath sworn by Harold to William, but it is also the story of different nations, different cultures, and the clash when two warlords desire the same thing.” — Michael Jecks, author of the Bloody Mary Series