11th Century Italy. The domination of the Normans, the most feared warriors in Christendom, is causing trouble. At their head is Robert de Hauteville, the 'Guiscard', who has colonised much of Italy and now commands the triple Dukedom of the extended Norman family. But Robert has made many enemies, including the ever-powerful papacy in Rome. As Robert successfully suppresses a Lombard revolt, his first-born, Bohemund, now seventeen and blessed with the strength, height and military prowess of his father, has come to fight in his army. Already recognised as a formidable warrior, Bohemund seeks to assert his natural right as the heir of Robert's dukedom. With Robert's second son, Borsa, legally entitled to inherit, his quest is not without conflict. A battle between the sons is inevitable, and blood ties will count for nothing.
Jack Ludlow is the pseudonym of David Donachie, who was born in Edinburgh in 1944. The author of a number of bestselling books, he now lives in Deal with his wife, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook. He is active on the event circuit and is an extremely eloquent and engaging speaker.