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The wait is over! Knights of the Hawk, the third novel in the Conquest series, is published today in the UK by Preface, both in hardback and also – for the more digitally inclined among you – as an e-book.

Ely Cathedral, West Tower

The cathedral at Ely, built on the site of the Anglo-Saxon monastery which Hereward and his fellow rebels used as their base in their struggles against the Normans in 1071.

Autumn, 1071. Five years after the fateful Battle of Hastings, only a desperate band of rebels in the Fens, led by the feared outlaw Hereward, stands between King William and absolute conquest. Tancred is among the Normans marching to destroy them. But as their attempts to assault the rebels’ island stronghold are thwarted, the King grows ever more frustrated. With the campaign stalling and morale in camp failing, he looks to Tancred to deliver the victory that will crush the rebellions once and for all.

Thus begins Tancred’s latest adventure, which sees him facing his greatest challenge yet as he ventures from the marshes of East Anglia to the wild, storm-tossed seas of the north in pursuit of love, of honour, and of vengeance.

Over the course of the next month I’ll be travelling the length and breadth of the country doing talks and book signings and panel events. It all kicks off on Tuesday 29 October when I’ll be launching Knights at the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough. After that I’ll be travelling up to Doncaster to a signing at Waterstones in the Frenchgate Centre on Saturday 2 November, and then over the course of the next few weeks you’ll be able to find me in Salisbury, Bedford and Cambridge.

Knights of the Hawk

Knights of the Hawk • James Aitcheson • Preface • 448 pp. • Hardback • £16.99

As always, full details about all my forthcoming events can be found on the Events page. If it doesn’t look at the moment as though I’ll be coming to a venue near you, try putting in a request for an event with your local library or bookshop – they’re always keen to get authors in to talk about their work and do book signings.

And before you ask, Knights of the Hawk is not the end of the series. Tancred will ride again soon! I’m currently in the middle of researching my next project, which I’m very excited about. I’ll be revealing more details about that over the coming months.

The first advance copies of the Sworn Sword hardback came back from the printers this weekend and are looking terrific. Thanks to all those at Preface Publishing who have helped to make this book happen, as well as to the cover illustrator Tim Byrne, whose design graces the jacket. I fell in love with the proposed cover from the moment it was first presented to me, and it’s turned out brilliantly.

So, after months of painstaking preparation and seemingly endless edits, and consultation on everything from the jacket copy down to the typeface itself, the finished product is finally here: no fewer than 416 bound pages, with the most striking, atmospheric and dramatic cover you will see on bookshelves this summer – even if I do say so myself.

With just one month to go until publication, then, here’s a sneak preview:

[Click on the thumbnails to view the images in higher resolution.]

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