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Publisher's Summary

September 1356. Poitiers. The greatest knights of the age were ready to give battle. On the English side, Edward, the Black Prince, who'd earned his spurs at Crecy. On the French side, the King and his son, the Dauphin. With 12,000 knights. 

And then there is William Gold. A cook's boy who had once been branded as a thief. William dreams of being a knight, but in this savage new world of intrigue, betrayal and greed, first he must learn to survive. As rapacious English mercenaries plunder a country already ravaged by plague and the peasantry take violent revenge against the French knights who have failed to protect them, is chivalry any more than a boyish fantasy?

©2013 Christian Cameron (P)2016 Soundings

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Well worth your time

I learned an enormous amount about the Hundred Years' War. At the same time, it's a well-written, engaging story with a likeable hero who you start rooting for almost immediately. I am told that the descriptions of fighting are accurate. There are occasional slight irritations with narration - pauses that are a little too long, accents that don't seem to match the character as written (I'm thinking of Fiore) - but on the whole the narration is very well done.
It's pretty clear that most of Europe was a terrible mess during this time and that the gulf between the rich and poor was enormous. It also seems that there was some social mobility, although not clear how much.
Highly recommended, especially if you like adventure as well as history.