Friday 8 January 2016

REVIEW: Fields of Glory, by Michael Jecks

Fields of Glory (The Hundred Years War #1)Fields of Glory by Michael Jecks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Battles and intrigue, and the build up to the Battle of Crécy. An action-packed tale of soldiers on campaign in France.


I bought this after I won a copy of the sequel, Blood on the Sand. I always like to read a series in order.

This is the first novel I have read by Michael Jecks. He is well known for his medieval whodunits, but Fields of Glory is a more straightforward tale of the English campaign and the build up to the Battle of Crécy.

There is some intrigue in the earlier parts of the story, with questions being asked of the mysterious background of one young character, Ed. There are also suspicions of witchcraft when things begin to go wrong for the soldiers after they are joined by a puzzling young French woman.

It is the characters and their stories, their interactions and motives and the day-to-day running of the camp where Jecks' writing shines best. The first third of the novel is rich in the detail of new characters being introduced, leaving the reader expectant to discover what exactly is going on and what will happen next. There is a lot of action in this early part of the book, but not on a grand scale, more on a personal level - the girl being attacked on the road, young Ed getting into a scrape with some Welsh archers. This is the best part of the book, with great pacing and strong characterisation.

[Spoiler in the next paragraph, if you know nothing about the Battle of Crécy!]

As the inevitable battle approaches, I found the tension lessened. We know from the history books that Crécy is coming and we know the English will win the day (pretty sure that can't be classed as a spoiler, but you never know!), so when the individual characters' stories are less prominent in the plot, becoming secondary to the fate of the King's host, I became less interested in the outcome of the story.

[End of spoilers, if they really are spoilers!]

Despite the slight lessening of jeopardy and tension towards the end, it was a very enjoyable read and I also learnt something about the politics and circumstances surrounding The Battle of Crécy that I hadn't known beforehand. The characters were well-crafted and interesting and I want to know what will happen to all of them in the next book. The most important question, having finished the book is: do I want to read the sequel Blood on the Sand? Undoubtedly!

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  1. Great review, I totally want to read it now! Thanks for sharing:)

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mark. Hope you enjoy the book. :-)

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