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The Silver Skull (Swords of Albion #1)

Mark Chadbourn

Paperback

List Price: 17.00*
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Description

Will Swyfte's exploits against the forces of Philip of Spain have made him a national hero, lauded from Carlisle to Kent. Yet his associates can barely disguise their incredulity - what is the point of a spy whose face and name is known across Europe? But Swyfte's public image is a carefully-crafted façade, which deflects attention from his real work - and the true reason why Walsingham's spy network was established.


Praise For The Silver Skull (Swords of Albion #1)

"The scary nature of the Otherworld adds a nice edge to this well paced spy thriller that promises more jolly adventures in the Swords of Albion series as it pits humanity against the Faerie. This is a place where the things that go bump in the night are best left alone and the important issues of the day echo today's headlines making for an interesting alternative reality read."
- Monsters and Critics

"The Silver Skull has such an array of complex characters, deeply involved in their interesting times and guarding so many painful memories and secrets, there's something here for anyone who wants more than a bunch of cardboard figures going through the motions while the body count keeps rising."
- Locus

"Combining the best elements of a spy thriller, heroic fantasy and Elizabethan mystery, Chadbourn deftly mixes gruesome brutality, a shadowy world of plots and counter-plots and a vivid cast of characters. Seamlessly weaving historic figures and events into his fictional world, the author creates an alternate reality as tangible and authentic as the history we think we know. Not just a lightweight adventure novel, this book forces the reader to confront timely issues like the value of torture and the use of evil in the pursuit of good, bringing a level of verisimilitude so fantastic and yet believable, you keep asking yourself if it might be true. In a year of outstanding fantasies, The Silver Skull may just be one of the best so far."
- Monsters and Critics

"Two-time British Fantasy Award winner Chadbourn (the Age of Misrule trilogy) offers a grim and decidedly current take on supernatural Elizabethan intrigues. Will Swyfte, 'England's greatest spy,' is charged with stopping the faerie and their Spanish tools from acquiring the Skull, the Key and the Shield, magic items whose combination could devastate all of Britain. Scenes range from squalid London slums to King Philip's monumental El Escorial palace and the mighty confrontation with the Armada in the English Channel. Readers familiar with cold war spy novels will wryly note Swyfte's visits to Dr. John Dee for the latest in spy technology, à la James Bond and Q. Graphic presentations of tortures from the rack to waterboarding recall contemporary issues in national security, carefully contextualized with Swyfte's dilemmas of personal versus professional codes."
- Publishers Weekly

"The new Swords of Albion series, set in an alternate Elizabethan England, gets off to a smashing start. The historical detail sets a believable backdrop, and the main character, a spy, could pass for a fantastical James Bond. Chadbourn sets a fast pace, pitting his characters against supernatural threats with a bit of horror thrown in."
- RT Book Reviews

"He conjures up the horror of this harsh new world brilliantly, and the sheer brutality of his writing is often jaw-dropping."
- SFX

Pyr, 9781591027836, 424pp.

Publication Date: November 24, 2009



About the Author

A two-time winner of the British Fantasy Award, Mark Chadbourn is the critically-acclaimed author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book. A former journalist, he is now a screenwriter for BBC television drama. His other jobs have included running an independent record company, managing rock bands, working on a production line, and as an engineer's 'mate'. He lives in a forest in the English Midlands. Visit Mark Chadbourn's Web site at www.markchadbourn.net.