The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran - £1.90
When Nefertari's entire family is killed in a fire, she's left to grow up alone, a spare princess in the palace of the new Pharaoh. Her young life is overshadowed by the past - the name of her infamous aunt, Nefertiti, the Heretic Queen, still strikes terror into the hearts of Egyptians. So, when she finds herself falling in love with the young Pharaoh, Ramesses, she knows it's not going to be easy to win his heart.
But when the Pharaoh's aunt takes Nefertari under her wing and begins to educate her in the ways to gain a man's attention - and hold it - marriage to him seems within her reach. Yet, even as Ramesses declares his love for her, she knows there's more work to be done. If she's to be queen, all of Egypt must recognise her worth and overcome her connection to the dark, heretical days of the past.
Ramesses will face challenges from all sides: war, drought, conquest and the determination of a man named Ahmoses will all threaten his reign. Could Egypt's rulers, and more importantly her people, ever allow him to marry the woman he loves, let alone make her his Queen?
The King's Mistress by Gillian Bagwell - £1.49
Set against the volatile backdrop of the English Civil War, dive into this enthralling tale of danger, bravery, and a woman who would do anything for the man she loved.
It’s 1651 and Jane Lane leads a privileged life inside the walls of her family’s home. At 25 years old, her parents are keen to see her settled, but Jane dreams of a union that goes beyond the advantageous match her father desires.
Her quiet world is shattered when Royalists, fighting to restore the crown to King Charles II, arrive at their door, imploring Jane and her family for help. They have been hiding the king, but Cromwell’s forces are close behind them, baying for Charles’ blood – and the blood of anyone who seeks to help him. Putting herself in mortal danger, Jane must help the king escape to safety by disguising him as her manservant.
With the shadow of the gallows dogging their every step, Jane finds herself falling in love with the gallant young Charles. But will Jane surrender to a passion that could change her life – and the course of history – forever?
Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick - £3.86
Two very different women . . . Linked by destiny and a power struggle for the English crown.
Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, is determined to win back her crown from Stephen, the usurper king, against all odds and despite all men. Adeliza, Henry's widowed queen and Matilda's stepmother, has always been on Matilda's side but now she is married to William D'Albini, a warrior of the opposition. In a world where a man's word is law, how can Adeliza obey her husband while supporting Matilda, the rightful queen?
What does it cost to be 'Lady of the English'?
Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513: Henry VIII, James IV and the battle for Renaissance Britain by George Goodwin - £3.99
In 1509 the young Henry VIII renewed his father's Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Scotland. Yet by 1511 he was already planning an invasion of France, Scotland's traditional ally.
Over the next two years, the King of Scots, James IV, resisted both the threats of Henry VIII and the blandishments of Louis XII of France. But in 1513 he was forced to choose.
In Fatal Rivalry, George Goodwin, the bestselling author of Fatal Colours, captures the vibrant Renaissance splendour of the royal courts of England and Scotland, with their new wealth, innovation and artistic expression. He shows how the wily Henry VII, far from the miser king of tradition, spent vast sums to secure his throne and to elevate the monarchy to a new magnificence. He demonstrates how James IV competed with the older Henry, even claiming Arthurian legend to support Scottish independence. Such rivalry served as a substitute for war - until Henry VIII's belligerence forced the real thing.
As England and Scotland move towards their biggest ever battle, Goodwin deftly deploys a sparkling cast of characters. There are manoeuvring ministers, cynical foreign allies, conspiring cardinals, and contrasting queens in Katherine of Aragon and Margaret Tudor.
Finally, at Flodden on 9 September 1513, King James faces an old military foe. He seems poised for a crushing victory that will confirm his reputation - until that day at least - as Scotland's greatest king.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford - £1.89
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world.
Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order.
But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.
Richard III and the Murder in the Tower by Peter A. Hancock - £1.09
Richard III is accused of murdering his nephews (the 'Princes in the Tower') in order to usurp the throne of England. Since Tudor times he has been painted as the 'black legend', the murderous uncle. However, the truth is much more complicated and interesting. Rather than looking at all the killings Richard III did not commit, this book focuses on the one judicial murder for which we know that he was responsible. On Friday 13 June 1483, William, Lord Hastings was hustled from a meeting of the Royal Council and summarily executed on Tower Green within the confines of the Tower of London. This book sheds light on the mystery of this precipitate and unadvised action by the then Duke of Gloucester and reveals the key role of William Catesby in Richard's ascent to the throne of England. It explains his curious actions during that tumultuous summer of three kings and provides an explanation for the fate of the 'Princes in the Tower.'
Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans by Francis Pryor - £2.99
An authoritative and radical rethinking of the history of Ancient Britain and Ancient Ireland, based on remarkable new archaeological finds.
British history is traditionally regarded as having started with the Roman Conquest. But this is to ignore half a million years of prehistory that still exert a profound influence. Here Francis Pryor examines the great ceremonial landscapes of Ancient Britain and Ireland – Stonehenge, Seahenge, Avebury and the Bend of the Boyne – as well as the discarded artefacts of day-to-day life, to create an astonishing portrait of our ancestors.
This major re-revaluation of pre-Roman Britain, made possible in part by aerial photography and coastal erosion, reveals a much more sophisticated life in Ancient Britain and Ireland than has previously been supposed.