Lords of the Storm

A young warrior hides on a storm-wracked shrine world, sheltering sacred artefacts from the dread servants of Chaos who would defile them. As the storm wanes, hope fades… until the Fulminators arrive.

READ IT BECAUSE

Discover the ways of the Fulminators, an all-Primaris Space Marine Chapter created during the Ultima Founding.

THE STORY

From the sanctity of the Storm Zone, the Faithful watch as the Ruinous Powers defile their once-glorious shrine world of Chevreuse. Amongst their number is the young warrior Montalte, sheltering within the divine tempest that protects not only the remains of the planet’s populace, but the sacred bones of an Imperial saint. As the forces of Chaos grow in strength and the storm begins to wane, it seems certain that all is lost… until Montalte is summoned by blue-armoured gods. The Fulminators now walk the storm.

Warrior: A Life of War in Anglo-Saxon Britain

Warrior tells the story of forgotten man, a man whose bones were found in an Anglo-Saxon graveyard at Bamburgh castle in Northumberland. It is the story of a violent time when Britain was defining itself in waves of religious fervour, scattered tribal expansion and terrible bloodshed; it is the story of the fighting class, men apart, defined in life and death by their experiences on the killing field; it is an intricate and riveting narrative of survival and adaptation set in the stunning political and physical landscapes of medieval England.

Warrior is a classic of British history, a landmark of popular archaeology, and a must-read for anyone interested in the story of where we’ve come from.

A riveting, brilliantly written account.” Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller.

The disruptive and imaginative force of archaeology revealed.” Alex Burghart, The Spectator.

First Published on 19 September 2019 by Granta Books.

Excerpt

People stop when they see an excavation. They stop and look and then, mostly, they move on. Some ask a few questions before going about their business. But there are those who stop and look without saying anything, then walk past only to return ten minutes’ later. These are the people who have something to say. Some theory of their own as to what might find be found, some idea they would like the archaeologists to investigate. Or sometimes they have a memory.

The lady was old with alert and penetrating eyes. She’d walked past with her dog and stopped to look, silently, at the small team of diggers arranged across the bottom of the trench, a series of hump-backed mounds sifting sand and earth. But then she returned when they stopped for tea and paused beside the trench.

‘I used to come here when I was a little girl,’ she said.

She looked down at the archaeologists with the upright deportment of an Edwardian lady and a voice that could have polished the glass after cutting it. She told the archaeologists that her family had lived in the village for generations before moving away, but she had come back to visit a cousin.

‘We would picnic on the beach and my grandfather, an antiquarian, would go off and dig.’ She patted the dog sitting beside her. ‘He found something. A skeleton.’

Ibn Battuta: The journey of a medieval Muslim

Ibn Battuta was no ordinary traveller. Between 1325 CE when he set off and 1354 CE when he finally returned home to stay, he had visited about 40 modern countries and travelled roughly 75,000 miles, going on foot, camel, horse, wagon, boat and even sled.

His travels took him to nearly every part of the Muslim world at the time, from Morocco to Mecca, through Persia and Iraq, down the west coast of Africa, into Russia, over to India and even across to China.

Ibn Battuta’s journey gives us a fascinating window into what the world was like in the fourteenth century. With illustrations, photographs, and maps, the rich and diverse world that produced Ibn Battuta is vividly brought alive.

First Published 5 July 2018 by Kube Publishing

Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army (Conrad Monk 1)

Conrad is a monk, but he has become a monk through trickery and against his will. So, it is fair to say that his heart isn’t really in it. Conrad is also clever, charming, entirely self-serving, self-absorbed and almost completely without scruple — but in Anglo-Saxon England, when the Danish invaders come calling, those are very helpful attributes to have.

By his side throughout is the gentle and honourable Brother Odo, a man so naturally and completely good that even animals sense it. He is no match of wits for the cunning Conrad but can he, perhaps, at least encourage the wayward monk to behave a little better?

‘If I was being invaded by raping, massacring Vikings, Conrad would be the perfect companion to lighten the mood.’ – Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and The French Revolution & What Went Wrong.

First Published 20 August 2018 by Endeavour Quill.

Excerpt

“Ride!” I yelled, jabbing my heels as hard as I could into the pony’s flanks.

The beast, exhausted at the end of a day trudging through mud, barely even raised its head, but continued plodding along at exactly the same pace as before.

Brother Odo patted the beast’s neck and looked up at me.

“Don’t worry. They are still far behind. I think we will get to the king’s hall first and have our choice of the warm places by the fire.” I looked down at the monk, now offering some words of encouragement to my beast. It was probably just as well he was looking at the horse, or he would have seen me gibbering with fear.

“D — Danes,” I stuttered.

“What?” said Brother Odo.

“They — they’re Danes,” I repeated.

Brother Odo looked up at me, wide eyed and then, without a single word or glance, he was off, running pell-mell down the track towards Beodricesworth, his habit hitched up to his knees.

“Wait!” I yelled, “wait, God damn it!” while I kicked my pony’s flanks to no effect.

At my shout, Brother Odo stopped, cast an agonised glance over his shoulder, then came running back to me.

“The beast is blown,” I said, getting down from the pony as Brother Odo reached me. “You’ll have to carry me.”

Before Brother Odo could say anything, I’d jumped on his back. His arms had risen to take hold of my legs without thought — a sure indication of many games played with the children of the monastery when Abbot Flory wasn’t watching — and I kicked his flanks with all the vigour of a man trying to escape an oncoming column of Danes.

Obedient to the command, Brother Odo began trotting towards Beodricesworth. Another kick took him to a canter, and a third had him galloping.

But before we had gone more than fifty yards I heard the thump of closing hoof beats.

I looked round, feeling the fear gorge rise up my throat as my back tickled at the prospect of a spear head being plunged into it, and saw my pony galloping up after us. Apparently, seeing its friend Brother Odo galloping away, it had gathered its remaining strength and followed.

For a moment I thought of transferring back to the pony. But Brother Odo was fresher. I stayed on him.

So, running before the storm, we arrived at the hall of Edmund, King of the East Angles.

Oswiu: King of Kings (The Northumbrian Thrones 3)

Oswald’s head is on a spike. Can Oswiu avoid the same fate?

The great pagan king Penda set a trap, and when the brothers Oswiu and Oswald walked in, only one came back alive.

Rumours abound that the place where Oswald’s body is strung up has become sacred ground a site of healing for those who seek it. Oswald’s mother believes he will protect those he loves, even beyond the grave. So she asks the impossible of Oswiu: to journey to the heart of Penda’s kingdom and rescue the body that was stolen from them.

Oswiu: King of Kings is the masterful conclusion to The Northumbrian Thrones trilogy.

“Edoardo Albert’s book is brilliant: hugely enjoyable, a galloping plot with characters I care about – exactly the sort of thing I love to read. . . . This was a joy to read from start to finish.” Conn Iggulden, author of the Conqueror and Emperor series.

First Published 21 October 2016 by Lion Fiction.

Excerpt

Oswiu laboured up the steep steps to the gate. Below, on the thin spit of beach, the boats were being unloaded after their journey up the coast. Restless horses, too long confined on shifting platforms in the sea, were being persuaded not to run off. Oswiu’s retainers, salt stained and damp despite the wax-rubbed cloaks they wore for the sea voyage, were busy slinging shields on to backs and removing swords and spears from the leather wrappings they used to keep them dry while at sea, the more careful among them – which meant the older men – also stopping to clean off the grease they’d smeared on to the iron before winding leather around their weapons. The younger ones, when they saw the red bloom of rust on the grey of sword or spear, would soon learn the value of such precautions.

For his part, Oswiu drew his cloak tighter around his shoulders. Climbing up towards the gate exposed him to the wind. The king looked over his right shoulder, to the north east, whence the wind blew. There were clouds on the horizon and soon they would be over the Holy Island, Lindisfarne. Oswiu grimaced. He had hoped to send word to Aidan to come to him, but now he would have to wait for the weather to change. It was the season: the spring saw the wind change, from day to day. This early in the season, there was little warmth to the sun, and the north easterly still blew cold.

It reached fingers in, past the fur at his collar, sending winter chills down Oswiu’s back. The king grinned at the familiar touch. The north easterly always blew cold, whatever the season. It was as familiar as the handle of his seax; he was home.

London: A Spiritual History

‘Edoardo Albert… relates the city’s spiritual history: Christianity arriving from Italy, through King Alfred and the medieval church, taking in atheism and theosophy, up to Hillsong and the present. He relates his own spiritual history too, from Catholicism, through atheism, the occult and Islam, then back again. Both are intriguing.’

Rt Hon Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham.

First Published 19th February 2016 by Lion Hudson.

Excerpt

I was, in fact, the Asian immigrant archetype: a swotty, well presented (through all my years at school, I never once returned home with shirt untucked or tie undone) pupil upon whom the mantle of ‘future doctor’ had already been placed by my proud parents. Every Asian/Italian immigrant in the seventies wanted their son to be a doctor and I loved science, scoring top marks in biology, physics, chemistry and, with a little more effort, maths. What else was I going to be?

But God bugged me.

I don’t remember the answer, but I remember the question. I was about six at the time.

“Mummy,” I asked, “it says in the Bible that God created everything, but scientists say that animals evolved from other animals. Which is right?”

It was a trick question. I had a faith, and it was absolute. I believed in books.

Oswald: Return of the King (The Northumbrian Thrones 2)

Oswald had found peace. But now he must fight for the throne.

Northumbria lies undefended. Cadwallon and Penda, the kings of Gwynedd and Mercia, ravage the land. Oswald has a rightful claim to the throne, but he is sick of bloodshed, and in his heart he longs to lay down his sword and join the monks of Iona. However, the abbot of Iona does not need another monk; the abbot wants a warrior king to spread the new faith. He must reignite Oswald’s hunger for glory and renown, for gold and power and the homage of men.

But, if he does, will it destroy Oswald?

First Published 15th May 2015 by Lion Fiction.

Excerpt

“How did you find me?”

The young man, dark where his brother was fair but in all other ways his younger image, grumbled as he stumbled towards the landing beach, the sole of Oswald’s foot hurrying him along whenever he lagged. Beside him, and not nearly as abashed as the young ætheling, the fisherman’s daughter walked, rolling her hips and flashing the whites of her eyes at the startled glances of passing monks.

“Bran found you,” said Oswald.

Oswiu looked around, scanning the sky for his accuser. “I hate that bird,” he said.

“Bran does what I tell him.”

“As do we all.”

“You do not.”

Oswiu flashed a grin back at his brother. “Of course I don’t – ow!”

Oswald brandished a birch switch at him. “Hurry up. We have to get her off Iona before the abbot hears you brought a maid ashore.”

“I didn’t bring her – she came herself, didn’t you?”

The fisherman’s daughter smiled sidelong at Oswald, who did his best to ignore her. Aidan, tagging behind, thought it best to lag so that the brothers might sort the matter out between themselves.

“You encouraged her.”

“I wouldn’t say encouraged…”

“Paid?”

“No! Of course not.”

“Here, what be you thinking I am?” The fisherman’s daughter stopped fast in her tracks and turned to face Oswald, hands on hips, outrage on her lips. Her hair was black, her skin white and still unstained by wind and sun. The ætheling, forced to stop, looked her in the face, steady and long, and blood flushed the girl’s cheek and she dropped her gaze.

“I think you are beautiful,” said Oswald, “and I know we must get you off this island. Now, hurry.” Taking the lead, Oswald, strode towards the beach, where curraghs lay upon the strand like seals sunning themselves.

The fisherman’s daughter fell in beside Oswiu. “Why didn’t you tell me about your brother?” she whispered, staring after Oswald as he led them on.

Oswiu groaned. “Not you as well.”

“What do you mean?”

“I dived into the sea to speak to you, and your father nearly killed me with that oar, but one smile from him and you’d do anything.” Oswiu stared after his older brother. “How does he do it?”

“God’s grace lies upon him.” Brother Aidan had caught up. “And he gives of it freely and without thought.” The monk too looked after Oswald. “I do not think he even knows it is there – it is as natural to him as breathing is to us.”

In Search of Alfred the Great: the King, the Grave, the Legend

Buried in 899 AD as the King of the English at his capital city of Winchester, Alfred the Great’s bones were thought to have ultimately moved to an unmarked grave. His remains had been completely lost to us for centuries until researchers at the University of Winchester discovered what is in all probability a piece of his pelvis in a cardboard box. This exciting discovery has reawakened interest in one of our most notable monarchs. The only English monarch ever to have had the epithet ‘the Great’, Alfred’s reputation reaches down to us through the years. Christian hero, successful defender of England against the Vikings, social and educational reformer. There is a man and a life buried amid the myths. Within these pages, discover Alfred’s dramatic story.

First Published 14th August 2014 by Amberley Publishing

Edwin: High King of Britain (The Northumbrian Thrones 1)

Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin’s usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure – the missionary Paulinus – who prophesies that he will become High King of Britain. It is a turning point. Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to great power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life …This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade – and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.

Here’s what Bernard Cornwell said about the book: “Edwin, High King of Britain, brings to life the heroic age of our distant past, a splendid novel that leaves the reader wanting more.” (Yes, that Bernard Cornwell!)

First Published 21st March 2014 by Lion Fiction.

Excerpt

“My lord.”

Edwin stood, sliding up from his crouch as smoothly as a cat. The seax glittered in the star light.

“What do you want of me?”

“I know well why you stand outside the king’s hall through the dark of the night.” The man’s voice was deep and strong, with the resonance of a scop, but his words carried a strange accent, unlike any Edwin had heard before.

“Who are you?”

“I know why you stand vigil by the sea, through the darkest watches of the night, alone and troubled in mind, my lord. I know the evil that threatens you, the betrayer who will hand you over to your enemies and I ask you this: what reward would you give the man who can save you from evil? What would you do for the man who persuades King Rædwald to remain in his honour and not hand you over to your enemies?” As the man spoke, his voice grew lower, quieter, but Edwin could still hear it clearly, for all other sound had faded from the world.

“What reward would you give that man?”

Edwin – a tall man – looked up into the face of his questioner. “For such a deliverance, I would give whatever was in my power to give.”

The dark man grasped his staff, planting it more firmly in the ground, but he made no move to approach closer.

“And what if that man prophesied, and prophesied in truth, that you would become king, putting down your enemies in their pride? And that you would ascend to a greater power than any of your fathers, a greater power than any king in these islands has wielded since the days of the Emperors?”

Edwin could not tear his gaze from the shadowed eyes of the cloaked man. Who was he? Was he a god?

“If such things came to pass, I would give more generously than any king – gold, and jewels, and horses.”

The stranger inclined his head. “And if this man unknown to you, who spoke in truth revealing the paths of the future and the glory that awaits, also brought guidance for life and salvation, knowledge unrevealed to your fathers and forefathers, would you follow his counsel and obey his advice?”

Edwin fell silent. The stranger waited for his answer.

“If such a man exists, who by his counsel can deliver me from my enemies and raise me to the throne, then assuredly I would follow his advice and wait upon his counsel.”

The cloaked man bowed his head. His lips moved, and Edwin heard the murmur of words in a language unknown to him. Then he raised his head and stepped towards the king. Placing his hand upon Edwin’s head, he said, “Remember this. Remember well this sign I place upon your head. When you receive this sign again, remember this conversation and remember your promise.”

The cloaked man stepped back and raised his cowl to cover his head.

“Who are you?” asked Edwin. “Are you a god?”

The man, his face now lost again in shadow, turned away.

“Remember the sign,” he said and walked into the shadows.

Not daring to move, Edwin watched as the stranger merged into the night. Woden, the All-Father, wore a hood when he wandered the world. Edwin shivered. It was late summer and the night was not cold, but he shivered, in awe, and fear, and, most dreadful of all, in hope.

Professor Tolkien of Oxford

J.R.R. Tolkien lived for most of his life in Oxford, and the great university city proved a valuable source of inspiration for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Using photographs both new and old, as well as specially authorised quotations from his works, this absorbing ebook charts Tolkien’s life in Oxford, from his arrival as an undergraduate of Classics in the Michaelmas term of 1911, his first post-First World War job at the Oxford English Dictionary and professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, to his death in September 1973.

Presented in convenient ebook format, this is an essential companion for anyone wanting to find out about Tolkien’s days at Oxford, and the relationship of one of England’s most awe-inspiring cities to one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable writers.

First published in 2012 by the sadly defunct High-Res History and now available as an e-book