The Invention of Fire
The richly atmospheric new historical thriller featuring John Gower, poet and trader of secrets. Set in the turbulent 14th Century, this is perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom. London, 1386: young King Richard II faces the double threat of a French invasion and growing unrest amongst his barons - and now there's evil afoot in the City. Sixteen corpses have been discovered in a sewer, their wounds like none ever seen before. One thing is clear: whoever threw the bodies into the sewer knew they would be found - and was powerful enough not to care. Enter John Gower, poet and intellectual whose 'peculiar vocation' is dealing in men's secrets. Against the backdrop of medieval London with its grand palaces and churches, dark alleys and mean backstreets, Gower pursues his dangerous quarry. Seeking insights from his friend Geoffrey Chaucer and using his network of contacts, Gower comes to the shocking belief that the men have been killed by a new and deadly weapon of war. Known as 'the handgonne', it would put untold power into the hands of whoever perfected its design. But who has commissioned this weapon? A man who would stop at nothing to achieve his secret goal.
Bruce W. Holsinger is a prolific and award-winning scholar of the Middle Ages who teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. His books on medieval culture have won numerous prizes from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and other scholarly organizations, and he is the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies, Flicks, and Film. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Council of Learned Societies.