The Crimson Shield, Cold Redemption, The Last Bastion (Summer 2013 UK)

The Crimson Shield is the first of a trilogy written under the pan-name Nathan Hawke. The dragon books might owe their politics, their spread of viewpoints and their emotionally troubled and retarded characters to the New Wave of Grimdark or whatever we’re call it these days, but Nathan Hawke has no truck with any of that. The Hawke books belong to an older time when fantasy was a little more straightforward. Gemmell, Lieber, Howard, the heroic fantasy and swords and sorcery that, to be honest, has always sat a little more comfortably as a reading pleasure for me. Maybe it’s the literary equivalent of simple peasant food (I think maybe that’s what you were trying to say, SFX?). Well I wouldn’t want to eat simple peasant food all the time but I wouldn’t want a rich man’s feast every night either. So this is simple, straightforward, bloody and hard-nosed. I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The second book in the series, Cold Redemption, came out on the 8th August. The Last Bastion came out on the 12th September.

And damn, but that’s a fine piece of cover art. This really is the cover, too. No words, no title, no name, just Angry Man With Axe

cover lo-res

Cold Redemption Cover

cold redemption cover lo-res

The Last Bastion cover

Cover artwork lo-res

The Crimson Shield is a fast-paced and full of bloody battles.’ SFX

“Shades of David Gemmell… It’s about time someone good took up the torch for heroic fantasy. Inspiring characters, great plot and culture. I read this in one session, utterly absorbed” CONN IGGULDEN, bestselling author of the EMPEROR and CONQUEROR series of historical novels, and THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS

“A great mix of bloodied axes and brave warriors, an honest hero and the war that gets in his way” TOM LLOYD, author of the TWILIGHT REIGN series and the forthcoming MOON’S ARTIFICE

THE CRIMSON SHIELD is at once a huge adrenaline rush and a thoughtful examination of the destructive nature of war. The key protagonist, Gallow, is a cleverly constructed hero, full of conflict, confusion and bravery, a man who is unsure where his loyalties truly lie. A man driven by his upbringing and his love for his wife and family – factors that make very uncomfortable bedfellows. Mind you, he’s handy in a fight, very handy. Hawke has created a world with enough history, myth and folklore to make it believable. His prose is fluid, his dialogue crisp and his action very well-handled and visceral. It is not a long read and all the better for it. Entertaining, sometimes moving and always eminently readable. Highly recommended.” JAMES BARCLAY, author of the RAVEN and ELVES series of fantasy epics

“Reminds me of the tales that made me want to write novels in the first place” GILES KRISTIAN, bestselling author of the RAVEN historical books

“The simple fact the book has me guessing and speculating rather than ploughing into the next read is again testament to its quality of plot and story telling. I really do recommend this book, to fantasy or Historical Fiction fans.” ROBIN CARTER, Parmenion Books

“Bloody and interesting” Edi’s Book Lighthouse

“…a book that treads its own path to the readers imagination.” Falcatta Times

“…a strong foundation for the rest of the series.” Fantasy Book Review

“There were in fact so many battles, some readers may find this to be all consuming, but the story and character development effortlessly takes place through the structure of combat.” NudgeMeNow

“As with most heroic fantasy, the plot builds up to a climax at the end, though the entire book is paced very well and had chapters that were short enough to turn “just one more chapter” into an all-nighter. Gallow is a great character who tries to do right in a world where people like to do the opposite and I need to get my hands on the sequel, Cold Redemption, as soon as possible. If and when you end up reading The Crimson Shield, you without a doubt have to read to the final page, including the epilogue and prologue to the sequel, and if you’re like me, the final line will put an ear-to-ear grin on your face.” A Biter Draft

“at times it was a bit too action filled for me.” Books for Life. Yeah, it has a lot of fighting.

“good story and good character development.  The only thing I didn’t like was the romanticism.” Reader Reading. The reviewer doesn’t explain quite what (s)he means by that, but take that NOT to mean romance, because there isn’t any. It’s true that all three books do kind of romanticise the notion of personal values.

“I have long yearned for a book that properly portrays the Norse culture and it is kind of funny that it comes in the form of a fantasy book.” Benign Guy

“Martin says that the great theme in his fantasy work “is the existential loneliness that we all suffer.” That big idea is not evident in ‘The Crimson Shield.” What does come through is a rollicking good tale. It is a hybrid work, closer to Gemmell than Martin. Its strength lies in its battle scenes and well-wrought characters.” Red Rook Review, which was one of the more entertaining reviews to read.

“Gallow is an enigmatic and interesting protagonist, but sadly I never felt that I got to know him beyond the tough warrior exterior.” Fantasy Book Review. Oh. Bugger.

“I need to get my hands on the sequel, Cold Redemption, as soon as possible.”

And so far just an early Goodreads review for Cold Redemption from Robin Carter: “I dearly hope that this series not only gets nominated for a Legend award but wins, for the cover art which is exceptional, but more for the story that is a combined series in my top 5 stories this year, and if it keeps up this standard could make my all time top 10.”


One Response to “The Crimson Shield, Cold Redemption, The Last Bastion (Summer 2013 UK)”

  1. Joe says:

    What a great christmas present. I had no idea you had another trilogy ready to go! Heading over to amazon right now! Keep up the great work.

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