Book Review: The King’s Spy by Mark Turnbull

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Pub date: 4 February 2021

Northamptonshire.

14th June 1645.

The Battle of Naseby is set to decide the outcome of the civil war in England.

The armies of King Charles I face those of Parliament and its untested New Model Army. Yet amidst the carnage, an intensely personal battle takes place between two men.

Captain Maxwell Walker is a royalist cavalry officer, widower and father. Loyal and brave, but haunted by his grief, Maxwell thirsts for revenge. His life has never been the same since his encounter with the parliamentarian Gervase Harper, a man whose ruthless streak sees him prosecute the war with vigour. Harper cuts down anyone who gets in his way. Maxwell’s wife was no exception.

The outcome of Naseby causes Maxwell to be tasked with a royal rescue mission. The King’s most personal possession must be retrieved. His cypher would allow Parliament to decode captured royal correspondence and that would deal a major blow in the propaganda war.

The soldier must play the spy.

His actions, however, earn him the enmity of both sides. The hunter becomes the hunted.

Facing a murder charge, as well as a great siege, Maxwell makes a discovery that might just save himself and the King’s remaining cavalry.

However, all of this rests upon his next encounter with Gervase Harper.

This is a great novella and the first in The Rebellion Series by Turnbull.
The novella is fast paced from the beginning with battles and non stop action.

Although it is a novella I felt it long enough to gain an understanding of the characters and their motives. Maxwell is a great character, he is complex, loyal and determined, exactly what a king needs on his side. Unfortunately, Maxwell faces many problems including imprisonment but that doesn’t stop him from trying to serve his king.

We all know the outcome of the story of Charles I but this was an excellent story about the battles involved.

Turnbull creates a great atmosphere and describes the surroundings in detail so you can picture the soldiers and the buildings mentioned.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next instalment.

Turnbull is also the author of Allegiance of Blood, a seventeenth century historical fiction based on the English Civil War which after reading The King’s Spy I have added to my TBR list.
I hadn’t previously read anything by Turnbull so am pleased to have discovered a new author who I will certainly be keeping an eye out for future works.

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