Book Review: Master of the Battle, Legend of The Cid, Book 4 by Stuart Rudge

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Independently published
Pub date: 10 September 2021
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Peace reigns in the Kingdom of Leon-Castile, and Antonio Perez returns to his native Asturias to discover the fate of his remaining family. Whilst there, he reconnects with Jimena, his childhood companion and the girl he once loved. But when his loyal friend Rodrigo and Jimena fall in love, Antonio is consumed by jealousy. As the wedding of two of his closest companions approaches, Antonio must battle his enemies and his inner demons, lest it lead to the ruin of all he holds dear.

Having secured his borders, Alfonso VI of Leon-Castile pushes south against the Moors. When a raid by the Moors threatens Castile, Rodrigo leads his men on a daring campaign of vengeance. But with the venture a credible threat to the uneasy peace Alfonso has brokered with the taifa kings, Rodrigo’s bravado could have dire consequences to himself and the security of the kingdom. With enemies old and new circling, will Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar find greatness on the battlefields of Hispania, and cement his reputation as one of the most feared warriors in the land, or will his actions lead to his ruin?

Master of Battle is the exhilarating fourth instalment of the Legend of the Cid.

This series gets better and better as it goes on. The lives of Antonio and Rodrigo remain intertwined as they face danger and death from enemies but also a situation that threatens to tear their friendship apart.
Such a fast paced story, I couldn’t put it down, I just had to keep reading to find out what happens and by the end I was left anxiously awaiting the next instalment.

Rudge has grown as a writer over this series and the battle scenes and fights have become even better, there are some gruesome scenes and it’s brilliant how the emotion of the situation is captured. There’s a few moments in this one I found myself holding my breath as the suspense built.

The usual characters are all present and fantastic, they’ve developed really well over the series, my favourites being Mas’sud and of course Rodrigo!
Rudge does explain at the end which parts have been embellished which I always enjoy reading, in fact reading this led me to start watching El Cid, the Amazon series so I am grateful to Rudge for introducing me to the world of Rodrigo, how he made his name of El Cid in his many battles and fighting skills and I honestly cannot wait for the next one!

If you are looking for a book based on a true story, full of action, battles and drama then I’d recommend give this a try, it was not an era I’d read about before starting this series but is definitely something I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy.

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