Peter Darman
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
'The White Dragon' is book two in Peter Darman's latest series, the Catalan Chronicles. The medieval military historical series is set in the 14th century, as the Catalan Company, a successful mercenary army, fights its way around the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

As regular visitors to this review site will know, Darman has an ideal background to becoming a successful purveyor of military historical fiction: he worked as an analyst for Defence Intelligence, before switching fire to being a full time author. Unsurprisingly his analytical background results in a fantastic eye for detail that transports the reader into the very heart of the action. Previous series have focused on such diverse time periods and locations as the Middle-East in Roman times and the Baltic states during the Crusades. This new series is, in every way, just as good as it follows the fortunes of medieval mercenaries during the dying embers of the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, as a mercenary force caught up in the death throes of the fight between the emirs of Anatolia and the pseudo-Roman armies of Constantinople, we get two enemies for the price of one here.

As ever the battle scenes are beautifully descriptive, filled with precise detail (but in a way which adds to the story, rather than getting in the way) and ultra-realistic; but what makes this such a great novel/series is that the story line entwines itself around these descriptive passages and carries the reader along. As with the other novels, in this and the other series, I found myself finishing the book off in just a couple of sessions.

All in all, another top novel by the Bernard Cornwell of our time, Peter Darman. Available on Amazon Kindle for £3.63 or in paperback for £13.20 - make sure you buy the first in the series too!

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