Title: Shakespeare’s Rebel
Author: C.C. Humphreys
Pubdate: October 6, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Imprint: Sourcebooks Landmark
To be (or not to be) the man to save England
England’s finest swordsman and fight choreographer at the magnificent new Globe Theatre has hit rock bottom. John Lawley just wants to win back his beloved, become a decent father to his son, and help his friend William Shakespeare finish The Tragedy of Hamlet, the play that threatens to destroy him.
But all is not fair in love and war. Dogged by his three devils—whiskey, women, and Mad Robbie Deveraux—John is dragged by Queen Elizabeth herself into a dangerous game of politics, conspiracy, and rebellion. Will the hapless swordsman figure out how to save England before it’s too late?
Brimming with vivid periodic detail, Shakespearean drama, and irresistible wit, Shakespeare’s Rebel is a thrilling romp through the romantic, revolutionary times of Elizabethan England that will delight historical fiction fans and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike.
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys is an actor, playwright, fight choreographer and novelist. He has written nine historical fiction novels including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; Vlad – The Last Confession, the epic novel of the real Dracula; and A Place Called Armageddon. His latest YA novel is The Hunt of the Unicorn. His work has been translated into thirteen languages. Find out more about him on his website: http://cchumphreys.com.
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Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781492609902
“Buffoon!” John bellowed. “Whoreson dog! Do you think I have time to play with fools and children? I am going to pluck out your liver and eat it raw before your fading eyes.” Accompanying this with a great swish down through the air with his cutting edge, he leaped forward, seeming to cover a lot of ground while only taking a pace, then bringing his back edge fast up, steel whistling through the air. Next, he put himself into guard—but not in a quiet way, for as he yelled again, he took the step back he needed for room, at the same time sweeping his sword up in a great stroke against the edge of his buckler, making the small shield clang. At shout and strike, the men before him again slowed, so once more he brought his sword hard down from the height, ringing metal on metal again, taking another step back. Then, with a final retire and his guard low, he jerked the sword tip hard up in an unmistakable severing of man’s most precious part. All winced as he then aligned his sword’s tip with his buckler, thrusting both forward, peering over the twin steel even as he stepped back once more.
It was a true swashbuckle. He had executed it well, perhaps lessening the memory of his previous slide to the cobbles. A cheer came from the crowd, drowning Silver’s “Oh, sir!” at this breach of English restraint. Yet both men knew also that the noise had caused a distraction. Both used it now.
John heard that swish of steel beside him, a first yelp of pain, the last things he heard. It was ever thus with him in a fight, the near silent place he went to, entering it even as he launched himself. Thought and action, one.
The main threat was in the middle, so he avoided it directly, slamming the blades on his right with both his own weapons, collecting his foe’s with a slight circle of his own sword, before knocking aside the first thrust at his side with a downward sweep of his buckler. The boy who’d delivered it recovered with a step back, taking guard again, giving John the moment to close right, keeping the rapier and dagger he’d gathered with his sword while sweeping his elbow up, driving it into the apprentice’s cheek.
His weight was behind the blow. The youth went down, falling into the butcher’s boy, blocking another advance—which gave John the second moment he needed. As the apprentice on the other side lunged at his face, from the crouch where his elbow strike had taken him John swept his blade across and hard, knocking the weapon away, exposing the man’s face to the buckler, driven in like a fist, a metaled fist, straight to the nose. The youth cartwheeled backward, dropping both his blades as he went, and smashed into the
“Oy!” the stallholder screamed, steadying his stall, though not enough to prevent some of his produce from flopping onto the cobbles.