Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Banneret's Blade: Cinematic Series Brings Medieval Europe to Life

While historical fiction appears to be undergoing a huge boom in popularity, both readers and critics are crying out for wholly-unique new narratives that don’t succumb to recycling of the same old concepts. Thankfully, video pioneer Nick de Rothschild has stepped up to the plate with gusto.
His factually accurate ‘The Banneret's Blade’ series, comprising two volumes, depicts the life of one Medieval knight caught up in the tides of Europe’s most fraught century.

Volume 1: The Banneret's Blade - ‘Trouble Brewing’ - A fortune has been stolen, enough to build a castle. It is 1338, Sir Roger de Bohun, the Banneret, is a man of many talents. Friend and confidante of his King, Edward III, he is frequently charged to carry out duties and missions that require the utmost discretion and secrecy. These, fortunately, often leave him time for his hobby: to pursue the ladies. But little does he know that the peace and tranquillity of England is about to be shattered. The French have hired a fleet of Genoese war galleys to pillage the coastal towns of England. Their first target, Southampton, happens to be in Sir Roger’s bailiwick. Meanwhile, Sir Eustace de Frage - Sir Roger’s neighbour - is jealous of his new castle, and also covets his neighbour’s wife – the fiery red-head, Lady Alice. He hatches his plot to take both and steals his neighbour’s identity to have him declared an outlaw. When the French and Genoese attack Southampton, they bring along one of the first cannons that will change the way wars are fought forever. The raiders are driven off; but not before an important one of their number is taken prisoner. For Sir Roger, though, his troubles are compounded by his enemies closer to home as his new castle comes under attack…

Volume 2 : The Banneret's Blade – ‘Revenge is Sweet’ - The year is 1339, King Edward III is on the throne, French and Genoese warships continue their attacks on the English coast, and Sir Roger de Bohun, the Banneret, has been asked by the king to steal back his crown from the Prince-Bishop of Mainz and replace it with a counterfeit. This epic tale picks up where The Banneret’s Blade: Trouble Brewing left off—the early days of the Hundred Years’ War, on the eve of the all but forgotten great naval Battle of Sluys. Full of mutinous sailors, great sea battles and land wars, pirate raids, double-crossing spies embroiled in political intrigue, passionate affairs, and men caught up in forces beyond their control, this meticulously researched novel brings the history of medieval Europe to life. The Banneret’s Blade: Revenge is Sweet invites readers into a world seemingly descending into chaos and introduces them to fascinating and complex characters driven by all manner of motives. Fans of sweeping works of historical fiction by genre masters such as Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell will delight in the emergence of another great new voice on the scene. 

“My goal from the outset was to depict daily life in France and England, told through the eyes of someone who was incredibly close to the King at the time,” explains de Rothschild. “Roger is an extremely interesting character; a deeply noble individual who remains steadfastly loyal to the King. However, his integrity and self-control fall out from underneath him at the lure of beautiful women; a sticking point that creates many side-splitting experiences throughout both volumes.”

Continuing, “If you love the grand architecture of days gone by, are infatuated by the stories of Knights or just want to experience a new adventure that isn’t about zombies or vampires – then this is the series for you.”

The critics agree. Jay comments, “My bodice has been ripped, my cod pieced - a truly engaging and exciting first novel set in medieval England. Nick has researched his subject well; the work is historically accurate and full of fascinating detail. Both the knights and the nights are full of interest. I found the narrative engaging.”

S. Turner adds, “A thoroughly enjoyable and well researched read, following the exploits of Sir Roger de Bohun (the Banneret of the title) who is the great friend of King Edward III. Ripping yarns full of intrigue and derring-do fill every chapter. I am looking forward to the sequel that I hope is coming soon.”

Both volumes in ‘The Banneret's Blade’ series are available now:

‘Trouble Brewing´-
‘Revenge is Sweet´-
For more information, visit the author’s official website:

About the Author:
Nick de Rothschild was born in London in 1951. He earned a degree from Cambridge University in archaeology, anthropology, and art history. Despite being a scion of the famed Rothschild banking dynasty, he never felt the urge to become a banker. Instead, he was a pioneer in the video industry, starting what he believes was the sixth video facility company in the UK in 1976. From there he later ran other film and video facilities companies before he moved out of London in 1990 to look after the family estate at Exbury, which is in the New Forest, Hampshire. Here his grandfather created the world-renowned Exbury Gardens, which are open to the public.

He made a series of documentaries about the Gardens. The first one 'The Glory of the Garden' narrated by James Mason, won the Gold Medal at the International Film and TV Festival of New York in 1982. More recently he produced and directed 'Heaven with the Gates Open', and, reflecting on the Garden's beauty, often think of himself as "the man who lives in paradise." In his spare time, he enjoys collecting South African flowering bulbs, having probably the largest collection of nerine sarniensis (the "Jewel Lily") in the world.