Fields of Glory is a slight departure from the well known and popular Templar series, a little leap forward in time to 1346 and the battle of Crécy.
This book follows the fortunes of Berenger Fripper and his men, a small group of archers, a vintaine, within the army of Edward III as it rampages through the fields of France, determined to bring the vastly superior French army to battle. Edward increases the pressure by sacking towns and villages along the route as he marches across the country, and Berenger is thrown into the middle of it all.
Violence, death and brutality are commonplace, and the body count reflects this. Berenger is the moral compass in the book and we see through his eyes the realities of war during this period. As the group of archers become depleted, as skirmish follows skirmish, suspicions for the reason of their bad luck falls on an unlikely innocent as morale decreases.
As ever with a Jecks book the writing is exemplary, it jogs along at a nice pace with well-rounded characters. There are dashes of humour interspersed with gut-wrenching brutality which brings to life a distant period in history.
This is the first in a series of books dealing with the battle of Crécy and the Hundred Years War and I will certainly be getting the next in the series.
Highly recommended reading for fans of historical novels.