cover image Wolves of Winter

Wolves of Winter

Dan Jones. Viking, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-65379-1

The eponymous band of 14th-century British mercenaries from Essex Dogs returns in historian Jones’s rousing and atmospheric sequel, which continues following the Dogs through the dawn of the Hundred Years’ War. Loveday FitzTalbot and the surviving Dogs are seen where Jones left them at the end of the last book, pilfering the battlefield after a French rout at Crecy in 1346. Now, with their patron dead and the Earl of Northampton newly in charge, they are part of a large force laying siege to the French port of Calais. The Dogs are tasked with setting up a brothel in the siege town of Villeneuve. Loveday has a personal reason for wanting to enter Calais—to see if rumors are true that the Dogs’ long missing captain is sheltering there. One of the novel’s many sublots follows archer and apprentice cannoneer Romford, who’s captured by the French, while another centers on a young Frenchwoman named Squelette, who disguises herself as a camp follower and finds work at the brothel, where she plots revenge against the English for murdering her family. Jones skillfully weaves together these and other strands as he juxtaposes scenes of incredible action with moments of black comedy and pathos. Readers will be panting for the Dogs’ next adventure. Agent: Georgina Capel, Georgina Capel Assoc. (Jan.)