Quercus has acquired WEL rights in the latest novel by Frank Schaetzing, author of The Swarm, a book-of-the-fair a few years back. The new novel is LIMIT, published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Germany and now sold in 17 countries. The deal was concluded via Tanja Howarth, representing K&W.

The story is set in 2025. The race for alternative energy – helium 3 – to be found on the moon is on between the Russians and the Chinese. Julian Orley, the eccentric owner of Orley Enterprises, invites prominent and very rich guests to a breathtaking trip to the moon to stay in the moon hotel. On earth, detective Owen Jericho is searching for the dissident Yoyo, who holds many keys to the intrigues and ruthless games for power between politicians and the multi-national oil companies.

The Swarm, published in the UK by Hodder, has now notched up sales of 5m in 30 countries, and a film is due next year. Quercus also published Schaetzing's historical crime novel Death and the Devil, which has sold in excess of one million copies in Europe alone.

Rosie de Courcy of Preface has bought world rights in a trilogy of novels by James Aitcheson, a 25-year old British historian.

SWORN SWORD, the first novel, is set just after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when the country is aflame with rebellion and awash with rumours of a Danish invasion. De Courcy said: ‘This is the most exciting historical adventure I have read since Ben Kane's The Forgotten

Legion three years ago. I love James's characters, the heart-stopping battles – and the journey through an England brought back to us from the mists of time."

Aitcheson studied History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating in 2006. His dissertation on the Norman Conquest proved the inspiration for his first novel, which he completed after taking a Master's Degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa. He lives near Marlborough.

The Preface deal was struck direct with the author.