Clifford Beal, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, worked for 20 years as an international journalist and is the former editor-in-chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly in London. He is the author of Quelch’s Gold (Praeger Books 2007), the true story of a little-known but remarkable early 18th century Anglo-American pirate. But he’s also been scribbling fiction from an early age: his seventh grade English teacher nicknamed him “Edgar Allen” undoubtedly due to the gothic subject matter of his extremely short stories. His debut novel, Gideon’s Angel, is published by Solaris Books in March 2013.
For recreation, Clifford used to don plate armour and bash the tar out of people in the Society for Creative Anachronism before moving to more civilised pursuits such as 17th century rapier and dagger fighting and motorcycling (though not simultaneously). Today, he is more likely to be found at the seaside or the Savile Club in London, sharing good wine and conversation in a place where the sparring is usually only verbal.
Divide... and Conquer!
Lady Lucinda, secret sorceress of the Old Gods, has split the One Faith into bitter factions. With the help of the Duke of Torinia, she launches a war to overthrow the King of Valdur and bring back the old ways. Brother Acquel Galenus, now Magister of the High Temple of Livorna, knows he must stop her, but doubts his own faith and abilities. With powerful demons seeking to re-enter the world through Lucinda, he must find allies, but how?
Julianus Strykar, now a coronel of the mercenary company of the Black Rose, finds himself thrust into the maelstrom of civil war, but false pride leads him into a battle he may not be able to win. He soon faces old enemies and ghosts from his past.
Captain Nicolo Danamis may have regained his fleet, but the return of his long-lost father and lord, Valerian, has complicated his love affair with mer princess Citala. When the Queen of Valdur demands his help, he and Citala find themselves at the centre of palace intrigue. As they try to avert an ‘alliance’ with the Silk Empire that will turn Valdur into a puppet kingdom, Nicolo learns that the crown prince may be his bastard son.
Friendships, loves, and the future of Valdur all hang by a thread…
‘Beal keeps the action balanced expertly with complex political machinations.’
Publishers Weekly on The Guns of Ivrea
‘Fast-paced, intelligent fantasy action. A fascinating tale of intrigue, magic and war.’
Adrian Tchaikovsky on The Guns of Ivrea
A swashbuckling new sea-faring fantasy series begins! A gritty, thrilling epic that reads like a cross between Patrick O'Brian and George R.R. Martin, bringing together the tang of the sea and the taste of cold steel.
Acquel Galenus, former thief and now monk of no particular skill, indifferent scribe and even worse chorister, uncovers a terrible secret under the Great Temple at Livorna that could shiver the one faith to its core. A secret that could get him killed. A secret that could enable an older, more sinister form of worship to be reborn...
Pirate princeling Nicolo Danamis, mercenary to the King and captain of the largest fleet in the island kingdom of Valdur, has made one deal too many, and enemies are now closing in to destroy him.
And Citala, fair-haired and grey-skinned, the daughter of the chieftain of the Merfolk who inhabit the waters of Valdur, finds herself implacably drawn to the affairs of men. She puts events in motion that will end her people's years of isolation but that could imperil their very existence...
All their fates will intertwine as they journey through duchies and free cities riven by political intrigue, religious fervour, and ancient hatreds. Alliances are being forged anew and after decades of wary peace, war is on the wind once again...
He came back to kill a tyrant. He found the Devil instead. An amazing historical novel with a supernatural twist set after the English Civil War. This is the stunning debut from Clifford Beal.
He came back to kill a tyrant. He found the Devil instead.
1653: The long and bloody English Civil War is at an end. King Charles is dead and Oliver Cromwell rules the land as king in all but name. Richard Treadwell, an exiled royalist officer and soldier-for-hire to the King of France and his all-powerful advisor, the wily Cardinal Mazarin, burns with revenge for those who deprived him of his family and fortune. He decides upon a self-appointed mission to return to England in secret and assassinate the new Lord Protector. Once back on English soil however, he learns that his is not the only plot in motion.
A secret army run by a deluded Puritan is bent on the same quest, guided by the Devil’s hand. When demonic entities are summoned, Treadwell finds himself in a desperate turnaround: he must save Cromwell to save England from a literal descent into Hell. But first he has to contend with a wife he left in Devon who believes she’s a widow, and a furious Paris mistress who has trailed him to England, jeopardising everything. Treadwell needs allies fast. Can he convince the man sent to forcibly drag him back to Cardinal Mazarin? A young king’s musketeer named d’Artagnan.
Black dogs and demons; religion and magic; Freemasons and Ranters. It’s a dangerous new Republic for an old cavalier coming home again.