The Archer’s Son

 AMAZON.UK Best Seller!

…Hedyn held an old sheet iron helmet and a mail tunic up in the starlight to see them better.  The breast of the mail bore a ragged hole and the heavy links were sticky. It took a moment for Hedyn to realize it was soaked in drying blood.

“A bascinet and hauberk?” he asked.

“Aye, you shall need these before the night is done.” . . .

 

Treachery, disease, hunger, and death plague their steps as King Henry’s men near their fateful battle with the French army at Agincourt.  Eager to see the world that lies beyond his small Cornish village, 12 year old Hedyn, son of an archer and serf, is thrilled to be chosen to join King Henry’s army as it advances on Normandy.  His excitement quickly gives way to exhaustion in body and spirit, as well as worry for the safety of his newfound friends and comrades.  Can a mysterious stranger with a secretive past offer Hedyn hope amidst the horrors of battle?

The Archer’s Son has remained on the Amazon,UK top ten best seller’s list for kid’s medieval fiction for over fourteen months!

The Archer’s Son is a work of fiction.   The times and places in which my characters live, however, are very real.  I’ve striven to be true to the history in my descriptions of the Cornish Village of Altarnon, the siege of Harfleur, the march to Calais, and the Battle of Agincourt.  However, as in most historical fiction I’ve used my imagination to develop the lives and actions of my fictional characters.

Some of the characters are based on real people, such as Sir John Trelawny, my distant Grandfather.  Altarnon Parish in Cornwall was the original seat of the Trelawny family.  Sir John (born about 1386) was the coroner for Cornwall and also represented the county in Parliament.  A Parliamentary biography of Sir John Trelawny reveals:

“And it was certainly this John Trelawny who excelled himself in France and, according to family tradition, fought at Agincourt.  In August 1415 he received letters of protection to safeguard his interests while he was overseas in the retinue of Edward, Lord Courtenay, the earl of Devon’s heir, who did indeed combat the French on that field; and within two years he had been knighted.  At Gisors on 27 Sept.  1419, now as a ‘King’s knight’, he was granted £20 p.a. as an annuity from the coinage of tin in Cornwall.”

Saint Nonna’s Church, which plays a part in the story, still stands in Altarnon (now spelled Altarnun) although it was remodeled in the 16th century using stone and timbers from the abandoned Trelawny manor house.  The stone packhorse bridge over Penpont Water that is mentioned in the story is as sturdy now as when it was built seven hundred years ago.  I had the privilege of visiting Cornwall and Devonshire in 2012 and drove the route that my fictional company of archers would have traversed from Altarnon to Plymouth.  Seeing the village of Altarnon and traveling the green countryside and ancient narrow lanes provided an insight I could never have gained from maps or photographs.

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The Village of Altarnon, Cornwall with Saint Nonna’s Church in the background.

 

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The packhorse bridge over Pentpont Water in the Village of Altarnon. This sturdy bridge has served the village for 700 years.

 

As with the real characters in my first novel, The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou, my goal was to not only entertain all young readers, but more specifically for my children and grandchildren, to bring to life the names on our family tree.   I hope that I have accomplished that goal.

 

Advanced Praise for The Archer’s Son:

“Mr. Hubbs has written an engaging and exciting narrative.  But he has done much more than that.  He enriched his story with details that bring the early 1400s to life. Here are the taste, the smell, the look, and the feel of the Middle Ages as experienced by a young man who is making history – quite literally.”

–  Nicky Hughes, retired curator of the Kentucky Military History Museum and the Capital City Museum, Frankfort, Kentucky.

“M.E. Hubbs’ second book is as entertaining and well written as his first – The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou.  Set within the Medieval English and French landscape, the story has a perfect blend of action, adventure, and emotion.  The colorful characters and dialog are accurately woven into the time period and the pace of the story makes it hard to put down.”

–  Paige M. Peyton, PhD – Author and Archaeologist.