There is a certain trepidation in opening a book by an author who has established a fine reputation with an outstanding line of titles following the fictional exploits of two characters, set in a particular period of history and in a particular environment, when this new book is with another publisher and based in a very different part of history. It is then a pleasure to find another gripping story unfolding, showing the familiar style of the author and demonstrating careful research that produces an entirely believable historical novel. This new book from Stockwin is just such a book. The author has suggested that this is a one-off, but then hinted that he may again take a diversion from his famous Kydd and Renzi tales in the future.
Stockwin has ingeniously combined two versions of the story of the transfer of the secret of silk to Constantinople to produce a single tale of great power and entertainment. This not just a great tale, told well, but should keep the process of adding to the stories of Kydd and Renzi on schedule.