THE NORTH OF ENGLAND Spring, 1644 There's a lot of miles between Essex and Cheshire.... and newly-promoted Colonel Hollie Babbitt is cursing the most recent additions to his company, for every step of them. A scarred lieutenant with a death wish, and they don't call him Hapless for thing. Captain Drew Venning. And his dog. Captain Penitence Chedglow, last seen smashing up the inside of Worcester Cathedral in an excess of godly zeal, and his new companion in bigotry, the silent but violent Webb. The mysterious Trooper Gray, a one-man insurrection. Forced to leave a posting to Cromwell's Eastern Association as a result of some more than usually scatter-brained chivalric meddling by the posh poet Lucey Pettitt, Hollie finds himself up to the elbows in freezing mud at Nantwich, mired in intrigue and insubordination. When Hollie's old nemesis Prince Rupert relieves the siege at Newark, freeing up a cavalry force to hammer Fairfax's garrisons in Yorkshire, it looks as if the gallant Parliamentarian defenders will be overwhelmed in the North. But after a fierce attack is repulsed, the Northern Royalists retreat to their foothold at Selby, with its vital strategic command of both the Ouse and the road to York. It will be hard. It will surely be bloody. But will Hollie's rebel rabble be the difference between victory and defeat for Parliament in the North?