France, 1356. Ten years have passed since the battle of Crécy, and the English fighters are still abroad, laying siege to cities, towns and even small villages. Meanwhile the Prince of Wales raids across France to draw King John into a battle for sovereignty.
Berenger Fripper, having lost everything to the plague, is now captain of a company of mercenaries, but treachery and deceit dog him when his travels with the company lead him to Uzerche. And then his path crosses that of Prince Edward and his men as they embark on their latest chevauchée to bring death and disaster to the King of France's subjects.
Enlisted as Vintener under Sir John de Sully, Berenger finds himself drawn into a new struggle. Can the English defeat the much larger French army, or will they find themselves finally overcome when their weary feet bring them at last to the field of battle near Poitiers…
Blood of the Innocents is the final entry in Michael Jecks’s Vintener Trilogy. Picking up ten years after the second book, the reader finds familiar characters who are much changed.
Having lost his wife and son to the plague ravaging Europe, Berenger has become an embittered, drunken leader of a band of mercenaries ravaging the south of France. The story is, at heart, a tale of redemption as Berenger struggles with his inner demons, seeking atonement as he battles his way out of numbness and back to humanity. The arc of the story builds up from the campaign to the English victory at Poitiers. As machinations and political intrigues spin in the French court, there’s a grisly murder mystery involving a sadistic serial killer to solve in the villages.
This third installment continues the theme of the first two books: depicting the horrors and collateral damage of war, the exhaustion and feelings of futility of those in the thick of battle. Blood of the Innocents is a gripping tale that is the perfect conclusion to the trilogy with a multi-layered plot and authentically drawn characters.
Highly recommended, particularly for those who enjoy adventure, military history, and stories set in the Hundred Years’ War; recommended that this series is read in order