The Red Knight v Old Speckled Hen

  • Book: The Red Knight
  • Author: Miles Cameron
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Published: 2012

The unique and intriguing magic system, a world that feels far deeper than what you see, dozens of characters with their own personalities. This series ticks a lot of boxes for me. There is one aspect though on which it stands above almost anything else being written at the moment and that is in its detailing of the minutiae of a soldier’s daily life in a medieval-esque world. Anyone who follows the author on social media or has read his Historical fiction should know why this is the case. I actually came away from reading these feeling as though I had learned some really cool stuff about arms and armour.

That isn’t to say the plot doesn’t stand on its own as a good read. The eponymous Red Knight is the leader of a mercenary company (I swear I read books that aren’t about mercs) who take a contract to defend an Abbey full of nuns from a wyvern. Unfortunately the ‘Wild’ is unpredictable and what should have been a quick and easy job turns into managing the defences as the nunnery comes under siege.

The author’s ability to make the logistics of a siege so riveting shows a mastery of craft that is astounding.

  • Beer: Old Speckled Hen
  • Brewery: Morland (Greene King)
  • Style:English Pale Ale
  • Strength: 5%

A pub classic since well before the craft beer boom, Old Speckled Hen is like that old friend from school who you don’t really talk to that often anymore but know you could call up for a chat and have it feel like the intervening years never happened.

It isn’t really a warm-weather beer. You could chill it, but I prefer it room temp myself, even in +25c heat. Known for its light amber red colour and warm malty flavour. Not a first choice beer for me if I can help it, but not one I’d be disappointed to find as the only option somewhere.

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