THE WOUNDED HAWK (Book 2 of The Crucible)

a Novel by Sara Douglass

HarperCollins (Pymble, NSW), May 2002 (reprint)
Paperback (704pp, 181x111mm) $18.95
isbn 0-7322-6454-5

The Demon-King wears the crown of England, and only a man strong enough to resist love can defeat him. Casting aside his vows to the Church and protected by the powerful Duke of Lancaster and his son Hal Bolingbroke, Thomas Neville is now free to pursue his quest for Wynkyn de Worde’s casket. But Richard II is subtle and cunning. He moves swiftly against Neville and Bolingbroke, de-stroying both of their families and using his min-ions to drive the realm towards bloody rebellion. Only Neville’s wife Margaret can help, but Neville knows he cannot fully trust her. And what of Bolingbroke who, as the months go by, reveals am-bitions far greater and deadlier than Neville ever realised? Like Joan of Arc in France, Neville learns that those he trusts the most are also those who hide the most devastating of secrets. As Neville inches closer and closer to the casket, he discovers that opening it might well release a greater horror across Earth than the one he wishes to thrust back into Hell. Some mysteries were never meant to be revealed, and the darkest of them all is the ancient secret of the angels.

Reveal this secret to any other, and you can be sure that the angels will seek their revenge. At last Thomas is nearing the end of his journey. He wishes to find the Angel's casket, the casket that was lost when Wynkyn de Worde died before his time when the godless filled the land...

Thomas is still unsure just who to trust. Hal his friend, but even he seems to march to a different drummer at times … is he Margaret's lover as he seems to be. Margaret is beautiful and loving but the Archangel Michael says that she is the spawn of evil, that she is not to be trusted and never to be loved. Indeed, Thomas himself betrays Margaret by sending her into the cruel and violent world of Richard and his 'bottomboy', De Vere.

Consumed by guilt, Thomas finds that he cannot fully trust the Archangel's words anymore … and then Margaret and Hal deliver the casket into Thomas's hands … in his wildest imagination, Thomas could not have foreseen what he is to find out.

Who can win his soul: the army of God... or Satan?

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