Praise for the Civil War Chronicles

“Arnold is good on the period setting of the Civil War, but he is excellent on the fighting.  This is masterfully done.”

Antonia Senior, The Times

‘Arnold writes with such muscular flair the char­acters stride off the pages.’

Peterborough Telegraph

“Intelligent plotting, historical accuracy, heart-pounding battle scenes and a memorable cast of characters are the hallmarks of Arnold’s remarkable series.

Captain Stryker, we are promised, will return… “


“The battle scenes are uncomfortably good, especially the descriptions of real battles, in this case the battle of Stratton in Cornwall. The research is impressive and the narrative vivid.

If you liked the earlier books you will enjoy this, and you will be looking forward to 1644.”


“Read this book for historical entertainment backed by extensive research of the time we and you will not be disappointed. Every major scene is based on fact, the feeling of the atrocious weather of the period, the fierce brutality of civil war and the fervour of both sides is apparent on virtually every page.  I am certainly going to get the first book and am pleased that Mr Arnold has promised, ‘Captain Stryker will return’.”

John Ruse, English Civil War Society

“Above all there are three factors which secure Arnold’s series of ‘Stryker Chronicles’ as ‘must-haves’ on my birthday and Christmas lists.  Firstly, there is the character of Stryker – a professional soldier, scarred both physically and mentally both by the English Civil War and also by the Thirty Years’ War.  Even in a brief reference to the 1631 sack of Magdeburg, it is clear that he has seen terrible things.  Stryker’s motives are not at all obvious – he is complex and difficult – although his loyalty to his own men is admirable and inspiring.  He is passionate and brutal, considerate and utterly determined; certainly an officer one would want on one’s side and would not want to cross.  Secondly, Arnold does not simply recount the well-known pitched battles such as Edgehill, but selects small actions, as well as lesser known confrontations such as Stratton.  Finally, for me most of all, there are the descriptions of these battles which Michael Arnold completely succeeds in bringing to light.  He does his research well, but is not afraid to make decisions about elements of these events which are lost to History.  The battles are grittily recounted with full attention to detail such as the advancing along sunken lanes, the clashing of pikemen and the under-hand stabbing and killing which would have gone on beneath the confusion of such scrums.  Along with Cornwell, Samson and O’Brian, Arnold seems to have been an eye witness to the events he describes.”

Matthew Christmas, Battlefield

“Captain Stryker is a character well able to attract readers on his own merits....  Many of the most famous engagements of the civil war are still to come, and the enigmatic Stryker’s involvement in them promises much entertainment.”

Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

“Captures the grittiness, as well as the doomed glamour, of the Royalist cause.”

Charles Spencer, author of 'Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier'

"You can smell the gunpowder and hear the cannon fire as you're thrust into the mud and blood of the battlefields. Arnold's passion for the period suffuses every page."

Robyn Young, author of the Brethren Trilogy.

“this is a fast-moving, exciting novel which introduces us to Captain Stryker…Forget Sharpe and enjoy the exploits of this new hero in an earlier and dangerous period of history. Once hooked you will look forward to the next in this series.“

Ryedale Gazette and Herald

“... powerfully-visualised battle scenes which can certainly stand comparison with the best of Cornwell.“

Yorkshire Evening Post

“... an intensely interesting, plot-driven, historical novel of superb quality and is the first book of, hopefully, a long series of stories built around the English Civil War. I enjoyed this gripping book immensely as it had a very intelligent and historically accurate plot and once I started it I found it very difficult to put down until the final page.”

Terry Halligan, Euro Crime (

'I loved Sharpe.  I am going to be equally at home with Captain Stryker'

Historical Novels Review

‘Mike Arnold hooks the reader with the clash of steel and the roar of gunpowder. Rollicking action and proper history combine in this cracking series.'

Anthony Riches, author of the bestselling “Empire” series.

"Mike Arnold has caught all of the passion, urgency, fear and exhilaration of men in battle.  Not only that, he's writing in a period that he obviously knows intimately and in to which he has breathed new life."

Patrick Mercer, author of 'To Do and Die' and 'Dust and Steel'.

A thundering, swashbuckling yarn that will get the blood of all Sharpe fans pumping. And this is a thundering, action-packed debut for Captain Stryker a veteran of the wars in the Low Countries and staunch supporter of the Royalist cause. It is to Stryker that Prince Rupert turns when he needs someone to root out a dangerous spy in the ranks.

But, Stryker finds himself on a collision course with a sworn, ruthless enemy.

Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Devil’s Charge is a thumping good read. With considerable skill, Arnold has reached back in time to create a living, breathing depiction of 17th century England. From his vividly described battle scenes to the richly drawn descriptions of everyday life, from the earthy vernacular of its characters to the precise details of military equipment, every last part of this book oozes authenticity. Fans of Cornwell’s Sharpe novels will love Arnold’s hero, Captain Innocent Stryker. He’s uglier, meaner and cleverer than Sharpe. I thought this novel was tremendous. Where’s the next book?!

Ben Kane: Top Ten Bestseller of ‘Hannibal, Enemy of Rome'

Michael Arnold’s superb Stryker Chronicles, set during England’s bitter Civil War, have reached the thrilling second instalment and the trumpet blasts, battle cries and howls of execration are filling the air again.

At the forefront of all the heart-thumping action is Stryker with his narrow, feral face and its ragged patch of swirling scar tissue ... he’s wily, dangerous, too often thinks with his fists and can kill a man in the twinkling of his one demonic eye. From the bloody rout of Cirencester to the siege of Lichfield and finally to the killing fields of Hopton Heath, Arnold brings to colourful life the English Civil War with all its conflicting passions, raw brutality and blood-curdling reality.

Lancashire Evening Post

If you love Sharpe, you’ll be knocked out by the 17th century Civil War adventures of Captain Innocent Stryker, who is just as tough, merciless and fearless in battle. In fact, at times this one-eyed veteran makes Sharpe look rather civilised. The second book in the series sees England still torn as battle rages and Prince Rupert dispatches Stryker to find Lisette Gaillard, Queen Henrietta Maria’s beautiful agent and the man she was protecting, who could hold the key to a Royalist victory.

Peterborough Evening Telegraph

In this dark-hued romp of a historical novel, livid with the scents, sounds and colours of a country on the brink of implosion, Arnold combines real and imaginary events and as in many novels of this sort, identifiable characters of the period with fictional players. His grasp of the minutiae of mid-17th-century combat is impressive.

Matthew Dennison, Daily Express

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