On a hot summer's day in 1424, two armies face one another across a road in Eastern Normandy. The Battle of Verneuil is to prove the Lancastrians' last great victory of the Hundred Years' War, and in the decade that follows, a handful of men, both English and French, begin to work towards peace.
One of these is the Ear of Suffolk, reluctant commander at the disastrous Siege of Orleans. Returning home after many years in France, he is horrified to find an England bankrupted by war and hopelessly lacking in strong government. In Norfolk, his sphere of influence, the absence of so many knights and nobles has engendered a situation of near anarchy.
The Heron's Catch is an enthralling story of two countries at war, and a breathtaking panorama of fifteenth-century society and its personalities: the cultured, unhappy Earl; his beautiful, difficult wife, Alice; Charles, Duke of Orleans, Suffolk's prisoner and his obsession; Sir John Fostolf, fighting for money and glory, and Secret, the Norman Breton who serves him. And in Norfolk, men like the ambitious Judge Paston and handsome landowner Will Calthorp struggle against the tides of discontent.
With immense skill and freshness, Susan Curran has woven together her complex cast of characters in an epic historical novel that confirms the powers she first displayed in The Mouse God.