The lives and loves of the great condottieri.
Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, was the archetypal 'Renaissance man': a brilliant soldier, scholar and ally of the pope, he spent much of the vast wealth on commissioning artists to decorate the city.
Sigismondo Malatesta, lord of the neighbouring city of Rimini, was also a brilliant soldier and generous patron of the arts. He and Federigo were locked in an epic feud which saw them fight as mercenaries for and against just about every Italian ruler of note, so long as the other was on the opposite side.
Together they epitomised the spirit of the condottieri - the contract army leaders who drove the explosion of new political, commercial and artistic ideas that has since become known as the Renaissance.
A story of unbridled lust, treachery and murder featuring an extraordinary array of characters, who fought, poisoned, betrayed and cheated their way into an enduring legacy - HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER
Hugh Bicheno has had careers as an academic, an intelligence officer and a freelance kidnap and ransom negotiator in South America. He now devotes himself to writing about men at war. His previous books include the bestselling Rebels and Redcoats, written in conjunction with Richard Holmes.