Soldier of Fortune by Edward Marston
This is the first in a series of adventure novels featuring Captain Rawson - spy, linguist, sportsman, duellist, ladies' man and career soldier involved in the campaigns of the Duke of Marlborough during the war of the Spanish Succession. In 1685, young Daniel witnesses the regiment of his fierce Protestant father being destroyed by the troops of the Royal Army's second-in-command, John Churchill, and his Dutch mother narrowly avoiding rape at the hands of a soldier from the same platoon.After his father has been executed, Rawson and his mother leave Devon and sail for the Netherlands. In 1688, Rawson returns to England as a soldier in the Dutch Army. Among those who flock to support William of Orange in his bid to replace James II on the throne is John Churchill. Rawson and the future Duke of Marlborough are now on the same side...Filled with political intrigue, suspense, romance, private feuds and public scandals, Soldier of Fortune traces the shifting geographical patterns of Europe at a key time in history.