Sebastian Barry has won his second Costa prize for his novel, Days Without End. 

It tells the tale of Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, who sign up for the US army in the 1850s aged barely seventeen, and go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War.

Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in.

Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America’s past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.

Barry won his first Costa award in 2008 for his novel The Secret Scripture .