Simon Scarrow: The Day of the Caesars (review)

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, THE GLADIATOR and most recently INVICTUS.

Simon is also the author of the novels YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH, chronicling the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, and of SWORD & SCIMITAR, the epic tale of the 1565 Siege of Malta, and HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War.

Simon has also co-written two bestselling novel with T.J. Andrews, ARENA and INVADER.

He lives in the historic city of Norwich.

Author Web Site

AD 54. Claudius is dead. Rome is in turmoil. And two brave heroes of the Roman army face the challenge of their lives.

Simon Scarrow’s DAY OF THE CAESARS is not to be missed by readers of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell. ‘A new book in Simon Scarrow’s series about the Roman army is always a joy’ The Times

The Emperor Claudius is dead. Nero rules. His half-brother Britannicus has also laid claim to the throne. A bloody power struggle is underway.

All Prefect Cato and Centurion Macro want is a simple army life, fighting with their brave and loyal men. But Cato has caught the eye of rival factions determined to get him on their side. To survive, Cato must play a cunning game, and enlist the help of the one man in the Empire he can trust: Macro.

As the rebel force grows, legionaries and Praetorian Guards are moved like chess pieces by powerful and shadowy figures. A political game has created the ultimate military challenge. Can civil war be averted? The future of the empire is in Cato’s hands…

Review

Macro and Cato return again, 16 books in and the boys have grown, matured and changed. The new relationship with Cato as superior is well embedded and Macro is starting to take on the mantle of the soldier coming to end of his career, jaded (well as much as Macro ever could be), and sick of the politics and BS that defines how his life may end. Cato with his rank is more mired in the the politics, yet as a man from the ranks likes it no more than his rough and ready colleague.

In this book Simon Scarrow weaves a tale that’s more intrigue and thriller than the action and battles that have come to define this series, that’s not to say that macro and Cato don’t get the stabby parts of their blades wet and gory, because they most certainly do.  But this book is more subtle, its the interplay of republicans and a dynastic squabble over the next emperor, and how despite everything our duo try to avoid it, yet they still get sucked into the storm of change.

Old enemies reappear, new enemies are made, this is another major turning point in the life of Macro and Cato, its a book not to be missed in this epic series that has helped shape the Historical Fiction genre.

Highly Recommended

(Parm)

Series
Eagles of the Empire
1. Under the Eagle (2000)
2. The Eagle’s Conquest (2001)
3. When the Eagle Hunts (2002)
4. The Eagle and the Wolves (2003)
5. The Eagle’s Prey (2004)
6. The Eagle’s Prophecy (2005)
7. The Eagle in the Sand (2006)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
14. Britannia (2015)
15. Invictus (2016)
16. Day of the Caesars (2017)
Eagles of the Empire Series Book 1-5 (omnibus) (2017)
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Wellington and Napoleon
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2009)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet (omnibus) (2015)
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Gladiator 
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
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Roman Arena (with T J Andrews)
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
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Invader (with T J Andrews)
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)
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Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Invader (2016) (with T J Andrews)
Playing With Death (2017) (with Lee Francis)
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Novellas
Red Christmas (2014)
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow

Christian Cameron: The Green Count (Review)

Christian Cameron

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USA flag (1962 – )aka Miles Cameron, Gordon Kent

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice.

book cover of The Green Count

After the bloody trials of Alexandria, Sir William Gold is readying for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He hopes, too, that the Holy City might allow his relationship with Emile, cousin of the Green Count of Savoy, to develop.

But the Roman Emperor of Constantinople has been taken hostage by an unknown enemy, and the Green Count is vital to the rescue effort. It is up to Sir William to secure his support, but he soon finds that his past, and his relationship with Emile, might have repercussions he had not foreseen….

Suddenly thrust onto the stage of international politics, Sir William finds himself tangled in a web of plots, intrigue and murder.

Review

I’d saved this book, i knew i would enjoy it, it was more about how much?

This isn’t a small book and yet i found myself having to slow my reading so i could really enjoy and savor every line of writing. The tale starts with William Gold settling down to recount his past, which as a plot device i think is excellent, it puts the reader immediately into the warm space of being told a story and that for me feels even more real and realistic, the recounting of a history by someone who was there, it brings the whole panorama of the adventure to life.

As with all of Christian Cameron’s books there is much going on, many surprises around the corner and so many political machinations that can turn the story, much like life at the time. His characters are very alive and real, imbued with a depth of personality rarely seen in any series. That mix of real personalities fleshed out from the pages of history with a complex personality blended with those imagined and brought to life from the authors deep and intimate knowledge of the time and the culture. While i always love the ain characters like William Gold and Fiore, my favorite in this book has to be John the Turk aka John the Kipchak, a character free from much of the church morailty that mires the rest of the band, he has a simple view of the world that contrasts wonderfully….Ok, there being a Captain Parmenio is also pretty awesome and always a humbling thing, i wonder if there is a record for how many series a character has appeared in? (Captain Parmenio has been in Miles Cameron’s red Traitor Son Cycle, Simon Turney’s Ottoman Cycle, Christian Cameron’s Chivalry series and Tom Swan….honestly, wonderful moments), i’ve come to love that old rogue.

I personally don’t find the Byzantine area/period the most exciting, that could just be the books I’ve read (there are odd exceptions), and to be honest in this one Christian Cameron only touches on that world briefly, but still he brings it to life in a powerful and exciting way. The massively convoluted politics of the region, the deep schism’s that surround the seat of power in Constantinople and the constant striving for that seat of ultimate power. It is a twisted web this writer weaves, but as with all the best tales, no more twisted than the truth.

As always with Christian’s stories, every blade, every piece of armour, every rivet is exactingly real, every pain in wearing the armour, every fighting move , every twisted ankle and turn of the wrist has been experienced in some way on the field by the man himself (well ok he hasn’t actually stabbed someone… but everything non bloody). Beyond the battle, to the gloves, the clothes, the shoes, the horses, the logistics, every detail is based on experience from his world of living history/ re-enactment. This experience is priceless because of the life and reality it gives the story, these tales are more than blood and battle, they are life in another time, and Chivalry as a series is a love story as much as a tale of honour. I think my favourite description is the gravel underfoot, and how uncomfortable it was, and how much pain it led to, not because of the pain (obviously im not mean) , but because i can imagine at some time the author has experienced it, it was just too personal to have been conjured from nothing, and this is what i mean by the entire book having a startling reality that others do not. Many authors describe what they think something might be like, where Christian Cameron describes what it does feel like.

A couple of years ago it seemed unlikely that we would ever see the Green Count, but now we have a stunningly real book, one of the best Historical fiction titles you will read this year, but as even better news; Chivalry will continue next year with Sword of Justice, William Gold and friends will ride again.

I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough its a must read for Fantasy (if you lived The Traitor Son Cycle you will love this) or Historical fiction readers.

(Parm)

Series
Alan Craik (as by Gordon Kent)
1. Night Trap (1998)
aka Rules of Engagement
2. Peace Maker (2000)
3. Top Hook (2002)
4. Hostile Contact (2003)
5. Force Protection (2004)
6. Damage Control (2005)
7. The Spoils of War (2006)
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Tyrant
1. Tyrant (2007)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)
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Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
5. Salamis (2015)
6. Rage of Ares (2016)
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Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)
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Chivalry
1. The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
2. The Long Sword (2014)
3. The Green Count (2017)
4. Sword of Justice (2018)
5. Sword of Justice (2018)
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Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade
1. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part One (2014)
2. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Two (2014)
3. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Three (2014)
4. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Four (2015)
5. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Five (2015)
6. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Six (2015)
7. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Seven (2015)
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Tom Swan and the Last Spartans
1. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part One (2016)
2. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Two (2016)
3. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Three (2017)
4. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Four (2017)
5. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Five (2017)
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Novels
Cauldron of Violence (2000) (as by Gordon Kent)
Washington and Caesar (2001)
The Falconer’s Tale (2007) (as by Gordon Kent)
God of War (2012)
A Song of War (2016) (with Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turneyand Russell Whitfield)
The New Achilles (2019)
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Omnibus
Songs of Blood and Gold (2017) (with Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, Libbie Hawker, Ben Kane, E Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turney and Russell Whitfield)
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Series
Traitor Son Cycle
1. The Red Knight (2012)
2. The Fell Sword (2014)
3. The Dread Wyrm (2014)
4. A Plague of Swords (2016)
5. The Fall of Dragons (2017)
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Masters & Mages
1. The Master (2018)

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Filed under Christian Cameron, Historical Fiction, Miles Cameron

Fall of Dragons Publication Day

With Pen and Sword

The Fall of Dragons Cover

It’s launch day, at least in the UK.

I started writing these novels in 2012.  I think there’s at least 2400 pages of material, and I could write more.  It’s odd to say goodbye.

However, I want to take this space to discuss origins and books I loved, not endings.  Who knows, maybe Gollanz will eventually want more.  I certainly hope so… a great deal of effort went into world development, both thirty years ago and right up until a few days ago… but that’s another story.

Today’s story is the origins story, with a few tiny spoilers. Really, it’s a social history, or an historiography, with lots of thanks.

Alba started as an RPG.  There were between nine and twenty players, and we always had a heavy element of war gaming involved, so there was an RPG level, a political level, and a military level, and the three were…

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James Rollins : Demon Crown (Review)

Image result for james rollins demon

Author Web site

James Rollins is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers, translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People Magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets–and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

As a boy immersed in the scientific adventures of Doc Savage, the wonders of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and pulps such as The Shadow, The Spider, and The Avenger, James Rollins decided he wanted to be a writer. He honed his storytelling skills early, spinning elaborate tales that were often at the heart of pranks played on his brothers and sisters.

Before he would set heroes and villains on harrowing adventures, Rollins embarked on a career in veterinary medicine, graduating from the University of Missouri and establishing a successful veterinary practice. He continues to volunteer his time and veterinary skills in support of the local SPCA. His hands-on knowledge of medicine and science helps shape the research and scientific speculation that set James Rollins books apart.

 

The Demon Crown (2017)
(Book 13 in the Sigma Force series)

book cover of The Demon Crown

THE DEMON CROWN

Off the coast of Brazil, a team of scientists discovers a horror like no other, an island where all life has been eradicated, consumed and possessed by a species beyond imagination. Before they can report their discovery, a mysterious agency attacks the group, killing them all, save one, an entomologist, an expert on venomous creatures, Professor Ken Matsui from Cornell University.

Strangest of all, this inexplicable threat traces back to a terrifying secret buried a century ago beneath the National Mall: a cache of bones preserved in amber. The artifact was hidden away by a cabal of scientists – led by Alexander Graham Bell – to protect humankind. But they dared not destroy it, for the object also holds an astonishing promise for the future: the very secret of life after death.

Yet, nothing stays buried forever. An ancient horror – dormant in the marrow of those preserved bones – is free once more, nursed and developed into a weapon of incalculable strength and malignancy, ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.

To stop its spread, Commander Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force must survive a direct attack on the island of Maui. To be there first has always been the core mission of Sigma Force, a covert team forged to be America’s front line against emerging threats. But this time, even Sigma may not be able to decipher this deadly mystery, one that traces back to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution.

With each new discovery, the menace they hunt is changing, growing, spreading – adapting and surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled. And each transformation makes it stronger . . . and smarter.

Running out of time and options, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this extinction-level threat and expose those involved, he will have to join forces with Sigma’s greatest enemy–the newly resurrected Guild – even it if means sacrificing one of his own.

Review

Thirteen books into the Sigma series and as a reader i always worry how a writer will keep a series fresh, new and exciting and with this type of book where cutting edge is key can they keep it in the realm of believable.

James Rollins always amazes me with his ability to write a tight, interesting, action packed story, but most of all his ability to keep coming up with world ending scenarios that are totally realistic. Each and everyone a trial for the Sigma team, to both solve the world ending conundrum and also survive those who are trying to cause the apocalypse.

With a Rollins book its not just the roller coaster ride of the thriller that wins me over, its the absolute attention to detail, the huge depth of subject research, both biological and historical, but also arms and armour. These are not cheaply thrown together beach pulp fiction titles, these are the cream of the Action Adventure, thriller world, and year after year book after book he manages to knock it out of the park.

Demon Crown is quite possibly one of the best to come out of the Sigma Force stable. Infusing history across multiple time periods for both the cataclysmic event, but also the conspiracy that surrounds the Guild, the latest potential technology for DARPA and similar agencies, a new and ancient, deadly, potentially global event, so simple and yet so complex in its devising that it kept me guessing all the way through the book, set in locations so well described you want to pack your bags and visit. As always the whole thing pulled together by characters who while on the heroic side, they also live  , breathe and bleed on every page, making the whole book believable.

A full five stars again for this splendid book, just what i hoped for and always more than i expected.

(Parm)

 

Series
Sigma Force
1. Sandstorm (2004)
2. Map of Bones (2005)
3. Black Order (2006)
4. The Judas Strain (2007)
5. The Last Oracle (2008)
6. The Doomsday Key (2009)
6.5. The Skeleton Key (2011)
7. The Devil Colony (2011)
7.5. Tracker (2012)
8. Bloodline (2012)
9. The Eye of God (2013)
10. The Sixth Extinction (2014)
10.5. The Midnight Watch (2015)
11. The Bone Labyrinth (2015)
12. The Seventh Plague (2016)
13. The Demon Crown (2017)
The Doomsday Key / The Last Oracle (omnibus) (2013)
Sigma Force Novels 1 (omnibus) (2014)
Crash and Burn (2016)
Ghost Ship (2017)
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Jake Ransom
1. Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow (2009)
2. Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx (2010)
Jake Ransom Complete Collection (omnibus) (2014)
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Order of the Sanguines (with Rebecca Cantrell)
0.5. City of Screams (2012)
1. The Blood Gospel (2013)
1.5. Blood Brothers (2013)
2. Innocent Blood (2013)
3. Blood Infernal (2014)
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Tucker Wayne (with Grant Blackwood)
1. The Kill Switch (2014)
2. War Hawk (2015)
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Novels
Subterranean (1999)
Excavation (2000)
Deep Fathom (2001)
Amazonia (2002)
Ice Hunt (2003)
Altar of Eden (2009)
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Novellas
The Devil’s Bones (2014) (with Steve Berry)
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Series contributed to
Indiana Jones (Films)
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008)
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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, James Rollins, Thrillers

Steven A McKay: The Abbey of Death (Review)

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Steven A. McKay was born in Scotland in 1977. His first novel, Wolf’s Head, was published in 2013 and went on to be an Amazon UK top-twenty bestseller. The Abbey of Death is the final story in the Forest Lord series. Steven is currently researching and writing a brand-new tale set in post-Roman Britain. He plays lead guitar and sings in a heavy-metal band when they can find the time to meet.

The Abbey of Death (Kindle Single) by [McKay, Steven A.]

He wanted to find peace in prayer, but some men serve God best with a sword in their hand.

Will Scaflock wants only to live in peace. He had more than his share of adventure when he went by the name Will Scarlet and fought corrupt authority alongside Robin Hood. Now widowed and alone, and estranged from his adult daughter, he has taken holy orders and sought refuge in a remote Benedictine abbey.

But even there, trouble and violence follow him. The abbot, John de Wystow, is a good man but a weak leader, and easily undermined by a faction of dissident monks. When the rebels, led by Brother Robert de Flexburgh, run riot in the local community—stealing, drinking, fornicating—Scaflock’s old instincts return. Reluctantly taking charge of the abbey’s moral defence, he finds himself embroiled in a series of fierce clashes with de Flexburgh’s rowdy gang.

As the abbey’s tranquillity is shattered, its cloisters stained with blood, Scaflock is forced to reconsider the direction of his life. Has he really left Will Scarlet behind him—or has he simply been running from reality?

Review

With each and every book in the forest lord series i have watched Steven A Mckay grow as a writer, both in style and confidence, until he has reached his latest point with The Abbey of Death. This tales shows a much more rounded tale steeped in confident writing and plot twists and misdirection. His characters continue to grow and coalesce into full realized and realistic personas making the book come alive. Will Scaflock being probably my favourite in the series , because he isn’t nice, he is rough and real and he has suffered. This book truly shows just how much he has suffered and how real he can be…. much to the horror of his attackers….

So with Abbey of Death, McKay brings down the curtain on the Forest Lord series, with his best work to date.

if that isnt worth £1.98…. well, im not sure what is.

(Parm)

 

 

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Steven A McKay

Anthony Riches: Onslaught (The second book in the Centurions series) Review.

Anthony Riches

Anthony Riches

began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father’s stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. He began writing the story that would become Wounds of Honour after a visit to Housesteads in 1996. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children

 

Author Competition…. Win a Gold Aureus!!

Author Web Site

Onslaught (2017)
(The second book in the Centurions series)

 

book cover of Onslaught

Buy a Signed copy

The Rhine frontier has exploded into all-out war. The Batavi cohorts, so recently proud soldiers of Rome, have returned to their homeland, summoned by their new leader Kivilaz: they will be the spearhead of an audacious assault on Roman power.

Humbled by the rebels in a battle they should have won, the Romans retreat to their northern stronghold, the Old Camp, to lick their wounds. The 5th and 15th Legions grimly prepare to defend an undermanned fortress against both the Batavi and thousands of barbarian warriors intoxicated by a charismatic priestess’s vision of their victory.

Four centurions who once fought in the same army find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious civil war. For the Batavi, the prize could be freedom from Roman rule. For the Romans, the choices are victory or the most humiliating defeat their empire has ever known. And for one Batavi soldier, the greatest prize is simply survival in a battle with a cornered, desperate enemy.

Review:

Onslaught is Anthony Riches second book in his new Centurion series, for fans of his work, this series is a diversion from the insanely entertaining exploits of Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians in the Empire series.

Onslaught, like its predecessor Betrayal follow the hugely unsettled period of the Roman Empire when Emperors were two an penny and changed hands at the drop of a few legions being slaughtered. The latest book taking us to the point where Vitellius is now upon the throne, albeit perched on the edge and in no way feeling comfortable, because Titus Flavius Vespasianus has been acclaimed Emperor in the east, his legions are on the march, and his men are in true Roman fashion, double dealing and scheming across the empire. No one wants to be seen to support the wrong man. leaving the many men of the legions to bear the brunt and pay the bloody price of all the political maneuvering.

Taking advantage of all of this is Prince Kivilaz of the Batavi, under the aegis of insults to the tribe and ensuring the tribes future he has taken the fight to rebellion and attacked Rome via her encampments.

This rich backdrop of politics and battle is prime fodder for a writer of the skill and wit of Anthony Riches and one he exploits to the fullest. As you can expect (if you are a regular reader of his work) his characters explode to life as the story unfolds, keeping the reader fully engaged as the plot switches from Roman to Batavi perspective leaving you unsure who is the good guy and who is the bad, where should your reader loyalties sit?

This book and series explores deeper than just the camaraderie of the soldier and their deep ties to each other and their officers, it looks to the limits that a legion can be pushed or will accept and the limits a man can endure before his will finally breaks and he can fight no more. Interspersed as always with laugh out loud moments and the inevitable gallows humour of the men destined to die a bloody death very soon, and the more reflective moments of family, and friends and their loss, this is a book that spans not only events and people but also emotions. Antony Riches is now the undisputed master at this style of book, giving the reader a tale where no character is safe, no pages should be read unprepared because he can change pace or fully unfold some Machiavellian plot device at any moment. The ending of this book leaves me feeling that he has many such plots up his sleeve… and that the final book, Retribution will be a corker.

Onslaught is another fantastic new book in a series that is as Brutal and uncompromising as an enraged first spear, and should not be missed.

(Parm)

Series
Empire 
1. Wounds of Honour (2009)
2. Arrows of Fury (2010)
3. Fortress of Spears (2011)
4. The Leopard Sword (2012)
5. The Wolf’s Gold (2012)
6. The Eagle’s Vengeance (2013)
7. The Emperor’s Knives (2014)
8.Thunder of the Gods (2015)
9. Altar of Blood (2016)
The Empire Collection Books I-3 (omnibus) (2017)
The Empire Collection Books 4-6 (omnibus) (2017)
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Centurions 
1. Betrayal (2017)
2. Onslaught (2017)
3. Retribution (2018)
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Filed under Anthony Riches, Historical Fiction

Angus Donald: Blood’s Game (Review)

Angus Donald

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Angus Donald was born in China in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University.

He has worked as a fruit-picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and as an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia.

For the past 20 years, he has been a journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London.

Author Website

Buy Signed copy

 

book cover of Blood's Game

THE THRILLING NEW SERIES FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE ‘OUTLAW CHRONICLES’. PERFECT FOR FANS OF BERNARD CORNWELL AND CONN IGGULDEN. AFTER THE TUDORS CAME THE STUARTS . . . London, Winter 1670. Holcroft Blood has entered the employ of the Duke of Buckingham, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom after the king. It is here that his education really begins. With a gift for numbers and decoding ciphers, Holcroft soon proves invaluable to the Duke, but when he’s pushed into a betrayal he risks everything for revenge. His father, Colonel Thomas Blood, has fallen on hard times. A man used to fighting, he lives by his wits and survives by whatever means necessary. When he’s asked to commit treason by stealing the crown jewels, he puts himself and his family in a dangerous situation – one that may end at the gallows. As the machinations of powerful men plot to secure the country’s future, both father and son must learn what it is to survive in a more dangerous battlefield than war – the court of King Charles II.

Review

Angus Donald has managed over the last 8 years to provide us with one of the best modern retelling’s of Robin Hood that you could ever possibly want to read. When it finished what would come next?

Colonel Blood is not an unknown character to me, but he is very much a little known enigma for many readers…..

So how would Angus bring this man alive?

The answer is through his own trials and those of his family and the daring theft of the Crown Jewels. The key character for me in this book is his son Holcroft Blood. Angus Donald brings to life the time period and the people, the nasty conniving Buckingham with his privilege and power, a spoiled king and various sections of society from the theater to the slums of London. While Angus tells the history lightly, he also manages to weave the reader right into the immediate so you feel part of the story not a voyeur in a tale.

By the end of the story Holcroft Blood has become a new fav character, a young man different from his peers, but gifted and talented in many ways, with an honour that leads him into some strange situations. His friend Jack Churchill and he bring the story to a very satisfying and tense conclusion, in a book with action and humour aplenty, setting the scene for what i feel will be a truly excellent series in the future…. book two cannot come soon enough for me.

Bravo Angus…. loved this book

(Parm)

Series
Outlaw Chronicles
1. Outlaw (2009)
2. Holy Warrior (2010)
3. King’s Man (2011)
4. Warlord (2012)
5. Grail Knight (2013)
6. The Iron Castle (2014)
7. The King’s Assassin (2015)
8. The Death of Robin Hood (2016)
The Rise of Robin Hood (2013)
The Betrayal of Father Tuck (2013)
The Hostility of Hanno (2013)
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Blood 
1. Blood’s Game (2017)
2. Blood’s Revolution (2018)
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Filed under Angus Donald, Historical Fiction