Noble Smith Sword of Apollo (2015) (The third book in the Warrior Trilogy series)

Noble Smith

Noble Smith's picture

Noble Smith is an award-winning playwright and documentary film executive producer as well as a 16-year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry as a narrative designer, having worked on projects for Vivendi,, Snowblind and Bungie Studios. He is the author of The Wisdom of the Shire, a guide to life for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien (translated into 8 languages), praised by Kirkus Reviews as a must-have for fans of Middle-earth. He is a contributor to the fantasy/sci-fi site Legendarium, and co-host of the D&D nostalgia blog He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children. – See more at:

Sword of Apollo (2015) (The third book in the Warrior Trilogy series)

A novel by Noble Smith



Nikias of Plataea has survived battle, shipwreck, and torture. But now the young warrior must face his greatest challenge: leading the people of his city-state on a desperate exodus to Athens while being hunted down by the largest Spartan expeditionary force in history.

From the burning forests of the legendary Mount Kithaeron, to the plague-ridden streets of Athens, to the dreaded Prison Pits of Syrakuse, Nikias has to use his fists, sword, and wits to defeat his enemies, and bring aid to a citadel cut off from the rest of the world by merciless invaders.

Award-winning author Noble Smith’s Sword of Apollo brings to a close the thrilling Warrior trilogy, set during the epic war that tore apart Ancient Greece


Well Noble Smith has managed it again, book 3 in this Warrior series is just an excellent read. Since the very first book Sons of Zeus i have been hugely impressed with the pace and narrative of the books, coupled with some highly engaging characters. each and every book has flown past. The story has always been well set in its historical time frame but without feeling a need to delve into the history too deeply, relying on the adventure of the plot and the people to carry the reader. That said the weapons, the people and the locations are well researched to give the story that authentic edge.

In this third book the story continues, and for once its not all a punishing journey for Nikias, but the young man still has much to learn and experience. He will travel further from home, the reader can experience sea adventures, battle, disease and political shenanigans.  I only wish the story handed ended so suddenly. Despite being detailed as a trilogy this story is far from over, and book 4 may be more than a year away.

I recommend this series, its great fun, highly entertaining and extremely well written


Warrior Trilogy
1. Sons of Zeus (2013)
2. Spartans at the Gates (2014)
3. Sword of Apollo (2015)
Love Death and Hate Your Foe (2014)
Stolen from Gypsies (2000)

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Steven A McKay: Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil (review)

Author bio from his own web site

My name is Steven A. McKay and I’m a writer from Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow in Scotland, heavily influenced by the likes of Bernard Cornwell, Douglas Jackson, Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane et al.

My first book, Wolf’s Head, is set in medieval England and is a fast-paced, violent retelling of the Robin Hood legends. I think my take on the theme is quite different to anything that’s been done before. It hit the number 1 spot in the UK “War” chart, reached the overall Kindle top 20 bestsellers list and is available on Kindle and paperback from Amazon here:  . The sequel, The Wolf and the Raven was also a “War” chart number 1 as well as hitting the top spot in the US “Medieval” chart.

The third book Rise of the Wolf is out now and, as I write this, at number 1 in the “Biographical Historical Fiction” Kindle chart

Also look out for my spin-off novella, Knight of the Cross, featuring Sir Richard-at-Lee and his faithful sergeant-at-arms Stephen which is out now. I’ll be publishing another novella this Christmas (2015) starring Friar Tuck, called The Christmas Devil.

Thanks for reading!

Robin Hood author

Author web site

Buy the book (UK)

Buy the book (USA)

ftxd pr foreword kindle version smaller

December, 1323 AD

Holly and ivy decorate the houses while voices are raised in song, but the Christmas cheer is tempered by terror this festive season, as demons haunt a small English village.

Strange thefts; cloven hoof-prints in the snow; a house burned to the ground.

Something evil stalks the icy streets of Brandesburton and former mercenary Tuck must find out what, before it’s too late.

As he sets out to solve the mystery the friar prays his faith will protect him. His faith AND his great quarterstaff, for he knows full well – the Devil makes no deals…

This brand new novella from the best-selling author of the Forest Lord series will delight and entertain historical fiction fans looking to escape the madness of Christmas shopping for a little while. Grab a mince pie, warm some mulled wine, and join Friar Tuck on this snowy adventure!


Steven McKay has produced a heart warming Christmas tale, wrapping the deep meaning of xmas, the helping of others in among-st a clever little mystery centered on one of his merry bands, lesser written characters; Friar Tuck. Tuck is always one of those characters that i feel is far deeper than he is given credit for. A man of God, one who can clearly fight , in a time when ex-soldiers often turned to the clergy to deal with what must have been PTSD. Tuck is such a multi faceted character and Mckay shines the Christmas light on just a small part of that.
So pull up a chair while the snow swirls and the fire crackles and let him spin his tale…..i promise it one you will enjoy.


Holy Mary, Mother of God. It’s him! The devil!
The man shrank back, too anxious to approach his own front door for fear of
what terrors he might find inside the thatch-roofed hovel he called ‘home’.
The snow had fallen sporadically for the past week or so and had been
particularly heavy that day, leaving a clean white covering on the land. The
roads around the village were, of course, muddy and sodden from travellers’
feet and the wheels of delivery wagons and the animals that pulled them but
here, outside the old peasant’s home, the snow was thick and fresh and
Or at least it should have been untouched, since no one ever came to visit
the man and, as his family had all died or grown-up and left to live
elsewhere, there was really no reason for anyone to have been near his front
So the sight of footprints leading towards the threshold had made the
peasant pause and then stare, wide-eyed and terror-stricken at the low
dwelling, which had begun to seem horribly sinister in the early-evening
gloom. For upon closer inspection the prints in the snow weren’t normal
human, or even animal prints – they appeared to have been made by some
bipedal beast with hoofs for feet. Cloven hoofs.
“The devil!” the peasant shouted in alarm, his strangled cry somewhat
muffled by the falling snow yet still loud enough to bring his neighbours to
their own doors. Their faces peered out, framed in the orange glow from
their cosy hearths.

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Gordon Doherty : Gods & Emperors (Legionary Book 5)

Another great release from another fantastic author…… details below in the authors own note….
It’s launch day for the fifth instalment of the Legionary series, ‘Gods & Emperors’!
If you fancy trying it you can pick it up here:

If you read part four, you’ll know that things were left somewhat delicately balanced for Pavo, Gallus and the XI Claudia. This volume brings everything to a head, with emperors and vast armies marching upon Thracia to face the Gothic horde. All I’ll say is it’s going to get messy…
You can find out more about it on my Blog
(and if you’d like to subscribe to my blog for announcements, free stories and historical discussion, you can sign up via email or RSS )
Writing can be great fun, but it is quite a solitary pursuit. The nine months or so since my last release wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable without your messages of support and I’d certainly have run out of beer money had it not been for you spreading the word for me (tweeting, retweeting, Facebook sharing, telling your friend, telling your enemy – it all makes a big difference!). Thanks a million for this.
All the best and happy reading,

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Paul Fraser Collard: The Lone Warrior (2015) Review

Paul Fraser Collard
UK (1973 – )

Paul’s love of military history started at an early age. A childhood spent watching films like Waterloo and Zulu whilst reading Sharpe, Flashman and the occasional Commando comic, gave him a desire to know more of the men who fought in the great wars of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. At school, Paul was determined to become an officer in the British army and he succeeded in wining an Army Scholarship. However, Paul chose to give up his boyhood ambition and instead went into the finance industry. Paul stills works in the City, and lives with his wife and three children in Kent.

Buy a signed copy

The Lone Warrior  (2015)

book cover of The Lone Warrior


Jack Lark, once the Scarlet Thief, has fought hard for his freedom. But will he risk it all to do the right thing?

Bombay, 1857. India is simmering with discontent, and Jack Lark, honourably discharged from the British Army, aims to take the first ship back to England. But before he leaves, he cannot resist the adventure of helping a young woman escape imprisonment in a gaming house. He promises to escort Aamira home, but they arrive in Delhi just as the Indian Mutiny explodes.

As both sides commit horrific slaughter and the siege of Delhi begins, Jack realises that despite the danger he cannot stand by and watch. At heart, he is still a soldier…


Paul Collard and Jack Lark have taken us on an amazing journey, from book one on the fields of The Crimea to India and Persia, from a charlatan to a man now possessed of the ability to keep his own name, and pursue his own destiny.

Last night I rather shame faced sat down with Lone Warrior, things had delayed my start of this book, in a series I truly love. Paul Collard has a style of writing that just grabs the reader and thrusts then to the fore with Jack, through escapades and emotions that take you from joy to despair, because Jack is a man driven by his passions. Most of all Paul Collard can tell a tale. As Tony Riches put it he is a “writer who wears his history lightly”, the research and passion for the subject is all there but it only compliments the story, Paul’s passion and characters drive the story.

Lone Warrior is no exception in this series, this is a 370 page book and I only started it last night about 10pm, yet when I closed the book to sleep, it was having read the words “Lets see where that takes him”. The last words of the Historical note and ones that again make me yearn for the next book. It was I admit well into the early hours to read that much, but at the same time, the book flew, the swashbuckling adventures of the start of this book, through to the inevitable horror of Delhi (we the reader have known that the series was heading for the Indian Mutiny). I think Paul Collard has been brave to tackle such a horrific incident as the mutiny, and the siege of Delhi is indeed a place of horror and the author pulls no punches, yet at the same time his writing and his character Jack Lark’s emotions and despair and personal turmoil somehow alleviate this horror (for me anyway), the personal experience of the individual somehow softens the overall scene. In amongst this Paul Collard takes the reader inside the British army of the 1850’s, giving a real insight into the why of the mutiny, whilst also showing the many faces of heroism and gallantry that were displayed in this horrific time.

As ever Jack loves with wild passion, fights with total animal instinct and desperate energy and manages to enthral the reader even amongst the horror of war. This series never disappoints, it delights, it entertains it thrills the reader. It is always on my must read list every year. I encourage each and everyone to read it, you don’t have to love History to read this (series), you just need to love reading great books.

Very highly recommended


(I feel a book hangover now…. No idea what to read next)

Jack Lark
1. Scarlet Thief (2013)
2.Maharajahs General (2013)
3. The Devils Assassin (2015)
4. The Lone Warrior (2015)
5. The Forgotten Son (2016)
Rogue (2014)
Recruit (2015)
Redcoat (2015)


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The Fireman by Joe Hill – trailer

Joe Hill  is the author of HEART-SHAPED BOX, HORNS, NOS4A2 -New York Times Bestsellers all  – and the Eisner-Award winningcomic book series LOCKE & KEY. Author Michael Koryta has calledhim  “simply  the  best  horror  writer  of  our  generation”  while Publisher’s Weekly has described him as “a master of his craft.”For  more  information,  please  visit,  visit, or follow @Joe_Hill on twitter

The Fireman is publishing on the 17th May 2016


Joe Hill has already earned a reputation as one of the foremost horror writers in the world – his second novel, Horns, was made into a major film starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2014 – but The Fireman marks a remarkable new direction for the bestselling author. With the epic scope of The Passage and the emotional impact of The Road, The Fireman is a gripping end-of-the-world thriller.

Set in a world overtaken by an incurable runaway pathogen that causes death by spontaneous combustion, the story follows school nurse Harper, who is determined to live long enough to deliver her baby. But when all it takes is a spark to start a deadly blaze, she’s going to need some help from the mysterious fireman. Please find more information on the press release attached.

Click to View Trailer

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Miles Cameron Dread Wyrm (review)

Miles Cameron


is an author, a re-enactor, an outdoors expert and a weapons specialist. He lives, works and writes in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

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.

The Dread Wyrm  (2015)
(The third book in the Traitor Son Cycle series)
A novel by Miles Cameron


Some are born to power. Some seize it. And some have the wisdom never to wield it.

The Red Knight has stood against soldiers, armies, and the might of an empire without flinching. He’s fought on real and magical battlefields alike, and now he’s facing one of the greatest challenges yet. A tournament.

A joyous spring event, the flower of the nobility will ride against each other for royal favor and acclaim. It’s a political contest – one that the Red Knight has the skill to win. But the stakes may be higher than he thinks. The court of Alba has been infiltrated by a dangerous faction of warlike knights, led by the greatest knight in the world: Jean de Vrailly – and the prize he’s fighting for isn’t royal favor but the throne of Alba itself….

This is the third book in the Traitor Son Cycle, following The Red Knight and The Fell Sword.


Move over Tolkien, GRR Martin and all other writers of deeply, involved complex fantasy worlds, because the more this series progresses the better it gets, it doesn’t fall into the trap of other series where side avenues get explored for the sake of page count, it doesn’t flap on with inconsequential characters. What it does is grab the reader by the neck and take them into a well thought out and highly complex world (just as you would expect a real world to be), there is no room or tolerance for two dimensional characters, nations, ideas or concepts, each idea and concept is heavily thought through and explored, researched and imagined, and yet at no time does it waffle or become mundane. It excites, it thrills and it makes you laugh, for a writer to pack so much description and emotion into something so real is simply astounding.

In the same way as a child when i was dragged into the sphere of Narnia or Middle earth, Miles Cameron has created a world and an idea that is all encompassing and utterly enthralling, such that you cannot help but fall in love with the place. The magic, the politics, the pageantry all build to give the reader the fullest of fantasy reading experience and whilst book 3 answers so much, and gives so much to the reader, at the end, the possibilities abound for the next direction the writer and this world will take.

If Westeros could be made into a household name by GoT, then someone needs to wave this under the right noses at the big TV companies. This has the makings of something truly epic for more than just literature.

I highly recommend this series, not just to fantasy readers, but also Historical fiction



Traitor Son Cycle
1. The Red Knight (2012)
2. The Fell Sword (2014)
3. The Dread Wyrm (2015)
4. A Plague of Swords (2016)

Books written as Christian Cameron
1. Tyrant (2008)
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)

Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
5. Salamis (2015)
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)
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)
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 (2015)
William Gold
The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
The Long Sword (2014)
Washington and Caesar (2001)
God of War (2012)

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S.D. Sykes: THE BUTCHER BIRD (Blog Tour)

Author Image

SD Sykes lives in Kent with her family and various animals. She has done everything from professional dog-walking to co-founding her own successful business. She is a graduate from Manchester University and has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam. She attended the novel writing course at literary agents Curtis Brown where she was inspired to finish her first novel. She has also written for radio and has developed screenplays with Arts Council funding.


S.D. Sykes

Published by Hodder & Stoughton in hardback

22nd October 2015


Buy from Amazon

The Butcher Bird 12345

Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more – something the King himself has forbidden.

Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear.

Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumour, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters.

From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald’s journey is full of danger, dark intrigue and shocking revelations.


This is book two in this series, and always an interesting prospect for any author, but especially a new author. Book one Plague land was reviewed here and if i’m 100% honest is pretty much on a par with book one. Once again the author offers a charismatic portrayal of the time period, and wraps the warp and weft of the crime thriller around the complex dark and atmospheric local climate of the period.

SD Sykes Characters are once again the clear winner in this story, breathing life into a story that may not have held my attention as well as it did without their truly lifelike portrayal. SD Sykes is one of those writers who can give you you the smell of the place along with the description, you take in all the detail the author gives you and your brain fills in the sensory gaps giving an immersive portrayal of the time. Probably the best section of the book is when Oswald journeys across the bleak English landscape of post plague England to London, but a London very different to the one we know, a city of migrants, of people escaping the hinterlands of England and the plague destroyed villages.

So once again, a thumbs up, recommend this book , and the series… you don’t get characters like this every day, so go read them…. i do however hope book 3 gives a little more complexity to the twists and turns. (but that could also be because i’m a jaded old book reviewer who reads too much)

4/5 stars though



Somershill Manor Mystery
1. Plague Land (2014)
2. The Butcher Bird (2015)

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