Monthly Archives: January 2013

Richard Foreman: Sword of Rome: Gladiator

The Author:

Richard Foreman, the author of the bestselling Raffles: The Gentleman Thief books, blends the political intrigue of Robert Harris’ series of Cicero novels with the action and adventure of Simon Scarrow in this sweeping historical epic.

Praise for Richard Foreman’s Augustus: Son of Rome
‘Augustus: Son of Rome forges action and adventure with politics and philosophy. This superb story is drenched in both blood and wisdom – and puts Foreman on the map as the coming man of historical fiction’. Saul David, Author of the Zulu Hart series.
Augustus: Son of Rome is now available on Amazon UK and USA.
Published by Endeavour Press, the UK’s leading independent publisher of digital books.
His latest novella: Sword of Rome: Gladiator
swordofromegladiator

Product Description

Rome, 51BC
The centurion Lucius Oppius has left the battlefields of Gaul to venture to Rome.
But he is about to discover the capital of the Empire can be every bit as dangerous as its provinces.
Under orders from Caesar to secure an item of intelligence that will help him become a Consul again Oppius is manipulated into taking part in a gladiatorial contest.
The soldier must not only fight his enemies in the arena however. Marcus Porcius Cato warns “Caesar’s Champion” that victory inside the arena will bring death outside of it.
Oppius soon discovers that while in Gaul your enemies stand before you in a shield wall in Rome they stab you in the back.
‘Sword of Rome: Gladiator’ is an action-packed novella that takes you into the heart of Rome and into the crucible of gladiatorial combat. As well as facing death and treachery, Oppius and his legionaries will also encounter a young Octavius Caesar and Pompey the Great.
The Sword of Rome series brings together history and adventure in stories which will appeal to fans of both Simon Scarrow and Bernard Cornwell.
Review:
I have only just recently found that Novella’s can be enjoyable, in the past they have often been a disappointment because just when you are getting into the story its ending. This latest novella from Richard Foreman has some of that, but it’s also fun, full of action and fast paced. The author has a clear light fun voice in the book, and his characters and easy to like and follow.
As a reader of historical fiction i have to say to other followers of the genre, there are flaws on the history, but it never purports to be historically accurate, just a fun action packed fictional story set in Rome, if you can get to that frame of mind then this is well worth the £1.99 for this or the others in the series.
Where else can you time travel to Ancient Rome for a whole evening for less than the price of a pint!
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details
So go on…give one a bash and see what you think.
(Parm)

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SJA Turney: The Thiefs Tale (review and Q&A)

The Author (from his own Bio)

S J A Turney's picture

I live   with my wife, my crazed lunatic son and very vocal baby daughter, and two (close   approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire, where my wife and I both grew   up, surrounded by friends and family. A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love   of country, I cannot envisage spending my life anywhere else, though my anchor   is sometimes tested as the wanderlust hits and we travel wherever I can find   the breathtaking remains of the classical world. I have a love of travel and   history, architecture and writing and those four interact well enough to keep   me almost permanently busy.

Since leaving   school and University, I have tried a great number of careers, including car   sales, insurance, software engineering, computer network management, civil service   and even paint ing and decorating sales. I have lived in four counties and travelled   as widely as time and budget allowed and find myself, on the cusp of my fortieth   year, back where I began and finally doing something I love.

Having   written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back   in 2003 to try and write a full length novel. That was the start of Marius’   Mules. Being a lover of Roman history, I decided to combine my love of writing   and my love of classical history. Marius’ Mules was followed two years later   by Interregnum, my attempt to create a new fantasy story still with a heavy   flavour of Rome. Since then, the success and popularity of both have inflated   my head so that I can no longer comfortably fit through doors, and has spawned   sequels to each work, with a third in the fantasy series and the fourth Marius’   Mules now complete.

Link to his web site

The latest book “The Thiefs Tale”

Thiefs tale

Istanbul, 1481. The once great city of Constantine that now forms the heart of the Ottoman empire is a strange mix of Christian, Turk and Jew. Despite the benevolent reign of the sultan Bayezid II the conquest is still a recent memory, and emotions run high among the inhabitants, with danger never far from the surface.
Skiouros and Lykaion, two sons of a Greek country farmer, are conscripted into the ranks of the famous Janissary guards, where they will play a pivotal, if unsung, role in the history of the new regime. As Skiouros escapes into the Greek quarter and vanishes into the streets to survive on his wits alone, Lykaion remains with the slave chain to fulfil his destiny and become an Islamic convert and guard of the Imperial palace. Brothers they remain, though standing to either side of the greatest divide imaginable.

On a fateful day in late autumn 1490, Skiouros will pick the wrong pocket and begin to unravel a plot that reaches to the very highest peaks of Imperial power, and he and his brother will be left with the most difficult decision faced by a conquered Greek: whether the rule of the Ottoman Sultan is worth saving.

Review

This latest title from the fantastic SJA Turney felt like a bit of a double edged sword to begin with. I don’t read very many books set in
that part of history, there is just to much religion for my liking. That part of history and its events mainly controlled by the church or religion. But I’m starting to change that opinion, finally some writers are making it different. Jack Hight, Simon Scarrow
and now SJA Turney.

The Thief’s Tale follows the trials and tribulations of two Greek brothers, brothers caught up in the compulsory conscription of the Ottoman Janissary’s. Their lives take a dramatic divergent difference on entering the great city of Istanbul/ Constantinople. Skiouros the youngest, vanishing into the underbelly of the city to become live by his wits and speed. His brother Lykaion conditioned into one of the deadly Janissary’s that helped make the Ottoman Empire one of the biggest the world had seen.
The 2 brothers find themselves through a singular incident caught up in the power play for the empire and their lives are soon under threat. Can they run fast enough? should they run, where do they go? what do they do?

Simon Turney once again weaves a fantastic fast paced well researched atmospheric tale that sucks the reader back in time into the mix of the dirty streets and dangerous politics. His skill is always in educating whilst entertaining and this book does it in spades.
I’m very much impatient for book 2 and shall be haranguing him to get it written (once he finishes Marius Mules 5. If you have not read that series you have 4 amazing books awaiting you.)

Highly Recommended.

(Parm… Yes as in Capt Parmenio… read the book you will see. and it still makes me smile now writing this review)

1) You are more commonly known as a roman writer… why This period and setting

To be honest I love the Roman era, and it is as broad a period as one could hope to write in, so it’s almost impossible to run dry of ideas but variety, as they say, is the spice of life. A trip several years ago to Istanbul started to interest me in the Byzantine and Ottoman eras and Gordon Doherty’s Byzantine work has brought it to the fore again. I was looking to have a break from the Roman after Marius’ Mules IV and was looking over my old Istanbul photos which led me, as so often happens, into a four hour odyssey of research, which finally brought me to one barely-recorded event which intrigued me. The more I thought about that event, the more a story began to build around it. A week later I had a chapter plan for The Thief’s Tale.

2) How big a series will this be?

Originally the story was intended to be a standalone novel, but by the time I was less than a quarter of the way through the first draft it
became obvious to me that everything that needed to be told about the character could not happen in one book. In fact, I had to stop a third of the way through and tweak the plot to account for the future that I knew was coming and, by the time I was closing on the end of book 1, I had a definitive arc for a trilogy that works so perfectly that I’m already twitching to return to the character. For the record, The Thief’s Tale is book one of the ‘Ottoman Prince’ cycle’, the others being The Priest’s Tale and The Assassin’s Tale.

3) You are a self Publishing author, one of the best around for quality , is this choice? or is it just awaiting a sensible Publisher to take note?

I bow my head humbly to the complement. I suspect you will be hard put to find a self-published author who has not fallen back on this after failing to secure an agent for the traditional path. I decided to go down this route after touting a book for 6 years with no luck. That book was Marius’ Mules, which has ridden high in the charts ever since release. Even then, I never intended to centre my life on self-publishing. I saw it as a springboard to get my work noticed and perhaps secure a contract with an agent or publisher. Several years on a breathtaking snowball effect has brought me to the point of being able to write full time and support my family while still self-publishing, which astounds me every morning. I get fan mail from more than a dozen countries, which makes me blush and panic. I have recently secured a deal to publish my original first book (Marius’ Mules) in a foreign translation edition, which means that I am now a fully contracted author abroad while still a self-published one in my own country. You have to laugh, eh?

4) Given how prolific you are, will it just be this series and Marius Mules? or is anything else bubbling away?

I have so many things in the pipeline, it’s mind-boggling. Marius’ Mules has a definitive plot arc to book 8, with an option to extend it. The Ottoman Prince cycle will be three books. I also have an unreleased later Roman work that is bouncing about with agents at this time and which, when it is finally released, might well spawn a new series. I also have a standalone tale planned about a Roman engineer in Africa, a medieval Murder/Thriller set in Italy roughly pencilled in, a tale about the Auschwitz camp itching to be written, a story about a tank commander in June 1944 that’s fighting it’s way out, and a joint project with Gordon Doherty set in late Rome that will hopefully bear fruit towards the end of this year. In addition to that, I have a fantasy trilogy that has been out for a few years that I keep getting asked about – whether there will be a fourth book, and there just might. There’s too much to write about and not enough time.

5) what do you read?

In my youth I was almost entirely Sci-fi, Fantasy and comedy. I was weaned on things like Tolkien, Douglas Adams, and – in my teen
years – Spike Milligan’s war diaries. I dallied with crime fiction a lot in my late teens, particularly with Agatha Christie and the like, and then settled into my favourite genre which was historical fantasy. Guy Gavriel Kay was then, and remains, my favourite author, and my fantasy works are very heavily influenced by his. In more recent years I have moved very solidly into Historical fiction for my fave reads. I read people like Sutcliffe as a boy, but the genre has exploded to include so much astounding talent these days that I
feel humbled just seeing my name in the same sentence as some of them. I know that some authors try not to read widely in their own field for fear of being influenced, but I do so in order to be careful that I am not – that I don’t tread on too many toes with my own work.

6) any tips for those out there self publishing?

I hear it said that at best one in ten people can make a living at this. I am simply lucky. I have picked up a few useful pointers along the way, but most of it is through luck or the astounding generosity of strangers (some of whom have become good friends since.) Selling as a self-published author works on several levels.

1. Is your book actually any good? Hard to hear, and every bad review feels like a wound. But it’s important. No amount of glamour or energy is going to make a bad book into a bestseller.

2. Find the balance between being taciturn and pushy. Too many authors spam the internet – twitter, facebook, every forum and so on – with BUY MY BOOK, ITS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE-COVERED SEX. In the end, they just annoy everyone. But other authors, and I know one or two like this – do not push themselves enough, and are reaching far smaller audiences than they deserve as they won’t put themselves out there. Try to be present and advertised, but not irritating.

3. Reviews and recommendations are what sell books. Garner positive reviews and promoters, but only do it honestly. Paying for reviews or nepotism are not only sad, but also going to eventually come back and bite you in the ass. If you can’t get a genuine good review – see point 1.

The book will be on sale early Feb (will add a link when it is)

in the mean time…Simons other fantastic books

Marius’ Mules 1. The Conquest of Gaul (2009) aka The Invasion of Gaul 2. The Belgae (2010) 3. Gallia Invicta (2011) 4. Conspiracy of Eagles (2012)
The Conquest of GaulThe BelgaeGallia InvictaConspiracy of Eagles
 Tales of the Empire 1. Interregnum (2009) 2. Ironroot (2010) 3. Dark Empress (2011)
InterregnumIronrootDark Empress
Tales of Ancient Rome (2011)
Tales of Ancient Rome

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James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell Blood Gospel (Review)

The Author’s

James Rollins

rollins

JAMES ROLLINS is the 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. James Rollins decided to become a writer 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. He honed his storytelling skills early, spinning elaborate tales that were often at the heart of pranks played on his brothers and sisters.

Although his talent emerged and grew, writing was not James’ original profession. Before he would set heroes and villains on harrowing adventures, he embarked on a career in veterinary medicine, graduating from the University of Missouri and establishing a successful veterinary. This hands-on knowledge of medicine and science helps shape the research and scientific speculation that set James Rollins books apart.

The exotic locales of James Rollins novels have emerged as a hybrid between imagination, research, and James’ extensive travels throughout the United States and Europe, as well as New Zealand, the South Pacific, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America. Recent travel includes book tours and stops across the country and several European nations to meet readers and give talks, seminars, and media interviews.

In recent years, much of James’ travel has involved meeting readers in small and large groups, at writing and fan conferences, and even aboard seagoing “seminars.” James’ mentoring temperament and coaching skills have made him a sought-out writing instructor and guest speaker for workshops, symposia, conventions, and other forums throughout the country. He is among the core faculty of the annual Maui Writer’s Conference and Retreat.

James Rollins is the author of seven thrillers in the bestselling Sigma Force series (Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain, The Last Oracle, The Doomsday Key, and The Devil Colony); six individual adventure thrillers; the blockbuster movie novelization, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; and the Jake Ransom middle grade series (Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow, Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx, and more coming in 2013). The eighth Sigma Force adventure, Bloodline, is coming in Summer 2012.

In 2005, James joined other luminaries in the genre to create the International Thriller Writers, Inc. ITW recognizes and promotes the thriller genre, provides opportunities for mentoring, education, and collegiality among authors and industry professionals, and grants awards for excellence in thriller writing. James is currently the Co-President of ITW, serving alongside Steve Berry. (From Author’s Bio)

Rebecca Cantrell

Rebecca Cantrell

 Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery/thriller novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry and RT Reviewers Choice awards; her critically-acclaimed cell phone novel, iDrakula, was nominated for the APPY award and listed on Booklist’s Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth. She and her husband and son just left Hawaii’s sunny shores for adventures in Berlin. Find Rebecca Cantrell on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.rebeccacantrell.com.

Story behind the stories…

A few years ago Rebecca Cantrell quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer. She writes the Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s, including A Trace of Smoke, A Night of Long Knives, A Game of Lies, and A City of Broken Glass.

She also writes the Order of the Sanguines series with New York Times bestselling thriller author James Rollins. The first in the series, The Blood Gospel, will appear in January 2013.

A faded pink triangle pasted on the wall of Dachau Concentration Camp and time in Berlin, Germany in the 1980s inspired the Hannah Vogel series. Fluent in German, she received her high school diploma from the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin and studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Georg August Universität in Göttingen before graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.

When she visited Berlin in the summer of 2006, she was astounded to discover that many locations in her novel have been rebuilt and reopened in the last few years, including the gay bar El Dorado and the Mosse House publishing house.

Her short stories have appeared in the Missing and First Thrills anthologies.

Her screenplays The Humanitarian and A Taste for Blood were finalists at Shriekfest: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival.

As of this writing, she and her family just moved to Berlin to spend more time in Hannah’s world. (From Authors Bio)

gospel

Synopsis

When a devastating earthquake in Masada, Israel, reveals a tomb buried in the
heart of the mountain, a trio of investigators – Sergeant Jordan Stone, a
military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr Erin
Granger, a brilliant archaeologist – are sent to explore the macabre discovery,
a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified
girl.

But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run,
thrusting them in to a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb’s
sarcophagus: a book rumoured to have been written by Christ’s own hand, a tome
that is said to hold the secrets to His divinity. But the enemy who hounds them
is like no other, a force of ancient evil directed by a leader of impossible
ambitions and incalculable cunning.

From crumbling tombs to
splendorous churches, Erin and her two companions must confront a past that
traces back thousands of years, to a time when ungodly beasts hunted the dark
spaces of the world, to a moment in history when Christ made a miraculous offer,
a pact of salvation for those who were damned for eternity.

Here is a
novel that is explosive in its revelation of a secret history. Why do Catholic
priests wear pectoral crosses? Why are they sworn to celibacy? And why does
Catholicism insist that the consecration of wine during Mass results in its
transformation to Christ’s own blood? The answers go back to a secret sect
within the Vatican, one whispered as rumour but whose very existence was painted
for all to see by Rembrandt himself, a shadowy order known simply as the
Sanguines
.

Review

I’m not a reader or lover of Vampire novels, but i am a fan of James Rollins fast paced action packed adventures. They are the high-octane fun between my historical fiction reads. So it was a foregone conclusion that i would be buying this book.

Would it live up to his other books? would the collaboration work? Is it a good story?

Yes..Yes… and Oh Yes.

The book has the high-octane of Rollins other work, but tempered by a deeper plot and a more controversial topic (religion…Yikes). I personally think there is a clear female touch to the story, a real female understanding to some of the more controversial points in the plot, and to the characters. If this series keeps going at this high level… well it reminds me of the Fantasy series by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts (Empire series), While both are good authors on their own, they came together and created one of the all time great fantasy series, and IMHO have never managed to write so well again on their own. This collaboration has the same feeling to it, the same depth , quality and … completeness.

Over the last 9 years since the Da Vinci code was released to such resounding hype there have been so many books released with the strap line “The next Dan Brown” or ” The new Da Vinci code”…and its not even a good book. This book deserves though to be followed by new lines… “The new Blood Gospel” …authors “The new Rollins and Cantrell”.

The Sanguines are a great take on the Vampire plot line, and the link to key figures and times in history is done with style and borders all sensitive areas of the church without offending.. well at least i wasnt offended. Some truly dramatic scenery and action sequences that just blow your mind.

Our heroes, The Knight, the learned woman and the warrior, are all real, they are all humanised, and dont have to achieve anything super human to keep this story and plot going. This is a major win for me. (and yes i know i just called the vampire human.. but the writing humanizes him. and despite his extra strength etc, it’s all within the bounds of believable. (or maybe ive seen too much true blood)

The Blood Gospel is triumph of imagination, characterisation and fast paced action adventure, book two cannot come soon enough.

Very Highly recommended

(Parm)

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Roger Hobbs: Ghostman

The Author:

Hobbs

Roger Hobbs graduated in 2011 from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he studied ancient languages, film noir, and literary theory. He wrote GHOSTMAN during his senior year.

ghostman

Synopsis

Stunningly dark, hugely intelligent and thoroughly addictive,

Ghostman announces the arrival of an exciting and highly distinctive novelist.

When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer and cleaner-upper from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport, to be joined shortly by other extremely interested and elusive parties. He has only forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes, taking with it the wider, byzantine ambitions behind the theft. To contend with all this will require every gram of his skill, ingenuity and self-protective instincts, especially when offense and defense soon become meaningless terms. And as he maneuvers these exceedingly slippery slopes, he relives the botched bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur five years earlier that has now landed him this unwanted new assignment.

From its riveting opening pages, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the reader into Jack’s refined and peculiar world – and the sophisticated shadowboxing grows ever more intense as he moves, hour by hour, toward a  constantly improvised solution. With a quicksilver plot, gripping prose and masterly expertise, Roger Hobbs has given us a novel that will immediately place him in the company of our most esteemed crime writers.

Review

Ghostman is a book I approached with some caution, I’m not the biggest lover of crime fiction, it takes a seriously good book / synopsis to catch my attention. That said im always open to a change (if you can make me love a genre… I will keep coming back for more).

So when i heard Transworld waxing lyrical about this great new Crime Thriller, I jumped on the internet and did some searching. The concept more than intrigued me. This wasnt another bourne type thriller (i find spy books a big yawn normally). This was a criminal who hides in plain sight, anti hero good guy lead voice.

So I was hooked on the concept.. did the book live up to the hype? This is a new author an unknown. Which is something I enjoy, there is nothing better than finding a new rising star and the potential for more great books, Roger Hobbs did not disappoint.

There were many comparisons in the style of the book, there is a touch of the Jack Reacher about our Ghostman, there is a touch of the dexter about the voice/ style of the book and I can see why the film rights have been purchased by Warner. This has big budget move written all over it. Not because of any lack of reality in the book, although it does push the boundaries of what can be possible. It will be very interesting to see who they get to play Ghostman and can this person act to the ability of the character in the book?

The story its self has it all, A heist, gun fights, car chases and more twists and turns than you can keep up with. It really kept me guessing as to what side he was on, who would live who would die, and who might end up in Jail. There are multi threads all being played off against different angles in this story. That for me was the winner, I have read so many books now that often the big surprise is just obvious. Not so in Ghostman, its not high octane, but its a book that will grip you from first page to the last.

Very much recommended

(Parm)

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The Grim Company By Luke Scull

The Grim Company By Luke Scull

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Check out this Download over 60% of the book FREE.

Check out this BUY A SIGNED LTD EDITION OF THE BOOK.

About the author

Luke Scull is the lead designer at game design company Ossian Studios. He lives and works in Warminster.

 Scull

Synopsis

250x250_rolling book copy

The grey granite walls of Dorminia rise to three times the height of a man, surrounding the city on all sides save for the south, where the Broken Sea begins. The stone is three-foot thick at its weakest point and can withstand all but the heaviest assault. The Crimson Watch patrol the streets even as Salazar’s Mindhawks patrol the skies.
The Grey City was not always so. But something has changed. Something has broken at its heart. Perhaps the wild magic of the dead Gods has corrupted Dorminia’s Magelord, as it has the earth itself. Or perhaps this iron-fisted tyranny is the consequence of a lifetime of dark deeds…
Still, pockets of resistance remain. When two formidable Highlanders save the life of a young rebel, it proves the foundation for an unlikely fellowship. A fellowship united against tyranny, but composed of self-righteous outlaws, crippled turncoats and amoral mercenaries. A grim company. But with the world entering an Age of Ruin, this is not a time of heroes…

 grimm

Review

I feel privileged to have been asked to read this book ahead of publication (so thank you Head of Zeus). Luke Scull looks to be a writer who will hit the fantasy Genre like an augmented Hammer. His writing is compelling, exciting and engaging,  it drags you off to experience life in the city of Dorminia in very short order.

For me personally, the writing spoke straight to me and the type of book i love, it had a witty, slightly sarcastic edge that gave it a realism so lacking in many books. It very much came across as the fantasy version of Anthony Riches (this is a huge compliment in case you have not read Tony’s books). Luke Scull could very well be the new David Gemmell of fantasy for me, (again a high compliment as Gemmell for me is the pinnacle of fantasy writing, and characters). Its not the world thats the driver, its the amazing characters and the realism they give the book.

Are there any flaws? Yes like any fantasy novel you will draw comparisons with other older work. EG: Kane the Highlander is … Well if Druss the legend is Gemmells Flawed Hero (he is a PG rated hero), where Kane is Luke Sculls Druss but at an 18 certificate.

Do these flaws diminish the book? no not at all. The book is 450ish pages and i read it so fast, i read it again and enjoyed it more the second time. My biggest gripe is the year i will have to wait for book 2.

So what are you getting with The Grim Company?

Flawed Hero’s

A youths rite of passage to maturity… and not in the way he wanted

Some hard bitten, world weary Highlanders… men you should not underestimate or cross.

Mages with god like powers

Demonic twisted creatures

mysterious enemies

Assassins

mercs

and so much more.

Any book with this much packed in must be a winner and for me it was.

Its only Jan but this is my favourite fantasy so far this year… and i think it will be very very hard to beat. Luke Scull and Head of Zeus have a massive winner here.

rating: Amazon 5*

Personal … 9/10

Very Highly

The World of The Grim Company

Trine Map_FINAL

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Books I want to read this year! (and review of course)

Every year i like to get an idea of the books coming out (and some already out).

These are the books i want to read and review this year (somewhat over my 75 book target) , sorry in advance to all the lovely publicist peeps, i expect there will be a few emails coming out.  (you all look like you will be having a great and busy year)

If anyone can think of anything i missed please leave a comment. (and sorry to those authors involved if i missed anything obvious)

These are in date order (although i think some date might change or be wrong)

Title Author Publisher Publication Date
Mr American (Flashman Papers) George MacDonald Fraser Harper 01/09/2008
The Mayan Conspiracy Graham Brown Ebury Press 23/06/2011
Secrets of the Dead Tom Harper Arrow 15/09/2011
The   Hawks of London: The Decipherer’s Chronicles Vol. 2 (Deciphers Chronicles 2) Grant Sutherland Pan 16/02/2012
Cromwell’s Blessing (Tom   Neave Trilogy 2) Peter Ransley Harper Press 29/03/2012
Secondworld Jeremy Robinson Thomas Dunne 22/05/2012
Doomsday Graham Brown Ebury Press 24/05/2012
The   Nowhere Legion Francis Hagan Francis Hagan 15/07/2012
The   Labyrinth of Osiris Paul Sussman Transworld 19/07/2012
Red Alert Colin Dunne Endevour Press 28/08/2012
Redemption (Ryan Drake 1) Will Jordan Arrow 13/09/2012
The Three Prince War Pierre Pevel Gollancz 20/09/2012
The   Place of Dead Kings Geoffrey Wilson Hodder 11/10/2012
Night   Blind Michael W Sherer Thomas and Mercer 23/10/2012
Bronze Summer (Northland) Stephen Baxter ROC 06/11/2012
Death or Glory III: Highroad to   Hell Michael Asher Penguin 08/11/2012
Malice:   The Faithful and the Fallen: Book One (Faithful & the​ Fallen 1) John Gwynne Tor 06/12/2012
Newton’s   Fire Will Adams Harper 06/12/2012
The Skybound Sea Sam Sykes Gollancz 27/12/2012
The Eagle Has Fallen Brian Young First Film 29/12/2012
Lost City of the Templars Paul Christopher Signet 31/12/2012
The Rook (The Checquy Files) Daniel O’Malley Head of Zeus 01/01/2013
The Iron King (The   Accursed Kings, Book 1) Maurice Druon Harper Voyager 03/01/2013
Semper   Fidelis: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Novels of the Roman Empire) Ruth Dowie Bloomsbury 08/01/2013
Untitled Rollins 3 of 4 James Rollins Orion 17/01/2013
Gladiator:   Son of Spartacus Simon Scarrow Puffin 07/02/2013
TimeRiders: The Pirate Kings   (Book 7) Alex Scarrow Puffin 07/02/2013
The   Daylight War (The Demon Cycle, Book 3) (Demon Cycle 3) Peter V Brett Harper Voyager 11/02/2013
The Traitors’ Pit: (Wulfgar 2) V M Whitworth Ebury Press 14/02/2013
Tyrant:   Destroyer of Cities ) Christian Cameron Orion 14/02/2013
The Haunted Martyr Kenneth Cameron Orion 21/02/2013
Arena:   First Sword (Part Three of the Roman Arena Series) Simon Scarrow Headline 28/02/2013
Jimmy   and the Crawler Raymond Feist Harper Voyager 28/02/2013
The Heretics: 5 (John   Shakespeare 5) Rory Clements John Murray 28/02/2013
The   Grim Company Luke Scull Head of Zeus 01/03/2013
The   Striker Clive Cussler Putnam 05/03/2013
The Romanov Cross Robert Masello Bantam 05/03/2013
After   Rome Morgan Llwelyn Forge 13/03/2013
Shakespeare’s Rebel C C Humphreys Orion 14/03/2013
The High Kingdom Pierre Pevel Gollancz 21/03/2013
Gateway   of the Saviours (Chronicles of/Cosmic Warlord 2) A J Dalton Gollancz 21/03/2013
Rome: The Art of War (Rome 4) M C Scott Bantam 28/03/2013
Prophet   of Bones Ted Kosmatka Henry Holt and Co 02/04/2013
Juggernaut Adam Baker Thomas Dunne 02/04/2013
Necessary Evil:   The Milkweed Triptych: Book Three Ian tregillis Hachette 04/04/2013
The Last Conquest Berwick Coates Simon & Schuster 11/04/2013
Dodger James Benmore Heron Books 11/04/2013
The Blood Gospel James Rollins & Rebecca   Cantrell Orion 11/04/2013
Death   on a Pale Horse: Sherlock Holmes on Her Majesty’s Secret Service Donald Thomas Pegasus Books 20/04/2013
Gladiator:   Mark of Spartacus Simon Scarrow Hyperion 23/04/2013
The Lion   Rampant (The Kingdom Series) Robert Low Harper Collins 25/04/2013
Arena: Revenge   (Part Four of the Roman Arena Series) Simon Scarrow Headline 25/04/2013
The City Stella Gemmell Bantam 25/04/2013
Keane’s   Company (Keane 1) Iain Gale Heron Books 25/04/2013
Anno   Dracula – Johnny Alucard Kim Newman Titan 26/04/2013
Fire Across the Veldt   (Simon Fonthill Series) John Wilcox Allison & Busby 29/04/2013
Traitor’s   Field Robert   Wilton Atlantic books 01/05/2013
Hastings Justin Hill Little Brown 02/05/2013
The   Barbed Crown: An Ethan Gage Adventure William Dietrich Harper 07/05/2013
The Scarlet Thief Paul Fraser Collard Headline 09/05/2013
The Serpent’s Tooth   (Empire of the Moghul) Alex Rutherford Headline 09/05/2013
Magician’s End: Book   Three of the Chaoswar Saga Raymond Feist Harper Voyager 14/05/2013
Take, Burn or Destroy S Thomas Russell Putnam 16/05/2013
Elves:   Beyond the Mists of Katura James Barclay Gollancz 16/05/2013
A Chain of   Thunder: A Novel of the Siege of Vicksburg Jeff Shaara Ballantine 21/05/2013
The Twelve Children of Paris Tim Willocks Jonathan Cape 23/05/2013
Sacred Games Gary Corby Soho Press 23/05/2013
Holy War (Saladin Trilogy) Jack Hight John Murray 23/05/2013
Brothers’ Fury Giles Kristian Bantam 23/05/2013
Untitled David Gibbins Headline 23/05/2013
The Ill-Made Knight Christian Cameron Orion 23/05/2013
Anarchy Stewart   Binns Penguin 23/05/2013
The   Orpheus Descent Tom Harper Hodder 23/05/2013
Zero Hour (NUMA Files) Graham Brown Putnam 28/05/2013
The Falconer Elizabeth May Gollancz 30/05/2013
The King’s Deception (Cotton   Malone) Steve Berry Hodder 06/06/2013
The Blooding (Matthew Hawkwood   5) James McGee Harper Collins 06/06/2013
Hannibal: Fields of Blood Ben Kane Preface 06/06/2013
Sons of Zeus Noble Smith Thomas Dunne 11/06/2013
The Tower (Sancti Trilogy 3) Simon Toyne William Morrow & Co 11/06/2013
Arena:   Champion (Part Five of the Roman Arena Series) Simon Scarrow Headline 20/06/2013
Broken Homes Ben Aaronivitch Gollancz 20/06/2013
Untitled 2nd novel Henry Venmore-Rowland Bantam 20/06/2013
The Long War Terry Pratchett , Stephen   Baxter Doubleday 20/06/2013
Terminus Adam Baker Hodder 20/06/2013
Prince of Legend (Crusades) Jack   Ludlow Allison & Busby 24/06/2013
The Eye   of God: A SIGMA Force Novel James Rollins William Morrow & Co 25/06/2013
The Blood of Gods: A   Novel of Rome (Emperor) Conn Iggulden Delacorte 02/07/2013
Assassin’s Reign (Civil War   Chronicles) Michael Arnold John Murray 04/07/2013
The Spoils of Conquest Seth Hunter Headline 04/07/2013
Hereward: End of Days James Wilde Bantam 04/07/2013
The Spoils of Conquest Seth Hunter Headline 04/07/2013
The Lion and the Lamb John Henry Clay Hodder 04/07/2013
The Siege Arturo Perez-Reverte W&N 11/07/2013
The Republic of Thieves Scott Lynch Gollancz 13/07/2013
Cross of Fire: A Pirate Devlin   Novel Mark Keating Hodder 18/07/2013
Agent of   Rome: The Far Shore Nick Brown Hodder 18/07/2013
The   Devil’s Pact (Jack Tanner 5) ) James Holland Bantam 18/07/2013
The Persona Protocol Andy McDermott Headline 18/07/2013
Untitled Lachlan 1 of 3 M D Lachlan Gollancz 18/07/2013
Untitled Napier 3 of 3 William Napier Orion 18/07/2013
Emperor of Thorns (Broken   Empire) Mark Lawrence Harper Voyager 01/08/2013
Grail   Knight (Outlaw Chronicles) Angus Donald Sphere 01/08/2013
The   King’s Spy Andrew Swanston Corgi 01/08/2013
The End of Sparta: A Novel Victor Davis Hanson Bloomsbury 01/08/2013
Blessed Rain Andrew Swanston Bantam 01/08/2013
Knights of the Hawk James Aitcheson Preface 02/08/2013
Robert the Bruce Jack Whyte Forge 06/08/2013
All in Scarlet Uniform Adrian Goldsworthy W&N 08/08/2013
Blood of Tyrants Naomi   Novik Del Ray 13/08/2013
Sword of Rome Douglas Jackson Bantam 15/08/2013
The Dragon Queen Stephen Deas Gollancz 15/08/2013
The Eagle’s Vengeance: Empire   VI Anthony Riches Hodder 29/08/2013
Untitled Marathon Novel 4 Christian Cameron Orion 29/08/2013
The Excaliber Codex James Douglas Corgi 29/08/2013
The Traitor Son Cycle Book 2 Miles Cameron Gollancz 19/09/2013
Making of England 7 Bernard Cornwell Harper Collins 10/10/2013
Total War Rome: Destroy   Carthage David Gibbins Macmillan 24/10/2013
Tyrant: Force of Kings Christian Cameron Orion 01/01/2014
The Emperor’s Curse Andy McDermott Headline 16/01/2014
The   Backward Boy Kenneth Cameron Orion 01/03/2014
The Past Master Kenneth Cameron Orion 01/03/2014
The Oxford Fellow Kenneth Cameron Orion 01/03/2014
Fitz Fool 1 Robin Hobb Harper Collins 10/04/2014
The   Beating of his Wings Paul Hoffman Michael Joseph 24/04/2014
The Long Sword Christian Cameron Orion 01/05/2014
Blood of Honour John Lincoln Amazon
The Great Pagan Army Vaughn Hepner Amazon

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Robert Fabbri : False God of Rome (The third book in the Vespasian series)

The Author

Robert Fabbri was born in Geneva in 1961. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham and London University. He worked for twenty-five years as an assistant director in the film and television industries. Having had his fair share of long, cold nights standing in the rain in muddy fields and unbearably hot days in deserts or stuffy sound stages he decided to start writing. Being a life-long ancient war-gamer with a collection of over 3,500 hand-painted 25mm lead soldiers and a lover of Roman Historical Fiction the subject matter was obvious. His first novel, Vespasian: Tribune of Rome, was published in May 2011 by Corvus, the genre imprint of Atlantic. The second book, Rome’s Executioner, was published in May 2012. With the third book, The False God of Rome 1st Jan 2013, he has just embarked on book four which has a working title of Rome’s Fallen Eagle. There will be seven books in the series as well as spin-off short stories revolving around Vespasian’s friend Magnus and his crossroads brethren; the first of these, The Crossroads Brotherhood, was published on Kindle on 25th December 2011.

False God of Rome

False God of Rome (Vespasian, #3)

Product Description
Vespasian is serving as a military officer on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, suppressing local troubles and defending the Roman way. But political events in Rome – Tiberius’s increasingly insane debauchery, the escalating grain crisis – draw him back to the city. When Caligula becomes Emperor, Vespasian believes that things will improve. Instead, he watches the young emperor deteriorate from Rome’s shining star to a blood-crazed, incestuous, all-powerful madman. Lavish building projects, endless games, public displays of his relationship with his sister, Drusilla, and a terrified senate are as nothing to Caligula’s most ambitious plan: to bridge the bay of Neapolis and ride over it wearing Alexander’s breastplate. And it falls to Vespasian to travel to Alexandria and steal it from Alexander’s mausoleum. Vespasian’s mission will lead to violence, mayhem and theft – and in the end, to a betrayal so great it will echo through the ages

Review
Sometimes going to the TBR (to be read) pile can be a chore, how do you pick a book from so many genre’s and often so much class? But then there are a few authors who just leap to the top of the pile and take that need for choice away. Robert Fabbri is one such author and his Vespasian series to date has been well told and action packed… So how does this latest 3rd part of the tale compare?

As usual we follow Vespasian, possibly (in my opinion) either the luckiest or sharpest General / Emperor Rome ever had. This man outlived one of the most insane periods of Roman history as well as being very successful General, he then went on to be one the greatest Emperors of Rome. This book as well as the first two of the series is set in his early life. He has now made it to Jerusalem, his brother is now a Quaestor and is embroiled in the ever present politics and struggle between the Jews and the Roman invaders. Vespasian himself is off in the desert carrying out his own dangerous mission and back in Rome the arch nutbag Caligula has his own mission for Vespasian, dropping in a nice link to the great Alexander (the subject of the mission). In books one and Two we saw Caligula and Vespasian become friends, in book three we see how being Emperor changes one man and changes a relationship beyond anything you could expect, some friendships…. well, we all have had friends we wish we didn’t!

Fabbri as ever brings the roman world to life, the heat and size of its empire, Jerusalem, and the depth of character of the great names involved in the tale. The pace as usual is electric, its one of those books that you have to force yourself to put down to go to sleep. (i wish i had had a whole day to sit and read it).

This is highly recommended and 3 books into 2013 this one is top of the charts so far.

(Parm)

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