Tag Archives: adventure

Chris Kuzneski: The Forbidden Tomb (Review)

Chris Kuzneski

Chris K

USA (1969 – )

Click to go to Author Website
Chris Kuzneski attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he played football, wrote for three newspapers, and passed most of his classes. He earned a master’s degree in teaching, then taught English for five years before pursuing a career in writing. His first novel, THE PLANTATION, introduced the characters of Payne and Jon
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The Forbidden Tomb

Forbidden

THE HUNTERS

If you seek, they will find…

The treasure:

For over two thousand years, the legendary tomb of Alexander the Great – and the riches concealed within – has evaded discovery. Now, after centuries of searching, an ancient map has come to light that could hold the key to finding the fabled vault. Only one team has the skill and the expertise to solve the mystery once and for all.

The mission:

It’s up to The Hunters – an elite group assembled to track down the world’s greatest treasures – to find the tomb. But on arriving in Alexandria, it quickly becomes clear that hostile forces are on their trail. And when one of the team is captured in cisterns deep below the city, what began as a treasure hunt becomes a deadly rescue mission.

For there are some who will use any means possible to destroy The Hunters’ efforts, and now there is more at stake than they ever could have imagined.

High-octane action. Brilliant characters. Classic Kuzneski.

Review

My first taste of Chris Kuzneski’s work was last years The Hunters , I’m always on the lookout for another great thriller writer, James Rollins, Andy McDermott and co can only turn out so many books a year, after that its the cheesy end of the market, the Dan Brows etc. So finding that the Hunters was not just good, but brilliant was as much a relief as it was a revelation.

In book two “The Forbidden Tomb” we see the return of the excellent, multi-layered and utterly human characters created in book one. A complex team, compiled from each needed skill set for the first mission, and just as apt for this new mission. As such we are treated to another search for the impossible, a hunt to find something lost and no real clues to its location, in this case the Tomb of Alexander the Great. But as i have come to expect in any book of this type, all is not what it seems. Why has the tomb never been found? Why are there so few clues? Is someone protecting the history of Alexander and his Tomb? Who? What? Why? I love the stream of unknown. Read the book and find out! (i cannot give any more away)

For me i found the story breathtaking (i’m a huge fan of Alexander the great and stories about him). The plot isn’t just a balls out action thriller, it has more intelligence than that, it has the ability to keep you guessing all the way to the end. This book has so many twists and turns you just don’t want to put the book down. I think this is the first book in years that has made me physically sit bolt upright and exclaim out loud “No F….ing way!” I take my hat off to you sir, that part of the plot took real balls, i was shocked, surprised, amazed, appalled and yet transfixed by the incident with Jasmine.

This book is truly an action packed thinking mans thriller, with a plot that spans the centuries and is packed with more surprises than is good for the heart. Loved it, and already cannot wait for the next one. I really do promise to make time to read the Payne and Jones series, which if its even half as good, is going to be worth making the time to read.

Highly recommended

(Parm)

Payne and Jones

1. The Plantation (2000)
2. Sign of the Cross (2006)
3. Sword of God (2007)
4. The Lost Throne (2008)
5. The Prophecy (2009)
6. The Secret Crown (2010)
7. The Death Relic (2011)
8. The Einstein Pursuit (2013)
Slipcase: Sign of the Cross / Sword of God / Lost Throne(omnibus) (2011)
The PlantationSign of the CrossSword of GodThe Lost Throne
The ProphecyThe Secret CrownThe Death RelicThe Einstein Pursuit
 Hunters 
1. The Hunters (2013)  My blog and review for book 1
2. The Forbidden Tomb (2014)

The HuntersThe Forbidden Tomb

 

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Chris Kuzneski, Historical Fiction, Thrillers

Ben Kane : Clouds of War (Review)

Author: Ben Kane

kane

Author Bio

Click above for author bio info: (and visit his wonderful web site)

Book description

Clouds of War

Buy a Signed copy from Goldsboro Books

As Rome’s war with Carthage continues, two friends – now on opposing sides – confront each other in one of the most brutal sieges of all time. A new Hannibal novel by the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Legion series.

213 BC. Syracuse. Under the merciless Sicilian sun, a city is at war.

Outside the walls, a vast Roman army waits. Yet the city’s incredible defences, designed by Archimedes, mean that Syracuse will not be taken easily.

A veteran of the bitter war since its beginning, Quintus is ready to give his life in the service of the Republic. But dangers face him from within his own ranks as well as from the enemy – who include his former friend, the Carthaginian, Hanno.

Hanno has been sent by his general Hannibal to aid Syracuse in its fight against Rome. Pledged to bring death to all Romans, he is diverted from his mission by the discovery of Quintus’ sister Aurelia, a captive within the city.

Two friends on opposing sides. A woman caught between them. They are about to meet in one of the most brutal sieges of all time.

Who will survive?

Review:

Its very easy for a lot of historical fiction to get classed as swords and sandals. Most peoples who dont read the genre have the impression thats its a bit of a dry, wordy style book with a lot of stabby stabby blood, war death maybe some sex and then the end. Firstly Swords and Sandals is so much more than that, there is humor, comradeship, tactics, fighting skills, characters and more, so never judge a book by its label.

That said Clouds of War is not swords and sandals in my opinion, so if you read the genre or not this book is something different, something much more personal, its a history lesson, its a life lesson, its a story of love, life, grief, both personal and national and romance. Its a book filled on a very personal level, it has an energy, a pace and a deep love of history you don’t find in many books, and not many authors have the skill to carry off.

As usual with my look at a book, i’m not going to risk spoilers, or try and pull apart the plot, too much chance of spoiling the book for others. The book blurb tells you all about this stage of the story of Hanno, Quintus and Aurelia. What i will talk about is once again is Ben’s amazing writing. There are a few authors who can leave me thinking about a book for more than an hour or so after i finish the review, There are even fewer who can elicit a real emotional response. Maybe i’m a sentimental old Granddad these days, but some of the familia led plot was just heartrending. I guarantee that this book will reduce some readers to absolute tears. Where with Anthony Riches you know that at some point someone is going to get a yard of steel through the guts, its almost part of the boys own action of it. With Ben it again is no surprise to see death, but it could be murder, famine, thirst, disease or war and it might not be just a family member it could be a whole village, a legion anyone. The man is so much more brutal when it comes to mortality, but only in terms of relaying the brutality of life and war in the ancient world.

Ben probably more than any writer shows you life in the ancient world, warts and all. And none of that should put a reader off, just the opposite, you MUST buy this book. This is the culmination of years of writing lessons learned, adding all the feedback, adding every nuance and experience to his writing skill.

This truly is a must buy Highly recommended book

(Parm)

Forgotten Legion Chronicles

1. The Forgotten Legion (2008)
2. The Silver Eagle (2009)
3. The Road to Rome (2010)
The Forgotten LegionThe Silver EagleThe Road to Rome
Hannibal
1. Enemy of Rome (2011)
2. Fields of Blood (2013)
3. Clouds of War (2014)
The Patrol (2013)
Enemy of RomeFields of BloodClouds of WarThe Patrol
 Spartacus
1. The Gladiator (2012)
2. Rebellion (2012)
The GladiatorRebellion
For those not aware authors Ben Kane, Anthony Riches & Russ Whitfield will be doing another fantastic charity walk in 2014

They are walking from Capua to the Forum in Rome in late April 2014, raising money for: MSF – Médecins Sans Frontières & Combat Stress. Last Year over £18,000 was raised, lets see if we can help them top that this year. (there is also a film crew this year, so i fully expect some fun, interesting and crazy footage in the near future)

Give Generously

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Filed under Ben Kane, Historical Fiction

Raymond Khoury: Rasputins Shadow (review)

The Author

Raymond Khoury

Raymond Khoury was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1960. The family move to Rye, New York when fighting broke out in Lebanon in 1975. After graduating from Rye Country Day School, he returned to Lebanon to study architecture at the American University in Beirut. A few weeks after he graduated, civil war erupted and he was evacuated from Beirut. He ended up in London where he joined a small architecture practice. In an attempt to explore other career options, he earned his MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and joined an investment bank, which he stayed at for three years. Not satisfied with world of investment banking, he sought a more creative career, and hooked up with an banker who dabbled in the film business. Though unintended, he ended up with a career as an acclaimed screenwriter both in London and in Los Angeles.

Khoury lives in London, with his wife and two young daughters.

Product Description

rasputin

For me Raymonds books are a different sort of thriller, the journey is just that a journey, its never for me a thrill ride. Instead its a tale on an epic scale everytime with a problem that has global ramifications. In this latest take we are back with our old friends Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin (the 4th book in this series).  There is a splendid time-slip element, taking us back to walk in the time of Rasputin, there is a fantastic continuation of the over all story arc for Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin (this is also going to be frustrating as hell for anyone who has not read the last book).

The plot of this book is scary as hell, the concept of the technology (that i mention due to spoilers) is a terrorist nightmare, a horror that is so easy to envisage, the software and hardware exists, the science is sound, its just not been put together……or has it?

When you read how this technology could be used by a man or a government without a conscience, that’s just scary, and its that which is the true skill and power of a Raymond Khoury book, the power to provide horrifyingly realistic visions of what could be.

well worth reading

(Parm)

Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin
1. The Last Templar (2005)
2. The Templar Salvation (2010)
3. The Devil’s Elixir (2011)
aka Second Time Around
4. Rasputin’s Shadow (2013)
The Last TemplarThe Templar SalvationThe Devil's ElixirRasputin's Shadow
Novels
The Sanctuary (2007)
The Sign (2009)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Raymond Khoury, Supernatural, Thrillers

Paul Collard: Maharajah’s General (Review)

Author

collard

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.

Book Description

BUY A SIGNED COPY

BUY UNSIGNED

BUY FOR KINDLE

MG

A riveting tale of battle and adventure in a brutal land, where loyalty and courage are constantly challenged and the enemy is never far away. Jack Lark barely survived the Battle of the Alma. As the brutal fight raged, he discovered the true duty that came with the officer’s commission he’d taken. In hospital, wounded, and with his stolen life left lying on the battlefield, he grasps a chance to prove himself a leader once more. Poor Captain Danbury is dead, but Jack will travel to his new regiment in India, under his name. Jack soon finds more enemies, but this time they’re on his own side. Exposed as a fraud, he’s rescued by the chaplain’s beautiful daughter, who has her own reasons to escape. They seek desperate refuge with the Maharajah of Sawadh, the charismatic leader whom the British Army must subdue. He sees Jack as a curiosity, but recognises a fellow military mind. In return for his safety, Jack must train the very army the British may soon have to fight…

Review

Maharajah’s General: Reading this book has been a pleasure, Since book one The Scarlet Thief i have been a fan of Paul Collards writing, he has an engaging style, he writes like able characters. One thing that hamstrung him slightly in book one was book brevity, as a debutante he had been limited to a low page count, and as such the book was edited down, removing, i feel some of the extra depth and flavour of the Crimea and the the books characters.

This doesn’t happen in book 2, I devoured book 2 in a single day, and then broke my normal never return to a book rule and read it again the next day. This is the first book in years i have enjoyed that much that i had to go back and read it again immediately ,(i just have too many books to do this).  What we the reader have here is a new Sharpe, its not since i first picked up Sharpe’s Eagle that a single character captured my imagination so totally, this supported by a fast fluid pace of writing, and a vivid portrayal of the Indian country, people, time period, the east India company and as usual the brutal, uncompromising and occasionally morally bankrupt officer corp coupled with the efficiency of the ordinary men of the British army, all this condensed into 336 pages of explosive action, violent emotions, uncompromising unbending discipline and a man with the courage to do what is right.

The impressive thing about this book is that it hooks you in from the first page with realism, i have read in reviews that there is no way a man from the ranks could impersonate an officer, This isn’t as far as i can see a valid point, there are examples of officer impersonation in history, Jack Lark as an orderly was around officers enough to be able to copy their mannerisms etc, so that point for me is covered. His skills as a soldier..well we see him learn most of them on the battle field, and as most officers learned the same hard way, again this is not going to make him stand out. So to any naysayers, “sit back and enjoy the book, stop looking for fault where there is none, just enjoy a bloody good book.” Oh and a very nice fitting nod to the authors love of Zulu with the use of regiment and last ditch battle (loved it, as its one of my favorite films).

The spirit of Sharpe lives again in another time, in another war, in the guise of Jack Lark, buy the books and enjoy the adventures. I hope the publisher have the sense to get book 3 underway quick smart.

Very Highly recommended

(Parm)

Series
Jack Lark
1. The Scarlet Thief (2013)
2. The Maharajah’s General (2013)
The Scarlet ThiefThe Maharajah's General

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Paul Fraser Collard

Simon Scarrow: Blood Crows (Review)

The author (in his own words)

Simon

I was born in Nigeria and was raised in a number of countries before settling in Britain. Like my brothers I have always been interested in writing and started on my first novel once I had finished my degree and started working in the civil service. After two years of working in London I decided that I was better suited to a more academic career and returned to university to do a research degree. Once that was over I became a teacher. It was a great job. I have worked alongside some fine colleagues and great students. I would truly recommend teaching as a profession since the rewards are so diverse and real.

After I secured my first book deal I continued teaching full-time for as long as possible, before I was forced to scale back on my hours to focus on the writing.  Finally, at the start of 2005, I realised that I could not teach well while devoting so much time to writing and reluctantly decided to give up on teaching until I had more time to devote to it.

At the moment I am committed to writing one book a year in the EAGLE series as well as one book for other projects.

For now, I live in Norfolk with my wife, Carolyn, who runs her own copywriting business,  and two sons.

Blood Crows (Book Description)

blood crows

Macro and Cato are back in town, and bring with them their usual amount of mayhem, intrigue and collateral damage.

They just don’t seem able to sit idle and enjoy some down time, or lady fortuna has a sick sense of humour. Once again they are back in the legions, and once again its not a nice comfortable billet. But I don’t think either of these boys would want or expect one, honours are earned at end end of a sword, and these boys still have medals and higher rank in mind.
In this book we are back where we began, in Britain, there is an unfinished conquest, a guerilla war being waged by the locals, and it needs to end. Tactics on both sides have got bloody and nasty. Cato has command of an auxiliary Unit called the blood crows led by a somewhat sadistic and nasty centurion, and someone that Cato and Macro need to work with, or work around.
Its a book that see’s the need fr Cato to really grow into his new rank as prefect, and get over any fears he may have, to get past his concerns regarding his friend and having to command him, its time to grow up.
Will they survive… probably… it wouldn’t be the time to end the series would it… but how they get there is a hell of a ride and really is a trip back to the early days of Macro and Cato.. (Julia hardly gets a mention… thank you simon).
A word of caution though, i do echo another reviewer, Simon has shown huge writing skill with his other series and stand alone books, and some times i do wonder if its not time to push Macro and Cato to their conclusion, before they become a stagnant parody of themselves. This book was a great trip back to where we began… can that be sustained forever? or should Simon drive towards the year of the 4 emperors with greater speed?
(everyone will have their own opinion).
But for now… bloody and excellent book.

(Parm)

Other Books

Series
Cato
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)
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. The Zealot (2014)
Under the EagleThe Eagle's ConquestWhen the Eagle HuntsThe Eagle and the Wolves
The Eagle's PreyThe Eagle's ProphecyThe Eagle in the SandCenturion
The GladiatorThe LegionPraetorianThe Blood Crows
The Zealot
Revolution
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
Young BloodsThe GeneralsFire and SwordThe Fields of Death
Gladiator 
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
Fight for FreedomStreet FighterSon of SpartacusVengeance
Roman Arena
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
BarbarianChallengerFirst Sword Revenge
Champion Arena
Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
The Sword and the Scimitar

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Simon Scarrow

David Gibbins : Rome Total War: Destroy Carthage (Review)

David gibbins

David Gibbins has worked in underwater archaeology all his professional life. After taking a PhD from Cambridge University he taught archaeology in Britain and abroad, and is a world authority on ancient shipwrecks and sunken cities. He has led numerous expeditions to investigate underwater sites in the Mediterranean and around the world. He currently divides his time between fieldwork, England and Canada.

Buy a signed copy

Book Description:

rome TW

How far would you go for Rome? Carthage, 146 BC. This is the story of Fabius Petronius Secundus – Roman legionary and centurion – and his rise to power: from his first battle against the Macedonians, that seals the fate of Alexander the Great’s Empire, to total war in North Africa and the Seige of Carthage. Fabius’ success brings him admiration and respect, but also attracts greed and jealousy – the closest allies can become the bitterest of enemies. And then there is Julia, of the Caesar family – a dark horse in love with both Fabius and his rival Paullus – who causes a vicious feud. Ultimately for Fabius, it will come down to one question: how much is he prepared to sacrifice for his vision of Rome? Based on Total War: Rome II, the bestselling game, Destroy Carthage is the first in an epic series of novels. It is not only the tale of one man’s fate, but is also a journey to the core of Roman times, through the world of extraordinary military tactics and political intrigue that Rome’s warriors and citizens used to cheat death.

Review:

I have found this a tough book to review, i have been searching for what i hope is the best comparison to describe it. (not sure I cracked it but here goes)

The book right from page one suffers from and gains from its link to the video game (are they still called that… damn I’m showing my age) I loved the first Rome Total War, but it sucked time like a black hole. It and the Intro to the book gave the book a bit of a Manual feel. Then there is the style of the book, it instructs the reader, it gives a depth of background to Rome at the time that you dont find in many Roman fiction titles, the army, the politics and how they all fit together, all like a lesson plan, or a game world build.

All that may have you screaming…NOOOO don’t buy it… But that’s because i haven’t tempered it with..

David Gibbins is an excellent writer, i think he may have to blend his normal thriller style with the historical fiction writing to really lift the series to the next level. But what he does provide in this book is an insight into a period of Rome that few have covered, and a look at the political machinations of the Roman senate and upper echelons or power, and how the powers that be, may have finally ended up in front of the walls of Carthage. David does start to bring out his ability with characters creation, but i think some of that growth was hindered by the semi instructional style of the book.

I really want to see how this series progresses and grows. Here is a book I enjoyed and that taught me something, its not often I feel as if I have been educated throughout a book and entertained at the same time.

I really think you should try this book and stick with it to the end, If you’re a gamer you will love the information it gives on the different empires and the different army units and how to use them in battle. If you are a reader of fiction, then you will enjoy coming at a story from a different angle. I’m very interested to see how book two pans out. I’d love to see some comments on others views of this book.

But basically go buy the book.

(Parm)

Other books

Review of last book by David Gibbins

Jack Howard
1. Atlantis (2005)
2. Crusader Gold (2006)
3. The Last Gospel (2008)
aka The Lost Tomb
4. The Tiger Warrior (2009)
5. The Mask of Troy (2010)
6. The Gods of Atlantis (2011)
aka Atlantis God
7. Pharaoh (2013)
AtlantisCrusader GoldThe Last GospelThe Tiger WarriorThe Mask of TroyThe Gods of AtlantisPharaoh

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Filed under Historical Fiction

Anthony Riches: Eagles Vengeance (Review + Q&A)

About the Author

tony

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.

Visit the authors web site

Buy a signed copy of Eagles Vengeance

Anthony Riches Q&A

 Tony congratulations on the release of Eagles Vengeance (book 6 of the Empire series)

The series with some of the most real soldiers in it I have read in Historical Fiction.

 Thanks Robin!

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions:

                                                                                                                   

1) Where did the inspiration for the main characters come from? Marcus, Dubnus etc (are they all imagination or do they contain some real people?)

 Marcus is based on the son of a family that was liquidated by Commodus, the Quintili. These two famous brothers of the senatorial class were rich and cultured men who had done their bit for the empire, both serving with distinction as consuls in the 150s, and who ended being murdered for their considerable wealth and property (in particular the Villa Quintilii which was coveted by the new emperor.  They provided the perfect exemplar for my protagonist’s back story, although an attempt to name him Quintili foundered on the need for something a little sexier – hence the switch to Aquila.

As to the rest, they are indeed sometimes people I’ve met. Dubnus is in reality the brother of a friend of mine, a senior NCO in the TA who once started a sentence towards an abusive supervisor ‘If you speak to me again in that tone I’ll put you on your arse…’ and ended it ‘…and that’s why you’re on your arse.’ A sentence I think I may have used in my turn, albeit on the page. I usually ask permission – unless the individual is unpleasant enough to merit an appearance without their knowledge!

 

2) This is book six in the series, do you have an end in sight? (or are there too many tales to tell?)

 I have my sights set on about 25 books. Any more might be excessive. We’re heading for York, in AD211 and the death of the emperor Septimius Severus. Perhaps Marcus will take the Long Walk (if you know your Dredd) after that…and perhaps he won’t!

 3) Who is your favourite character? and why?

 I’m not telling you, because you’ll make the mistake of thinking that person is safe from being killed off. Which they are most certainly not. No-one is safe…

 4) Do you have a writing process? plot it out? story board?

 Yes, my process is finely honed, albeit very simple – I sit down and write whatever comes into my head, once I know where the boys are going next. It means I have to do a good number of re-writes and edits to make it all seamless, but on the upside I don’t get much editing post version one. I wish I could plot it all out before hand, but either I can’t or (ask my work colleagues) I’m too lazy and prefer just to wing it (reader: even I it’s the latter!).

 5) Of the six books which is your favourite  (mine is still book one, Wounds of Honour)?

 Good question. And the answer is…book seven, The Emperor’s Knives! Once you’ve read book six (The Eagle’s Vengeance) you’ll know that the next one’s going to be very different. And terrific fun…well it terrific fun was to write, at any rate.

 6) What are your top 5 favourite reads?

 Bugger me Robin, that’s a tough one. I’ll tell you my five favourite writers – in no order at all:

Richard Morgan, for his fantastic Takashi Kovacs series. Altered Carbon is an absolute cracker of a sci-fi debut. I’m not quite so hot for his fantasy output, but it’s still good.

Lee Child – who apparently writes with a spliff on the go, I read the other day, and genuinely does seem to have a drug dealer on speed dial which I for one never saw coming – for the indestructible Jack Reacher. I suspect the old guy’s probably running towards the end of his fictional lifespan, but what great escapist fiction!

Iain M Banks – please note the M! The moment I discovered his Culture novels was a moment of revelation, and I mourn his passing every time I look at my bookshelves. Sci-fi of the very highest order.

Christian Cameron – if I wrote that well I’d be insufferably smug. The Long War series has to be the best sustained historical fiction series I’ve ever read.

And…turns to scan shelves…Patrick O’Brian, for his fabulous characterisation in the Aubrey/Maturin series.

I’ve missed out the man who wrote possibly the best military historical fiction story ever. Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire pips Cameron’s Killer of Men to that honour (in my opinion) by a short head, quite the most riveting tale of ancient warfare I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading (time after time) – but I’ve never had quite the same buzz from his stuff again, which is a shame.

And one more – this one a guilty pleasure – I love the Black Library’s Warhammer 40k inspired novels, especially Dan Abnett’s work. In space, no-one can hear the screaming roar of your assault cannon…

 7) What next for (the remaining) Roman warriors? (and yes that is a dig… character killer)

 Pain, blood, misery, death, blood, more blood and the occasional death of characters when I decide their time has come. Although now you’re moaning about it – again – I might speed up the process. Are there any characters with whom you feel especially connected? Dubnus, perhaps…?

 8) Have you thought about writing in another time period? if so when?

 Are you and Kate collaborating on these questions? The short answer is ‘not yet’ – I think. I think the secret of series writing is to keep the episodes flowing, and I don’t want to  risk falling between two stools at a time when Empire is gathering readers rather than losing them (fingers crossed for book six!). There is another series in me, but now, while I never say ‘never’ unless the proposal is the consumption of rice pudding, is probably not the time.

9) If you could have written any book in history which one and why?

 Now that’s a good one. Ignoring contemporaries whose work makes me envious, I’d like to have written the complete history of the Roman legions in the early 5th century, before the sources we know existed but do not have today were lost. What a story that would have made…

thank you for taking the time with these questions….now crack on with book seven and eight.

cheers

(Parm)

Book Description 

eagles 6

The Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian’s Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance.

The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.

Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy’s strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion’s venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels.

 Eagles Vengeance Review

Our heroically dangerous Tungrians are back in Britain. Returning from their exploits in Dacia, triumphant, but with the knowledge of loss. (Tony does love to bump off a character or two).

Eagles vengeance is no different, In this latest book, Book six in the Empire series, Tony Riches send the reader on a thrill ride of dangerous exploits, daring action, Violent barbarian encounters and political manoeuvring, that will see the deaths of so many men and women we meet for the first time and some we have known for a while.

Tony’s writing is for me subtly different from many others in the genre. Take for example  Douglas Jackson (insert review ink) who writes with such passion and detail, while retaining a narrow cast. Tony Riches gives us the broad canvas of the Tungrian Cohorts, delving into the lives of so many of his men, and exploring who the Centurions and Chosen men of this group are. He brings the camaraderie of the squaddie to life in the ancient world. Many authors bring life to their characters, but miss this feeling of the group, the passion of the legion or men. Tony always hits this square on, and it’s not just his unique colourful turn of phrase, it’s something of the man himself, someone who comes alive in a group, a man built to entertain and be larger than life. That’s the passion he brings to people like Marcus and Dubnus and the men of the Tungrian Cohorts.

I enjoyed this book, but I don’t think I can say too much about itnot without giving away what happens to whom and why and where, and those are spoilers I would not want. I can say that while it’s not my favourite book in the series, (that’s still reserved for Wounds of Honour), it’s an excellent read that can stand alone and provide hours of entertainment. But my personal advice would be go buy all the books if you have never read the series, follow the life and exploits, the ups and downs of the hardest b@stards in the Roman Legion.

Highly recommended

(Parm)

 Other books

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)
Wounds of HonourArrows of FuryFortress of SpearsThe Leopard SwordThe Wolf's GoldThe Eagle's Vengeance

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