Tag Archives: ben kane

Parmenion Books 2014 : The best books i have read this year.

As i do every year i have struggled and struggled with this list. How do you compile it, who goes in it etc… There are so so many great books in 2014 and many many authors not mentioned who deserve a mention, EG: Paul Collard, Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson, SJA Turney, Robert Fabbri, Michael Arnold, Ben Kane, Nick Brown, Conn Iggulden, Simon Scarrow, Alex Scarrow, Harry Sidebottom, Angus Donald, Andy McDermott, Sam Sykes, SJ Deas/Nathan Hawke, James Wilde … see what i mean!!

There was a new Robin Hobb this year, CC Humphreys produced another splendid book, The very underrated Noble Smith had his second book out, there were some debuts that blew me away, inc I.D Roberts and Kingdom Lock and Toby Clements Kingmaker… If someone could figure out how i could just sit and read and still earn a living please let me know… because keeping up with all these amazing writers is becoming a full time gig, i think at last count i have read 127 books this year (and i still have time to get over the 130 mark).

Best of the year.

Best Short Story

Part Three (2013)

Tom Swan: Christian Cameron Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (20 Nov 2014)

Best Short Story/ Novella Honourable Mention

Murder at KH

Murder at the Kinnen Hotel Brian McClellen Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Best Compilation:

DOF

Day of Fire: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter Blog Review

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Knight Media, LLC (4 Nov 2014)

 Best Fantasy (Joint Winner)

The Incorruptables

The Incorruptibles: John Horner Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Aug 2014)

One of the splendid debuts this year, incredible world building.

Fools

Prince of Fools : Mark Lawrence Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Jun 2014)

First in a wonderful new series, by a man who is a master of the genre (and a bloomin nice chap too)

 Best Historical Fiction

GoV

God of Vengeance : Giles Kristian Blog Review

Trailer Shoot (Behind the Scenes)

Book Trailer

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (24 April 2014)

(many will note that I have not picked a Christian Cameron book for best Historical Fiction, it was a deliberate omission to allow others to shine forth. Both Long War and Great King are books that could have sat along side this title, But i felt that God of Vengeance deserved to shave it on pure merit, it’s a stupendous piece of writing. Giles writing has a poetic almost musical quality even when the blood is flying and the swords are singing, hence my winner)

 Best Crime

abduction

The Abduction: Jonathan Holt Blog Review

A very evocative crime thriller, transports the reader.

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (8 May 2014)

Best SCi Fi

red rising

Red Rising: Pierce Brown Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (28 Jan 2014)

One of the best debuts i have ever read.

 Best Action Adventure

Ptramid+Headline+jacket

Pyramid: David Gibbins Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (6 Nov 2014)

A man who lives his craft, he is Jack Howard, and it shows on every page.

 Best Debut

traitors blade

Traitors Blade: Sebastian De Castell Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (6 Mar 2014)

The Dumas for the fantasy genre, and a stupendous debut.

Best Young Adult

half a king US Half a King UK

Half a King: Joe abercrombie Blog Review

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1st edition (3 July 2014)

People said Joe Abercrombie couldn’t write Young Adult…. oh so wrong.

 Non Book Highlights

53a 2014-06-16 18.02.10

Thorkil Jewellery Blog Review

A master craftsman, bringing the past to life using very old tools and skills.

2014: Book that affected me the most:

goldenred rising

To be Honest it is Golden Son by Pierce Brown, but technically that a 2015 release, so I will instead choose Red Rising. I really do NOT like SCiFi, fantasy, history,crime etc… love it, most genres I really enjoy, I watch SciFi, but I cannot read it. Yet Red Rising  (and Golden Son) had me in their grip from first page to last. I enjoyed them immensley. Pierce Brown is a very very talented man.

Blog Review (Golden Son)

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (8 Jan 2015)

I look forward to sharing 2015 with you all, publishers, readers, reviewers, everyone. this is a hobby that gives and gives, i hope im giving back in some small way.

(Parm)

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Crime, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Supernatural, Thrillers, Uncategorized, Young Adult

A Day of Fire: Review (You must read this)

Ben Kane Kate Quinn Sophie Perinot Stephanie Dray Vicky Alvear Shecter

 

A Day of Fire, ABOUT THE AUTHORS

STEPHANIE DRAY is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical women’s fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical Nile series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Learn more at: Author web site

BEN KANE worked as a veterinarian for sixteen years, but his love of ancient history and historical fiction drew him to write fast-paced novels about Roman soldiers, generals and gladiators. Irish by nationality but UK-based, he is the author of seven books, the last five of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers.Ben’s books have been translated into ten languages. In 2013, Ben walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall with two other authors, for charity; he did so in full Roman military kit, including hobnailed boots. He repeated the madness in 2014, over 130 miles in Italy. Over $50,000 has been raised with these two efforts. Learn more at Author Web site

E. KNIGHT is an award-winning, indie national best-selling author historical fiction. Under the name, Eliza Knight she writes historical romance and time-travel. Her debut historical fiction novel, MY LADY VIPER, has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. She regularly presents on writing panels and was named Romance Writer’s of America’s 2013 PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and a very naughty puppy. For more information, visit Eliza at Author web site

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of the acclaimed debut, The Sister Queens, which weaves the story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who became queens of France and England respectively. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. A long-time member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences, serving as a panelist at the most recent. When she is not visiting corners of the past, Sophie lives in Great Falls, VA.  Learn more at: Author Web Site

KATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome novels, which have been variously translated into thirteen different languages. She first got hooked on Roman history while watching “I, Claudius” at the age of seven, and wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome. She and her husband now live in Maryland with an imperious black dog named Caesar. Learn more at Author Web site

VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of the young adult novel, Cleopatra’s Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter. She is also the author of two biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The LA Times called Cleopatra’s Moon–set in Rome and Egypt–“magical” and “impressive.” Publisher’s Weekly said it was “fascinating” and “highly memorable.” Her young adult novel of Pompeii, Curses and Smoke (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), released in June 2014. She has two other upcoming books for younger readers, Anubis Speaks! and Hades Speaks! Vicky is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. Learn more at Author Web site

 

A Day of Fire

DOF

Buy the e-Book £3.15

Release date: 4th November

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.

An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.

An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.

A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.

A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.

A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

 Review:

When Ben (Kane) asked me to review this new book i was flattered and Intrigued. Ben is one of the most accomplished writers in his genre, so if he says something is worth a read then you sit up and take note. But he clearly has a vested interest. So what else was there to sell this? well there are 6 other very accomplished writers, and a concept that when you stop and think about it… well its pure genius.

Take a group of authors and get them to tell the story of the last day of Pompeii, tell it from the differing perspectives of not only authors and styles but from characters and personalities. Have those characters cross into each others story. Still with me on the genius? it gets better. Each author has a short tale to tell, but those tales form a story arc that takes the reader into the oblivion that is the final conclusion for Pompeii, we follow the differing characters in their decent into that grim dark night. As I read it Dylan Thomas came to mind (I’m not normally one for true literature, but the iconic ones!)

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

– Dylan Thomas

These Characters raged against the darkness descending on them, they fought with dignity. They survived or met their end as Romans. And once the book takes you down further and further into the destruction of Pompeii, you hit the emotional peak, or is that trough (well for me) in The Mother, I actually cried reading this one of the tales, I’m not afraid to admit it, this story was just heart breaking, anyone who reads this without putting themselves in the room must have a heart of stone. But its the from this depth that we climb, we still experience loss and death, but the story arc works towards redemption/ rebirth, redemption for some of the survivors and for their new future and Pompeii, the city that allowed them to survive. The city that will never die, forever frozen and immortalised, a reminder of the horror of nature and for these characters the individual spirit held within, ni matter their station, from Slave to Senator.

This truly is the finest book i have read this year, an emotional roller-coaster that educates while it entertains. Its impact will stay with me for quite some time, and has given me other new authors i must read.

(Parm)

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Historical Fiction

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)

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Filed under Ben Kane, Historical Fiction