Britain, 605 AD. The Roman Empire in the West has faded into memory, replaced by a colourful mosaic of competing kingdoms. A new world is being built out of the fragments of the past, shaped by the forces of warfare, marriage, alliance, diplomacy, blood-feud and revenge. Among the ever-shifting tides, it is oaths and personal loyalties that hold the world together. But the changing times bring great opportunities, and great dangers, that test the ties of loyalty to the limit.
Eadwine is the youngest son of the king of Deira, guardian of a neglected frontier and the faithful ally of his eldest brother and hero Eadric. His ambition is to be a worthy lord to the frontier district, a good husband to his betrothed, and a reliable second-in-command to his brother. All these hopes are swept away when Deira is invaded by its powerful and predatory neighbour Bernicia. Eadwine reaches the capital just ahead of the invaders, having fought a fierce rearguard action, only to find that Eadric is already dead, shamefully murdered by a unknown assassin.
Eadwine survives the subsequent disastrous defeat, and now finds himself on the run for his life. The fearsome King of Bernicia, Aethelferth, has sworn an oath to the gods to kill Eadwine as thanks for the victory, and no king will dare to defy Aethelferth by offering Eadwine refuge. Eadwine must evade Aethelferth's relentless pursuit, identify and take vengeance on his brother's murderer, and rescue his betrothed. Along the way, he will lose his heart to another woman and discover a shattering secret that challenges all the ideals he holds dear.
This is the first self-published book I've ever purchased. I did so because the author is a member of Historical Fiction Online and because she'd written about a time period bridging the gap between what I've read by Manda Scott and Jules Watson and more modern history.
The story itself is well written, though I had a difficult time warming up to the main character Eadwine. He was portrayed as truly an ungrateful ass, but I got beyond that thinking when I considered his age - 19 at most. After that, I really enjoyed the book.
The author's website can be found here: Carla Nayland
Labels: historical fiction
This yet another book that left me wondering why I hadn't read it sooner.
Gives the bumph, same as on the back of my copy.
I love the way the murderer was not obvious, and even when I knew who it was, it took some raking back to remember the clues, that Sansom had put throughout the book.
I loved the fact the central character is a "flawed" person who is very aware of his own weaknesses, and not the perfect detective, although he is not technically a detective in Dissolution. The other characters in the book are well defined, and I felt myself feeling sorry for Brother Guy having to find a new home at the end of the book.
Angela Carter's novel is about twins Nora and Dora Chance, the illegitimate daughters of renowned Shakespearean actor Melchior Hazzard. The whole of the book is set on the day of the twins 75th birthday, which also happens to be Melchior's 100th, and incidentally the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
Disowned by their father the twins are brought up by Grandma Chance, and start a career in the musical halls as dancers from an early age. Throughout their whole lives their father has never acknowledged them as his daughters, preferring to kid himself that they are the daughters of his rake hell twin, Peregrine. The relationships in this book are quite complicated and it would have made more sense to print the "cast" list at the front of the novel rather than on the last page. The book is written very well, with cynical humour. After finishing it, I wondered why I hadn't read this book earlier, as it is not a recent publication. As with other works of Carter's; I can quite honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For further information on Angela Carter http://www.themodernword.com/scriptorium/carter.html
It is AD 60 and the flame of rebellion that has been smouldering for 20 years of Roman occupation has flared into a conflagration that will consume the land and all who live in it. There is no going back. Boudica has been flogged and her daughters raped, and her son has burned a Roman watchtower in an act of blatant insurgency.
This is the time to act: the Roman governor has marched his legions west to destroy the druidic stronghold of Mona, leaving his capital and a vital seaport hopelessly undefended in the face of twenty-thousand warriors aching for vengeance. But to crush the legions for all time, Boudica must do more than lead her army in the greatest rebellion Britain has ever known. She must find healing for herself, for the land, and for Graine, her 8-year-old daughter, who has taken refuge on Mona.
Is revenge worth it under any circumstances, or is the cost more than anyone can bear?
Colchester is burning and London is lost without hope. Amidst fire and bloody revolution – a battle that will change the face and spirituality of a nation for centuries to come – Boudica and those around her must find what matters most, now and for ever.
And so we come to the final book in the series about Britain's greatest Warrior Queen, the Boudica, Bringer of Victory. What an amazing journey it's been through the life of this woman. I say that, and yet, the series wasn't just about her. Manda Scott masterfully wove together the lives of everyone important to Breaca so that it's not so much a tale of one woman's fight against Rome, but a tale about a family's struggle to remain together despite Rome's presence and their combined struggle to join the tribes of Britain together to face the might of Rome.
When I reached the end of the story, tears welled up in my eyes. Not because of the unexpected nature of the ending; I knew that was the only way it could honestly end, but because of the beauty and tenderness portrayed regarding Breaca's daughter and lover and brother. It was moving beyond words. It's a series I highly recommend for anyone interested in Ancient Britain.
Labels: historical fiction
Before you think I have been curled up doing nothing but read lately, I'll put you right. My pc wasn't very well, and I have read these books, [all posted today,] over the past couple of weeks.
Bad Moon Rising is a detective novel, dead bodies begin to litter the pages and DI Lorraine Hunt is searching for a serial killer on her patch while the local "feast week" is in full swing, meaning people are more relaxed and less on their guard. I did manage to figure out who the killer was in this one, but it wasn't easy. The book is an easy read, but not too easy. What I mean is, it's one of those books that leaves you feeling dissatisfied with the next book you pick up.
the website also gives detail about The Seahills Estate where Quigley's books are set
As with Alice Sebold's previous books, Lovely Bones and Lucky, Sebold has again chosen a subject that needs delicate handling, and she does it beautifully. I was hooked from start to finish. Another brilliant book from Alice Sebold.
Go here to read some of the book online
The latest Kay Scarpetta book. Kay no longer works for the police/government, but has a forensic pathology practise.
This doesn't mean she's not uncovering what has happened to the victims of crime, but is now doing it privately.
A spate of murders don't seem to be linked, until they are looked at more closely. Kay finds a thread of a vague link and follows it through, it leads to the murderer.
In this book Marino is at his most obnoxious, and disappears, and still hasn't shown up at the end of the book. The reason for his bad behaviour being some pills he has been taking. So I presume that there will be at least one more book, as Cornwell can't leave her readers wondering what has happened to Marino.
This book is really amazing. Towards the end I did guess what was happening, but didn't predict the end at all. An updated "ghost" story of a sort, I suppose.
Charlie is a lovely "hero"who has adapted his life to keep a promise to his younger brother. Tess is also a true gutsy character who has the reader caring what happens to her.
The link is to Ben Sherwood's webpage, the overview of the story explains the story.
On November 4, 2008, Michael Crichton, author of books such as "Jurrasic Park", "Timeline" and producer of the television series "E.R." succumbed to a private battle with cancer. He was 66 years old.