Category Archives: Book Reviews

Blog Tour – Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m taking part in the blog tour for Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes!

Victoria to Vikings Full Tour Banner

Here’s the blurb

At the heart of our present are the stories of our past. In ages gone by, many monarchs died while they were still young. There were battles and diseases and many were simply overthrown. But the days of regal engagement in hand-to-hand combat are over and the line of succession has a good ageing prospect these days.

One of the most famous monarchs in history is Queen Victoria and her passing brought an end to an amazing era. She could be demanding, rude and she frequently fled public duties for the solitude of Scotland. But she loved fiercely and her people loved her fiercely in return. Under her reign, England achieved a greatness it had never known before.

Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood spans from this great queen to another one: Queen Elizabeth II. Ours is the era of the longest living monarch in history and her ancestry is incredible. But walking two steps behind her, stalwart and loyal, stands Prince Philip, the strawberry to her champagne, and with him comes his own amazing Viking heritage.

Review

Ever wondered what is was like to be King? Ever wonder what it took to become a Queen in a largely male dominated world? Well look no further. Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood is the 3rd and final book delving into the history of our monarchy.

I’d like to think I know a little about history.. I enjoy the subject that’s for sure but what you get taught at school barely scratches the surface!

Trisha Hughes has a very fun approach to sharing history with the reader, with added little commentary along the way. It’s like being back at school.. the fun teacher who makes you enjoy learning but you try not to admit it since you want to look “cool”.

Without going into massive detail..since I want you to buy the book..simply wow.. there’s so much more to our monarchy than I ever imagined. The stress of trying to keep the crown in your family requiring an heir..high mortality rates..birth defects.. madness.. illness not to mention good old religious and cultural divides.

 

We all know bits and pieces about our monarchy..but there’s just so much that you’ve never learned. Bertie has to be the one who shocked me the most..his early life, how power changed him without really being trained for the role.. it’s no wonder time caught up to him in the end.

The author didn’t disappoint with this one.. if anything I’ve caught the bug again…I need more.

It’s one of those books that just gets the synapses firing..one little mention of Rasputin and I’m already looking for my next history book to read.

The most fascinating point of the book for me was the Jack the Ripper links.. not sure what I’m on about? Ah well, buy the book and find out…fascinating!!

The word to describe this series is simply.. Enlightening.

Not to steal words but they say with great power comes great responsibility.. and they are right.. some don’t choose this power..some have it trust on them..while some thrive..some crash and burn..this is their legacy.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review the book.. I’ve bought a copy myself too! it’s worth it!

This is soooo much more than a history book.. it’s more than simply rehashing facts..the author brings everything together and tells the tale in such way to grip you..it’s told the right way.. the fun and riveting way.. get rid of the text books and get these in stock I say!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Author Bio –  

I am an Australian author born in Brisbane, Queensland now living in Hong Kong.  My writing career began 18 years ago with my best-selling autobiography ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ published by Pan MacMillan Australia.  Over the past 8 years, I have been researching and writing a historical fiction trilogy based on British Monarchy throughout the ages beginning with the Vikings. Originally meant to be a single book, as facts accumulated the material gradually filled three books. I call this series my V2V trilogy.

Social Media Links –

Facebook:  Trisha Hughes Author

Twitter:      @TrishaHughes_

Pinterest:   Trisha Hughes

Linkedin:    Trisha Hughes

ARC Review – Odin’s Game (The Whale Road Chronicles Book 1) by Tim Hodkinson

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing an ARC of Odin’s Game by Tim Hodkinson

Here’s the blurb

AD 915.

In the Orkney Isles, a young woman flees her home to save the life of her unborn child. Eighteen years later, a witch foretells that evil from her past is reaching out again to threaten her son.

Outlawed from his home in Iceland, Einar Unnsson is thrown on the mercy of his Uncle, the infamous Jarl Thorfinn ‘Skull Cleaver’ of Orkney. He joins forces with a Norse-Irish princess and a company of wolfskin-clad warriors to become a player in a deadly game for control of the Irish sea, where warriors are the pawns of kings and Jarls and the powerful are themselves mere game pieces on the tafl board of the Gods.

Together they embark on a quest where Einar must fight unimaginable foes, forge new friendships, and discover what it truly means to be a warrior.

As the clouds of war gather, betrayal follows betrayal and Einar realises the only person he can really trust is himself.

Not everyone will survive, but who will conquer all in Odin’s game?

Review

This tale follows Einar whose mother fled her past many years ago. Life seems settled but after a disagreement Einar must leave his home behind or risk death! Unn, his mother, feels there is little choice but send him to the home of his uncle, known as Skull Cleaver.

Einar sets out to prove his worth but ends up in over his head, captured and held hostage..what price will his uncle pay to see him free?

The relationship between Jarl Thorfinn ‘Skull Cleaver’ and Einar is wonderful to see unfold with quite a few twists along the way..the past won’t stay buried for long.

Along the way we meet the Wolf Coats..Fierce warriors who utterly engrossed me..the dark humour they have made it such fun to read.

The plot was well planned out and paced perfectly to keep on the edge of my seat..there’s no time to be bored.. you just get sucked into this one so easily.

A word to describe this tale is deception.. nothing is what it seems…backstabbing and plotting are high on everyone’s agenda..who can you trust.

What I really enjoyed was that on the whole this is a dark and gritty tale of deceit with war brewing but you can see some moments where the author really had some fun.

Odin’s Game ticks the boxes for me, plot is fantastic and when you add in the very likeable characters you’ve got a hit!

Tim Hodkinson has written an epic tale and I can’t wait to see where this goes..that ending has me itching for more! The scene has been set.. an earth shattering saga in the making!

My thanks go to NetGalley for the ARC! Certainly a book I’ll happily buy myself on release tomorrow!

5/5 Stars for me

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

Pity The Dead (Detective Solomon Gray #5) By Keith Nixon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Pity The Dead by Keith Nixon!

Here’s the blurb..

Genre – Thriller/Police Procedural

“Don’t waste your time, he’s just another dead junkie.”

That’s what Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is told when the body of a young man is found. But Gray recognises him – an old school friend of his daughter’s. His death is suspicious, but junkies are the underclass – who cares about them? Investigations are brief, the deaths ruled accidental, the people soon forgotten, and life moves on.

There’s a brutal a new drug gang in town. Run by the vicious Leka Krisniqi, an Albanian who rules by fear and intimidation. Gray just can’t break it. And anyone suspected of working with the police ends up dead – their drugs spiked with a powerful toxin.

An old foe calls. Sylvia – former PA to Gray’s old boss and an expert in side-eye and snide remark – swallows her pride to ask for Gray’s help. Her husband is missing. One morning he upped and left with just the clothes on his back and hasn’t been seen since. To Gray it hardly seems important compared to a spate of murders, but there’s more to it than he thinks.

Gray gets a break that just might bust Krisniqi’s gang – a street dealer called E who could help. But she’s afraid for her own life and that of her family. Before she can risk it, Gray must first do something for her…

Can Gray bring down the dealers before more people die?

Review

Keith Nixon knows what his readers want and boy does he deliver!

We are back with Detective Inspector Solomon Gray.. past events are still playing heavy on his mind but there’s no time to dwell.. Junkies are dying.. you could easily pass this off as expected but things just aren’t right..the death rate is higher than the norm.. and where are they even getting the drugs? Wasn’t the major drug stream closed down?

Thanks to some great additions to Gray’s police team light starts to be shed on the issue but with junkies reluctant to help the police, the price of talking too high,  the case stalls.. Sol’s not one to give up easily.

As the case develops a visit from an unexpected visitor occurs that throws a spanner in the works.. Sylvia who has a history with Sol asks for his help with the disappearance of her husband.. At first Sol half heartedly looks into things..with good reason.. is a domestic right? he’ll turn up… but after a bit of digging we see the bigger picture become clear.

We get twists and turns along the way and the authors normal style of sucking you in repeats past tales as you follow Sol and his team as they follow the clues to solve the mystery..utterly engrossing from start to finish.

I loved the personal development with this one. Sol has a lot of bad history behind him and we start to see current life events take precedence, is this a fresh start for Sol? I doubt it.. there’s too much in his past but it seems like this could be a turning point for Sol.

Keith Nixon once again ticks all the boxes, Sol is flawed, he’s real. Real life affects his work , nothing is clear cut..there’s frustrations, it’s messy, not everyone is nice… that’s real life. It’s the perfect mix of character development vs plot and I couldn’t have been happier as a reader.

5/5 Stars for me.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Forest Lord Collection by Steven A. McKay. (@SA_McKay)

Any follower of my blog with have heard the name Steven A. McKay, the brilliant author of the fantastic Forest Lord series. The series follows one of my favourite characters ever.. Robin Hood!

What really sucked me into the series is it felt real and fresh and that mainly came from the change in setting for the series, namely Barnsdale. I asked the author about this and this is what he had to say

When I started researching the Robin Hood legend I realised the original ballads were actually set in Yorkshire, not Nottingham. I knew I had to stick pretty closely to the well-known tales, but somehow stand out from all the other modern retellings – moving the setting away from Sherwood was the ideal way to do that while still remaining faithful to the earliest ballads.

McKay continue..

I wanted The Forest Lord series to be familiar to fans of Robin Hood, yet, at the same time, new and fresh and exciting and not just another rehash of the same old story.

I’ve previously reviewed the books separately but now the box set is out I thought it high time to update/combine my reviews 🙂

Here we go..

So we’ve all heard of Robin Hood yes? Of course we have. As a boy Robin Hood was always one of my favourite characters. This was one of my reasons for buying this series and I’m so glad I did! McKay gives us the Robin Hood we never knew we wanted.. and damn it’s good!

McKay has decided to revamp the whole Robin Hood tale, moving the location to Yorkshire when England was under the reign of Edward II. This makes the book quite refreshing as it’s moved away from the well-known tale set in Nottingham. From the authors notes you can see a lot of thought and hard work has went into this series and it shows.

The story starts with Hoods early life and the events that led him to become an outlaw. We see him climb the ranks to eventually lead this band of outlaws.

Along the way we see him deal will conflict not only with the rich people of Yorkshire but also himself and the outlaws where personalities clash.

Even though the setting has changed we still have the heroes we all know and love, Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet & Much.

Chapter after chapter you see the tension grow as McKay takes you from one characters journey to another, friendships are made.. and broken… this isn’t a tale of merry men.. but desperate men who want only to live life or care for their family..it’s a struggle. There’s plenty of humour within the tale but the underlying struggle to stay alive keeps you on the edge of your seat!

We see Robin beaten, men killed, imprisonments, executions the works

The word that springs to mind about this series is “Growth” Not only does each storyline improve on the previous one but McKay has managed to grow his characters superbly throughout the series. You can really tell the author has put a lot of time and energy into his work.

What I really enjoyed about these books is that the author takes risks, the heroes don’t always live, it was gobsmackingly refreshing.

This series is dark, gritty and downright engrossing.. You never know what will happen next and when events play out your heart is in your mouth it’s pumped that fast!

The end of the series is a true highlight. Not only does it do the series justice but it also leaves fate to the reader.. read into that what you will 🙂

I strongly recommend the series..I bought 2 paperbacks of each book just so I could share with my dad who I knew would love it just as much as me.. do yourself a favour and get the 4 book set for £9.99… bargain price!

 

Blog Tour – Storm of Steel by Matthew Harffy

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m taking part in the blog tour for torm of Steel by Matthew Harffy!!!

Here’s the blurb

AD 643. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and the sixth instalment in the Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

Heading south to lands he once considered his home, Beobrand is plunged into a dark world of piracy and slavery when an old friend enlists his help to recover a kidnapped girl.

Embarking onto the wind-tossed seas, Beobrand pursues his quarry with single-minded tenacity. But the Whale Road is never calm and his journey is beset with storms, betrayal and violence.

As the winds of his wyrd blow him ever further from what he knows, will Beobrand find victory on his quest or has his luck finally abandoned him?

Review

It seems like forever since we last saw Beobrand and his brave gesithas.. in reality it hasn’t been that long.. I’m just impatient ha.

The wait is over..it’s time to join Beobrand on his latest adventure and this time not much of it will be spent on land as we take to the high seas in search of a missing girl.

While on a mission to bring the soon to be new Queen home Beobrand gets a blast from the past and is torn… he’s oath sworn to do as his King requests but that would mean leaving the girl to fate.

Luckily for Beo the decision is taken out of his hands, the new queen is known to Beo and after a night of feasting they have grown rather close..so much so she orders him to do whatever it takes to bring the little girl home.

Beobrand enlists the help if a group of sailors to aid him in his journey and very soon they are bound together in blood as they set sail on the trail of a group of pirates who have taken the girl hostage.

Twists and turns come aplenty and Beo’s life will never be the same.

The best addition to this story for me is young Brinin..he’s betrothed to Ardith, the girl who has been taken, and he joins Beobrand in the hunt. Brinin reminds me a lot of Beo, he’s young and headstrong and has a big part to play.

For me the plot was just amazing..dark and brutally gripping..the past haunts Beobrand and I really enjoyed it when the author gives you the chance to reflect on moments throughout the series that have impacted on the man Beo is today.

The last fight scene was pure wow factor.. brothers at arms..sacrifices are made that will shape the destiny of others.

This series goes from strength to strength and credit to the author that he manages to keep each story so fresh and entertaining.

5/5 Stars!!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

My thanks go to the author and Victoria @ Head of Zeus for the chance to be part of the blog tour!

Buy links:

Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks

Follow the tour!!!

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About the author

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Matthew grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him. He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

 Follow Matthew Harffy:    

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Facebook: @MatthewHarffyAuthor

Website: http://www.matthewharffy.com/

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Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Wild Sun by Ehsan Ahmad & Shakil Ahmad ARC Review.

Next up for review is Wild Sun by Ehsan Ahmad & Shakil Ahmad

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Science Fiction

On a world enslaved, the last embers of hope are fading into an unrelenting darkness. Conquered and broken, the natives are forced to ravage their own lush planet of its natural resources—all for the glory of a mysterious empire they’ve never seen and barely comprehend.

But not all light is lost. In the heart of one young woman alone, the gods have set a flame that cannot be extinguished. Cerrin remains as fierce and unyielding as the planet itself. And her chance to strike is fast approaching.

Above the skies of her home world, soldiers of the empire are welcoming their new civilian commander—a vicious nobleman blinded by hidden ambitions. When the new face of darkness turns its eyes on Cerrin, the fate of countless worlds will change forever.

Review

Wild Sun is an epic tale around slavery/domination and the fight for freedom.

The tale focuses around a few characters, one being Cerrin. She’s forced into servitude but yearns for freedom and will risk it all to get it.

Sonus is another of the unfortunates forced to serve the Vitaari, he’s smart..super smart. When his life is turned upside down it’s time to step-up and get revenge.

While these two have never met their paths are going to collide.

The Vitaari are a race who want only to dominate..they use technology to suppress those they feel are less than them but they are vain..and a little complacent at times..that will be their downfall.

Cerrin’s and Sonus’s path cross with the thanks to some allies.. the time to rebel is fast approaching.

I really enjoyed Vellerik, one of the Vitaari.. while he’s one of the bad guys he’s the best of the bunch..honourable.. when push comes to shove what we he do?

The plot was very good, clear, focused and with enough detail to paint a vivid image of what it must be like for those captives. The writing style meant the book flowed well..There’s a lot to take in at first but after the initial couple of chapters I was easily hooked…it kept getting better and better with every chapter.

I don’t often request books from NetGalley but im glad I requested this one in exchange for an honest review. Well worth reading!

My rating 4/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.

Here’s the blurb

PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF ALMOST ANYTHING.

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Review

The Couple Next Door is a physiological thriller.. a little girl has been kidnapped while her parents were next door.. who did it and why them?

The tale is quite intense as the author delves into the lives of the parents in detail and also the neighbours. Suspicion falls on the parents at first as you’d expect.. something is just not adding up but the author throws in a few twists along the way to throw you off the scent.

I loved the build-up but must admit the ending didn’t give the bang I was expecting.. the author had painted such a vivid series of events that the ending just felt a bit flat.. almost too easy.

The characters themselves were very good, each developed well and has their time to grow. It seems everyone in this book has some skeleton in the closet so it was really fun watching the pieces come together.

The plot was intriguing… from the off I was 99% sure who was involved but had no idea why.. or how they even managed to do it.. this little nugget of info is what makes this book so good.. the author digs her claws into you quickly and you just can’t help but read more…I just had to find out why the kidnap happened in the first place..it certainly had me sucked in.

My wife really enjoyed this one too.. she likes her books but is easily distracted by tv or home improvements (hope she doesn’t read this J ). To know she’s read it was a sure sign to me it was worth reading and I couldn’t agree more.

4 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads