Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

BLOG TOUR – Wolf of Mercia by M J Porter

Today I kick off the blog tour for Wolf of Mercia. Book 2 in The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles series by M J Porter.

Here’s the blurb!

As a lone wolf inside a Wessex stronghold, Icel must ensure his own and Mercia’s triumph.

Icel is becoming a warrior of Mercia, but King Ecgberht of Wessex still holds the Mercian settlement of Londonia and its valuable mint.

King Wiglaf of Mercia is determined that the last bulwark be reclaimed from his sworn enemy to complete his rehabilitation as Mercia’s rightful ruler.

In the heart of the shield wall, Icel suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the battle and thrust into the retreating enemy stronghold where he must take on the pretence of a Wessex warrior to survive and exact a cunning plan to bring down the Wessex force cowering behind the ancient walls.

His allegiances are tested and the temptation to make new allies is overwhelming but Icel must succeed if he’s ever to see Tamworth again and bring about King Wiglaf’s victory, or will he be forced to join the enemy?

Review

What a joy it is to be back with Icel! When we last we saw him war had broken out and his uncle had died.. his whole world shattered after striving for so long in the hope his uncle could be saved! Icel now finds himself a warrior of Mercia under King Wiglaf who is determined to take back what King Ecgberht of Wessex has stolen!

In the heat of battle Icel’s world continues to be turned upside down. Deep inside he wants to be a healer but he can’t be both a warrior and healer can he?

Icel is suddenly thrust behind enemy lines as the gates close behind him…and he must use all his wit and skill to blend in… not so easy as you can imagine.

The next task after staying alive is to figure out how to get the gates open again so King Wiglaf and his men can finish the job they started.. a tall order for anyone but Icel doesn’t know his way around.. there’s eyes all over the place and inevitably his skill as a healer comes to the foreground.. no matter man of Mercia or Wessex he has to help.. he can’t watch men suffer, Afterall they are only fighting because their King commands it.

Along the way his allegeiances are tested, we see the men of Wessex in a different light and you feel Icel’s internal struggle building.

Development wise this offering was fantastic. In book 1 we were introduced to King Wiglaf but I didn’t feel we had enough time to really get to really know the character, Afterall the tale is Icel’s journey but I really wanted to get to grips with the King. This offering however gives development by the bucket load and I felt I understood him and his motivations and really found myself liking the character.

Another major factor for the love I have for this book was the injection of new characters and their story arcs. I won’t spoil it for you but some names to look out for are Brihtwold, Tyrhtil, Theodore, Gaya and Ecgred.

Oh how I loved the scenes with Ecgred!

Book 1 in the series was very much Icel’s journey and was a 5* read for me, Book 2 surpasses even that.. if that’s even possible. It’s still Icel’s tale but the plot has developed so fast but in such a natural flow.. at the end of the book when you sit back to reflect its just amazing to see how far the journey has come and it leaves you with that urge for more!

I really enjoyed the action too, really easy to follow but detailed and exciting with every thrust 🙂

Here at David’s Book Blurg I really do try and give no spoiler reviews. It can be difficult to sum up a book perfectly but in all honesty you shouldn’t need my review to tell you that you need this book, the synopsis says it all!!! It’s a corker!!!

5/5 Stars

My thanks go to MJ Porter, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ebook in return for my honest review and Rachel from http://www.rachelsrandomresources.com  for having me on the blog tour! I can honestly say I’ve ordered a kindle copy myself and the paperback will be soon to join my collection too!!!!

To find out more or to grab a copy head to Goodreads or Amazon (Or your local bookstore 😊 )

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio –

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, and in Viking Age Denmark. They were raised in the shadow of a building that they believed housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia – so their writing destiny was set. The first novel in their new Anglo-Saxon series for Boldwood Son of Mercia was published in February 2022.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MJPorterauthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/m_j_porter/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MJPorterNews 

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mj-porter

RELEASE DAY!! Empires of Bronze: The Dark Earth by Gordon Doherty

Today I’m celebrating the release of Empires of Bronze: The Dark Earth, book 6 in the series by Gordon Doherty.

Here’s the blurb.

The time will come, as all times must, when the world will shake, and fall to dust…

1237 BC: It is an age of panic. The great empires are in disarray – ravaged by endless drought, shaken by ferocious earthquakes and starved of precious tin. Some say the Gods have abandoned mankind.
When Tudha ascends the Hittite throne, the burden of stabilising the realm falls upon his shoulders. Despite his valiant endeavours, things continue to disintegrate; allies become foes, lethal plots arise, and enemy battle horns echo across Hittite lands.

Yet this is nothing compared to the colossal, insidious shadow emerging from the west. Crawling unseen towards Tudha’s collapsing Hittite world comes a force unlike any ever witnessed; an immeasurable swarm of outlanders, driven by the cruel whip of nature, spreading fire and destruction: the Sea Peoples.

Every age must end. The measure of a man is how he chooses to face it.

Review

Ah..where to start. I’ve loved this series from the 1st page to the last.. The fate of the Hittites is sealed in history but what Gordon Doherty offers the reader is a masterful tale of hope, glory, blood and betrayal.

The time of King Hattu has sadly come to and end and it’s time for Tudha to take up the mantel in what will be the Hittite’s biggest battle.

After the events at Troy and the internal struggles faced by the Hittites Tudha hopes for peace… a peace that is shattered into a thousand pieces. The army of Agamemnon’s might be gone but there’s new foes on the horizon as well as a dark face from the past to contend with…on top of that the ground is shaking.. drought and famine are a daily struggle… but Tudha has hope!

Development wise as much as I’ll miss Hattu it was really enjoyable and fresh to see this instalment play out through the eyes of Tudha and Kurunta.. the faces of the past disappear to let the new blood shine through and some of those characters will stay with you, I loved the impact made on me by Ibiranu, Nerikkaili and particularly Zakuli.

Reading the The Dark Earth was tough.. it’s dark and brutal and the author broke me repeatedly with the events that play out.. dangling Tudha’s hope.. ahhh.

The Dark Earth is a masterclass in grabbing a reader’s attention, there’s pivotal moments, exciting characters, conflict and surprise..a real roller-coaster of emotions.

Is this the best yet from Gordon Doherty??? Perfection can’t top perfection! It just a joy to read!

No spoilers for me.. but it’s one to remember.. relish it!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon, or any good retailer 😊

BLOG TOUR – The Witch’s Tree by Elena Collins

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Witch’s Tree by Elena Collins.

Here’s the blurb

A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.

Present day

As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat.  The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives.  But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.

1682

Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now.

Review

The Witch’s Tree is a duel timeline novel following the lives of Grace and Selena, one set in the seventeenth century the other modern day.

When we meet Grace we learn how hard her life has been, helping her father while working the fields trying to edge out an existence. Her life is a simple one.. eat, sleep, repeat but you can see how content she is with her lot in life.. although things are about to change drastically.

In the modern day, Selena, an artist has just suffered betrayal from the one she trusted the most.. and that hurt is going to increase exponentially. It’s time for some downtime..

Selena heads to Sloe Cottage..Grace’s home… separated only by time..

Sloe Cottage seems ideal…and it’s cheap…that should have been the red flag..

We soon learn that not everyone likes Sloe Cottage and it becomes clear why. 300 years ago Grace’s life took a turn for the worse, her sprit needs to rest, with Selena’s help Grace may find peace.. and in turn Grace may help Selena let go of her own pain.

The Witch’s Tree is a beautiful story about a connection through the ages. The duel time line worked very well and aided the flow of the tale, never a dull moment. I quite enjoying jumping around a clear timeline as it kept me engaged with the story.

Character wise The Witch’s Tree is onto a winner too as the development is paced smoothly, nothing forced, perfectly drip-fed allowing Grace and Selena to develop naturally.

There’s a growing suspense throughout the tale as we learn Grace’s fate and how that may impact on Selena.. it’s a enthralling tale showing the real strength of these two fascinating characters.

If I had to pick I think I loved Grace’s tale the most..her life..growth.. the pain she suffered. A very moving life and such a strong character.

A wonderful story.

5/5 Stars

My thanks go to the author, publisher, and Rachel @ rachelsrandomresources.com for having me on the tour! I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, but I’ll be grabbing a copy too.. at £1.89 currently for the kindle version it’s a real bargain! 😊

To find our more head to GoodreadsAmazon (Or contact your local bookstore 😊 )

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio –

Elena Collins is the pen name of Judy Leigh. Judy Leigh is the bestselling author of Five French Hens, A Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventure and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

Social Media Links.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/judyleighuk

Twitter https://twitter.com/judyleighwriter

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/judyrleigh/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/JudyLeighNews

BLOG TOUR – The Capsarius by Simon Turney!!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Capsarius by Simon Turney! Book 1 in the brand new Legion XXII series.

Here’s the blurb

Warrior and combat medic, Titus Cervianus, must lead a legion and quell the uprisings in Egypt in a new Roman adventure from Simon Turney.

Titus Cervianus is no ordinary soldier. And the Twenty Second is no ordinary legion…

Egypt. 25 BC. A former surgeon from the city of Ancyra, Titus Cervianus is now a capsarius – a combat medic. He is a pragmatist, a scientist – and deeply unpopular with his legion, the Twenty Second Deiotariana.

The Twenty Second have been sent to deal with uprisings in Egypt. Founded as the private army of one of Rome’s most devoted allies, their ways are not the same as the other legions’, which sets them apart and causes friction with their fellow soldiers.

Marching into the unknown, Cervianus will find unexpected allies: a local cavalryman and a troublesome lunatic. Both will be of critical importance as the young medic marches through the searing sands of the south, finding forbidden temples, hidden assassins, and worst of all, the warrior queen of Kush…

Review

Cervianus isn’t your typical Roman solider, he’s a also a medic. At times this role seems to have an advantage as he gets a few perks but it soon become clear it’s not a free ride in any sense and he has his own unique battles to face in this role.

He’s also an outcast within the legion.. as a medic he puts some of his faith in knowledge and skill while many still hold the belief a man’s life is in the hands of the Gods.

The twenty second legion have been given the task of tackling the Kushite’s in Egypt and to take back what is rightly theirs!

It’s not going to be an easy fight for sure but Cervianus has to hope his fellow soldiers don’t kill him first.. he doesn’t make friends easily.

Cervianus has luck on his side I feel and makes it to the battle but events along the way give him pause for thought.. maybe there is something to be said about the will of the Gods.

What Turney always does so well is the battles and the detail added to everything to set the scene, from the makeup of the army, the buildings, the heat.. the dints in a helmet.. nick in the armour.. everything.. it just puts you right there in the action.

For fans of the genre there’s plenty of action but what I’ve always admired about Turney’s work is how he manages to interweave personal fights too, it’s not just about the big battle… there’s lots to this tale to savour.. read it slowly, enjoy every morsel offered and I guarantee you’ll not be disappointed. It’s a talent to add knowledge and detail to an exciting plot like this one, some readers are simply in it for the action but Turney adds detail without forcing it, or slowing the pace.

I can honestly say I was hooked in from the prologue which set the tone of the story and has my mouth watering for more! Bring on book 2.

I also really enjoyed the character development throughout this one. It’s difficult at times to make characters real but Turney seems to do this effortlessly and I loved the relationship dynamic growing within the senior staff… oooo the tension!! You could cut it with a knife!

It’s a 5/5 star rating from me!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

My thanks go to Andrew @ Head of Zeus for inviting me to participate in the tour. I was given a ARC of the book to aid in my review but as a massive fan of Simon’s I bought a copy too and book 2 in the series is already pre-ordered 😊.


Why not follow the blog tour?


About the author.

Simon Turney is from Yorkshire and, having spent much of his childhood visiting historic sites, fell in love with the Roman heritage of the region. His fascination with the ancient world snowballed from there with great interest in Rome, Egypt, Greece and Byzantium. His works include the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, the Tales of the Empire and The Damned Emperor series, and the Rise of Emperors books with Gordon Doherty.

Follow Simon

Twitter: @SJATurney

Instagram: @simonturney_aka_sjaturney

Website: http://simonturney.com/

BLOG TOUR- A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy! HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!!

Today is my turn on the blog tour for A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy! It also happens to be the official publication day too!!!

If you follow my blog you’ll know Harffy is a firm favourite so to say I was eager to get to grips with this one was an understatement!

Here’s the blurb

In the wild lands of Norway, Hunlaf must quell a vicious slave uprising in Matthew Harffy’s new historical adventure.

A wild land. A lethal fanatic. A violent revolt.

Northumbria, AD 794. Those who rule the seas, rule the land. None know the truth of this more than the Vikings. To compete with the seafaring raiders, the king of Northumbria orders the construction of his own longships under the command of oath-sworn Norseman, Runolf.

When the Vikings attack again, the king sends cleric turned warrior, Hunlaf, on a mission to persuade the king of Rogaland into an alliance. But Hunlaf and Runolf have other plans; kin to seek out, old scores to settle, and a heretical tome to find in the wild lands of the Norse.

Their voyage takes them into the centre of a violent uprising. A slave has broken free of his captors and, with religious fervour, is leading his fanatical followers on a rampage – burning all in his path. Hunlaf must brave the Norse wilderness, and overcome deadly foes, to stop this madman. Can he prevent a night of flames and slaughter?

Review

Firstly I have to commended the author on creating a new series set away from his Serpent Sword series but at the same time offering subtle nods to his previous work. These litter eastereggs are there to find and really did put a smile on my face. I know the characters aren’t real but at the same time the investment you put into a story as the reader makes them real, so adding in these little extras triggers the memories and it’s great to see those adventures are still locked in my head 😊.

So we are back with Hunlaf, he’s firmly shed his monk robes for the touch of cold hard steel but that doesn’t mean he’s still not conflicted at times. Mainly because the warrior life has come easy to him and sometimes that doesn’t sit well with his soul. He’s about to be tested like never before.

Runolf wants to start building his boat to cross the sea to find out what has become of his family. Hunlaf has a desire more then most to join him after his kin was take in a previous Viking raid. Neither know how their loved ones fair so as you can imagine.. there’s a lot of nervous energy going around with them both eager to set sail.

After receiving the blessing of the King to build the boat and with orders to gain a truce with the Norse we see a few new faces join our band of heroes and at times tensions can run high but the call of the sea and the torment it can cause soon allows bonds to grow.. which will make future events even harder to swallow. The journey across the sea will be completed but comes at a price.

When eventually they arrive on Norse lands all is not well. A slave has revolted and is causing havoc. If Runolf and Hunlaf ever want to see peace and their kin again they must fight a new threat.. and this threat is a little bit crazy to say the least.

We learn early on that death will show it’s face so while I was kind of prepared it really didn’t help lessen the shock when events unfolded.

What happens next is beyond belief and is the best 10 – 15 chapters I’ve ever read in my life…the grizzly horror.. the bloodshed.. the pain.. it’s beautiful in it’s madness as Hunlaf tries to make it out of this one alive.. but nothing is certain, but.. Anything is possible.

If it’s even possible I think Harffy gets better and better which each offering and as this is still a relatively new series for the author it’s given him the ability to explore things a little more than with his established characters I feel.. he really let his creative juices flow on this one.

I always like to comment on writing style, chapter length etc but on this one I simple can’t.. I was so engrossed I just didn’t take that in.. I just ploughed through this one with a desire to learn the outcome.. We know Hunlaf makes it through this adventure as he’s the one recounting the tale to us but the rest is not known and there’s so much at stake… I really didn’t want to see loose anyone but it wouldn’t be a Harffy book without a few tears.

It’s a 5* from me without a shadow of a doubt.

It’s unreal how haunting amazing this book is.. how is it even possible to write something so disturbingly beautiful! There’s so many emotions that pass through you as you read this one and it’s something that will really stay with you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the publishers for gifting me a copy of the book for review! This one was on pre-order too but it’s always exciting to get to read in advance in order to jump on a wonderful blog tour!

Why not follow the tour??

About the author

Matthew Harffy 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

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

Follow Aries

Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

BLOG TOUR – Son of Mercia by MJ Porter

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Son of Mercia by MJ Porter!

Here’s the blurb

Tamworth, Mercia AD825.

The once-mighty kingdom of Mercia is in perilous danger.

Their King, Beornwulf lies dead and years of bitter in-fighting between the nobles, and cross border wars have left Mercia exposed to her enemies.

King Ecgberht of Wessex senses now is the time for his warriors to strike and exact his long-awaited bloody revenge on Mercia.

King Wiglaf, has claimed his right to rule Mercia, but can he unite a disparate Kingdom against the might of Wessex who are braying for blood and land?

Can King Wiglaf keep the dragons at bay or is Mercia doomed to disappear beneath the wings of the Wessex wyvern?

Can anyone save Mercia from destruction?

Review

I’m a fan of MJ Porter but being prolific with the releases I find it hard to keep up ha! I jumped at the chance to get onboard with this new series early!

The story follows young Icel whose past is shadowed in mystery.. his mother unfortunately died and he’s never known who his farther is so he’s been raised by his uncle Cenfrith. Icel has trained in the arts of healing but there’s something in him just waiting to come out.

King Ecgberht is looking to expand his reach and senses weakness in Mercia. He’s right I guess as King Wiglaf seems to disappear but why? And have we been given the full story?

When King Ecgberht descends Icel is forced to flee to safety with his uncle and his friend Edwin. Along the way Icel learns a little of past events but only what his uncle allows. Will he ever learn the full truth?

What happens next was the most amazing few chapters I’ve ever read! I can’t spoil it but Cenfrith is an amazing character who supports Icel and keeps him safe. When the opportunity comes for Icel to save Mercia he sets out to find King Wiglaf.

The tension mounts and battle commences.. it’s time for Icel to learn more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Son of Mercia is a real coming of age tale for Icel as he learns what kind of man he’s destined to be… although there’s certainly more to come.

I can’t give this anything less than 5*. The plot was astonishingly gripping. I’ve struggled the past few months to devote time to reading but I was hooked as soon as I picked this one up and it’s helped me fall back in love with books again.

What a cracking read! I look forward to more!

My thanks go to MJ Porter, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ebook in return for my honest review and Rachel from http://www.rachelsrandomresources.com  for having me on the blog tour!

This a certainly a book I want on my shelf so will be ordering a paperback asap!

To find out more why not follow the blog tour? or head to Goodreads or Amazon!

Author Bio –

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, and in Viking Age Denmark. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

https://www.instagram.com/m_j_porter/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163404.M_J_Porter

The Shadow of Troy by Gordon Doherty (Empires of Bronze Book 5) – Review!

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Shadow of Troy, Book 5 in the Empires of Bronze series by Gordon Doherty.

Here’s the blurb

The war at Troy has raged for ten years. Its final throes will echo through eternity…

1258 BC: Surrounded and outnumbered by the army of Agamemnon, King Priam and his Trojan forces fight desperately to defend their city. In the lulls between battle, all talk inevitably turns to the mighty ally that has not yet arrived to their aid. Agamemnon will weep for mercy, the Trojans say, when the eastern horizons darken with the endless ranks of the Hittite Empire.

King Hattu has endured a miserable time since claiming the Hittite throne. Vassals distance themselves while rival empires circle, mocking him as an illegitimate king. Worst of all, the army of the Hittites is but a memory, destroyed in the civil war that won him the throne. Knowing that he must honour his empire’s oath to protect Troy, he sets off for Priam’s city with almost nothing, praying that the dreams he has endured since his youth – of Troy in ruins – can be thwarted. All the way, an ancient mantra rings in his head: Hittites should always heed their dreams.

Review

It’s been 10 long years but King Hattu has never forgotten the Hittite oath to Troy. One way or another Hattu will aid his friends.. the issue is the Hittite’s no longer have an army. He knows the danger.. not only to himself, but the struggling Hittite empire too. Hattu will do everything he can to uphold the oath his brother made to the people of Troy.

The journey to Troy doesn’t go quite as planned and there’s some wonderful interaction with Achilles, the champion within Agamemnon’s army. The early setup in the story describing the dynamic between Achilles and Agamemnon and the struggles they have in the army really worked well.

Hattu arrives at Troy thanks to an unlikely source, only to find things a little bit off. Troy have managed to stop Agamemnon at every step but it’s not been without loss… and the reason behind the losses is not clear cut.. there’s more at play here than we know and Hattu makes his own vow to get to the bottom of this.

The story of Troy’s fall is one most will have heard of, their fate is already sealed, but what Gordon Doherty offers is something new, something fresh, something god damn breath-taking! It felt like I was hearing the tale for the first time. It didn’t feel like a story I’d heard before, there’s so much more depth and emotion.

We see the tale from a different perspective woven expertly with the Hittite’s struggle. The Hittite empire has it’s own issues and I feel the author managed to capture both the struggles of Troy and the Hittites well, neither overshadowing the other.

What Gordon Doherty hit perfectly was the plot and character development, the story flows so naturally and we get depth added to a large number of characters in quick succession as he brings individuals such as Paris, Hector, Agamemnon and many others to life , it’s pure talent to give each character their own depth without moving too far away from the focus of the plot itself.

Doherty constantly brings history to life, uses his knowledge and storytelling skills in such a way that the story mesmerises you. I’m utter in awe of the author and what I’ve just read. The easiest 5* I’ll give this year!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Gods of Rome (Rise of Emperors Book 3) by Gordon Doherty and Simon Turney

September is turning out to be a very good month indeed with the release of Gods of Rome, book 3 in the Rise of Emperors by Gordon Doherty and Simon Turney!

Happy publication day!!!!

What better way to celebrate than with a 5* review by yours truly!!!

Here’s the blurb

312 AD is a year of horrific and brutal warfare. Constantine’s northern army is a small force, plagued by religious rivalries, but seemingly unstoppable as they invade Maxentius’ Italian heartlands. These relentless clashes, incidents of treachery and twists of fortune see Maxentius’ armies driven back to Rome.

Constantine has his prize in sight, yet his army is diminished and on the verge of revolt. Maxentius meanwhile works to calm a restive and dissenting Roman populace. When the two forces clash in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, there are factors at work beyond their control and soon they are left with carnage.

There is only one way Constantine and Maxentius’ rivalry will end. With one on a bloodied sword and the other the sole ruler of Rome…

Review

When we last were with Constantine and Maxentius it looked like what could have been a lovely brotherhood had suffered irreparable damage that could only lead to war.

Maxentius still holds out hope but the die has been cast… Constantine will march on Rome.

Along the way the blood of many will be shed and the authors managed to wonderfully depict the toll this takes on both men.. it weighs heavy but neither are willing, or able to back down.

What I really find amazing about this series is how seamless each chapter flows into the next, these two authours’ styles blend perfectly together to give us one hell of a richly detailed and exhilarating tale! If you want to get excited about history you can’t go wrong with these two! Doherty and Turney make history come alive!

I also really loved how well the authors showed the discontent of the people, and the legions, with the growing religious tensions added its only a matter of time until the fists start flaying and the swords come out.

I think the most surprising thing is throughout the series I’ve never disliked either Constantine and Maxentius. You always expect to take a side.. but you can’t.. both actually seem to want to do right by Rome and truly believe they are the man to do it, in hindsight I don’t think either man would be able to reconcile the death toll and the pain this journey will cost. They both loose so much.

I’m a big fan of character development and Doherty and Turney are Gods themselves in this arena, not only do the main protagonists develop but they also manage not outshine the rest of the characters, there’s so much packed in it almost seems impossible.

This has been an amazing series to follow and I really hope to see more collaborations, Doherty and Turney bring the best out of each other and as a reader that makes me very lucky..it’s not often you get to read a true masterpiece.

For the lovers of detail and history this book ticks the boxes, for the plot driven lovers you get a detailed plot with beautiful twists along the way..everything flows naturally and damn is it good!

My thanks go to Netgalley and the publisher Aria & Aries, Head of Zeus for an advanced review copy. There’s no way I could pass up the chance to celebrate the release day with a review but as always I’ve bought my own copy too! There’s no free rides with David’s Book Blurg.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon! Of course please do check any local booksellers too! and do let me know of some good ones to follow 🙂

BLOG TOUR – For Lord and Land (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 8) by Matthew Harffy.

Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for For Lord and Land (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 8) by Matthew Harffy.

Here’s the blurb

Greed and ambition threaten to tear the north apart.

War rages between the two kingdoms of Northumbria. Kin is pitted against kin and friend becomes foe as ambitious kings vie for supremacy.

When Beobrand travels south into East Angeln to rescue a friend, he unwittingly tilts the balance of power in the north, setting in motion events that will lead to a climactic confrontation between Oswiu of Bernicia and Oswine of Deira.

While the lord of Ubbanford is entangled in the clash of kings, his most trusted warrior, Cynan, finds himself on his own quest, called to the aid of someone he thought never to see again. Riding into the mountainous region of Rheged, Cynan faces implacable enemies who would do anything to further their own ends.

Forced to confront their pasts, and with death and betrayal at every turn, both Beobrand and Cynan have their loyalties tested to breaking point.

Who will survive the battle for a united Northumbria, and who will pay the ultimate price for lord and land?

Review

We are back with Beobrand for the 8th instalment in The Bernicia Chronicles series. As a long-time fan of the series I’ve been impressed how the author manages to keep the things fresh and exciting, and latest effort doesn’t disappoint.

From the outset Beobrand puts his neck on the line when his friend Coenred looks to be in danger. Brobrand and his black shields turn the tide of war but this only angers their King who seems to enjoy making Beobrand squirm as much as possible.. it’s like he purposely will find fault, spiteful.. the pressure has been building for a while now and it’s only a matter of time before things come crashing down around them.

Beobrand is still very much in awe of the Queen and this affection continues to plague his mind..he knows he can never have her, but can he keep his feelings secret? Or does the King already know?

What the author did superbly in this instalment was bring in Cynan to the forefront, one of Beobrand’s sworn men. He has his own adventure when a face from the past reappears in need of assistance.. but will this cost Cynan is life? His lord isn’t going to be pleased when he finds out who Cynan has been helping.

We also see great development of the ensemble cast too Brinin and Cuthbert particularly shine through and keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next. We know Beobrand pretty well now, we know how he will react..but not the other characters, this leads to some rather astonishing developments and gives the tale the shock factor!

Beobrand’s son Octa also plays his part in this adventure. There’s no love lost between father and son.. but why? And can Beobrand do anything to mend the family bond?

For anyone who is familiar with the authors work you’ll know the action is going to come thick and fast but by god it’s good and there’s plenty of blood and guts for the fans of the grizzly details! The pace is perfect, and the detail added to the battle scenes is just mesmerising.

The author manages to give us fresh action with each instalment, that yearns to be devoured from the first page, each new book better than the last!

A well-deserved 5/5 stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

My thanks go to the publisher for the advanced review copy, I had a copy pre-ordered too but it’s great to be able to be part of the blog tour 🙂

Why not follow the tour??


About the author

Matthew Harffy 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.

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Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

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BLOG TOUR – The Winter of Winters (The Histories of Sphax Book 2) by Robert M. Kidd.

Today is my turn on the blog tour for The Winter of Winters (The Histories of Sphax Book 2) by Robert M. Kidd.

I eagerly signed up for the blog tour after reading the first instalment in the series so let’s see if it lived up to expectations :).

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Historical Fiction

218 BC. Hannibal’s exhausted army staggers down from the last Alpine pass like a rabble of half-starved savages, the remnants of a once magnificent army that had set out from the Rhodanus with such hope. Now there is no way back. With the legions of Consul Publius Scipio closing fast, Carthage needs its Gaulish allies like never before. But where are the Insubres? Where are the Boii? Where are the thousands of warriors pledged by solemn oath?In the maelstrom of battle, Sphax, nephew of Hannibal, forges a reputation as the scourge of Rome. But will his ingrained recklessness and quest for honour set him at odds with the forbidding genius of his uncle? Only one thing is certain in this winter of winters, a great battle is coming that will decide the fates of Rome and Carthage

Review

We are back with Sphax, former slave and nephew to Hannibal, as the Carthage army and their allies march on Rome!

Sphax suffered a lot in the first instalment, a slave to Rome who manages to escape to freedom to find love only for it to be taken away so cruelly. The pain of which is still raw with him at the beginning of the story..but there’s no time to dwell on this for long.. Rome must pay.

Soon enough Sphax has his chance to shed blood, the action is fast paced but subtle enough for any reader of the genre to enjoy and get engrossed.

As with any war, people will get hurt.. many will die and it’s only a matter of time before Sphax gets himself on the wrong end of a spear thrust..it could have been a lot worse but as young men do.. he ignores that.. rather he wants to get back out there.

The time to prove himself is now. Hannibal’s army lost many men in the last big battle and food is running low. Sphax sets out to see what can be gained from the immediate area.. he has two jobs, secure food.. and allies where possible.

Along the way Sphax will meet some interesting new characters, the most intriguing being Corinna, a prisoner of Rome, her husband killed and her son held hostage. The dynamic between the two was electric at times.

The addition of Corinna also allowed Hannibal to use his cunning. His words say one thing but there’s hidden meaning.. he’s a very clever man… when you get him in the right mood.

Battles will be fought.. blood will be shed and men will die. It’s one rough ride for Sphax with a few twists along the way to keep his mind sharp.

Overall I really enjoyed the latest instalment. You can see the progression since the first book, more development of the established characters and good additions but the author maintains his style of storytelling, its fast paced and flows super easy. There’s detail when needed but the author doesn’t let it outshine the plot, rather compliment it.

4/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author, the publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the blog tour! I received an ARC of the book as part of the tour but I’ll be adding this to my purchased collection too 🙂


Why not follow the tour?


Author Bio – Robert M. Kidd

When Cato the Censor demanded that ‘Carthage must be destroyed,’ Rome did just that. In 146 BC, after a three year siege, Carthage was raised to the ground, its surviving citizens sold into slavery and the fields where this once magnificent city had stood, ploughed by oxen. Carthage was erased from history.

That’s why I’m a novelist on a mission! I want to set the historical record straight. Our entire history of Hannibal’s wars with Rome is nothing short of propaganda, written by Greeks and Romans for their Roman clients. It intrigues me that Hannibal took two Greek scholars and historians with him on campaign, yet their histories of Rome’s deadliest war have never seen the light of day.

My hero, Sphax the Numidian, tells a different story!

When I’m not waging war with my pen, I like to indulge my passion for travel and hill walking, and like my hero, I too love horses. I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.


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