Tag Archives: New Books

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

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Twitter: @AriesFiction

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Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

BLOG TOUR – The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy – REVIEW

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy.

Why not follow the tour?

Let’s ger started!

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction

AD 105: DACIA

The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home.

Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor’s cousin, and a man with plans of his own…

Gritty, gripping and profoundly authentic, The Fort is the first book in a brand new trilogy set in the Roman empire from bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy.

Review

Centurion Flavius Ferox is sent to an isolated fort beyond the Danube. From the moment he arrives he has a bad feeling about things. Many of the veteran soldiers are being recalled now Ferox has arrived, and the men he has brought with him are a ragtag bunch to say the least. Some even want to kill him!

Ferox is the main focus of the tale and I loved the man. He’s the kind of solider you know will make it through..but by the skin of his teeth.. it’s not going to be an easy ride for him. His relationship with his wife also gave extra depth to the man as we see a different side to him and this leads to some very humorous moments which I loved reading.

Hadrian was another fun character.. he’s very astute and ambitious, he’s not above using men’s lives to get what he wants.

Brasus is another character who stands out, he may be one of the enemy, his task to break into the fort and slaughter..but I feel he ends up being one of the most likable characters, there’s air of respect around him.

For me it’s all about the siege..it plays a big part in the tale but is paced so perfectly you are never bored. If anything you just feel the frustration Ferox must have felt, powerless, stuck and searching for an idea to get them out of this mess!

The approach of switching perspectives helped keep the storying flowing nicely too. The testing of the siege weapons is a particular favourite of mine and there was some wonderful detail added on what methods the defenders used to repel the attackers which really had the imagination firing. If you are a fan of siege craft you’ll enjoy this one for sure!

What I really enjoyed was the relationships, the character development and the fact the author held no love for anyone, with more than one meeting their end in a gruesome way which gave it the gritty realness of war.

The author showed a real talent being able to balance the plot with historic detail, it was perfectly mixed so the flow of the story was effortless and the chapter length just right. One night I even had to force myself to bed as it was after midnight and I had work in the morning but the story just sucks you in..its always “oh one more chapter”

Thoroughly enjoyable 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author and the publisher Head of Zeus for the ARC and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour!


About the author

Adrian Goldsworthy , Author , Broadcaster , Historical consultant .Publicity photographs for general PR and bookcovers

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Follow Head of Zeus:

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

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Facebook: @headofzeus

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Publication Day!! – Empires of Bronze: Book 4 – The Crimson Throne by Gordon Doherty

Today I’m celebrating the release of Empires of Bronze Book 4 – The Crimson Throne by Gordon Doherty, and what better way to do that then with a bloody good review 😊

Let’s get started!

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction

A story of bloody and world-shaking revenge

The King of the Hittites has been slain, and a reign of terror begins…

1272 BC: Prince Hattu returns home from the battlefield of Kadesh to find his nephew on the throne, the old king’s blood dripping from his hands. Under Urhi-Teshub’s reign, the Hittite realm has become a land of fear and violent reprisals. Ancient family lines and old ways are being wiped out as the young tyrant strengthens his bronze-fisted grip on power.

Hattu’s loved ones are spared only in return for his absolute obedience. Yet he knows he must choose between his family and his burning need for restitution. The Goddess Ishtar, ever-present in his dreams, assures him that there is only one future.

A war for the throne is coming… and blood will be let.

Review

When last we were with Hattu he had just returned home to find his brother dead and his nephew on the throne.. The truth only just becoming real..the evil that is Urhi-Teshub!

As we rejoin Hattu he’s subdued, his men are scattered and his loved ones used as tool to keep him in check.. meanwhile Ishtar continues to plague Hattu’s dreams with visions of blood.. but he’s stil quite reluctant to accept his fate.

Meanwhile the author transports us to Troy and explores the well-known story around Helen of Troy, Priam, Paris and Hector to name a few, but approaches this tale with his own style and direction, which I really enjoyed.

Praim, king of Troy is well liked by Hattu, and the Hittites have been Troy’s allies for a long time, each coming to the call of the other when in time of need. While on a visit Hattu confides in Praim and the path for both sides starts to become clear. Hattu cannot keep standby and let Urhi-Teshub continue his crimes but Troy is in no position to help him after losing many men at the battle of Kadesh.. Troy have their own trouble brewing. Hattu returns home and forces continue to urge him to act, to seize the throne.

Urhi-Teshub continues to torment his people and removes those he deems to have slighted him.. he’s wicked and evil, and his generals revel in the bloodshed.

How long with Hattu stand back and accept this? And what can he do to stop it? He knows the chances of success are slim…and many will die.. but each and everyone is loyal to Hattu… Urhi-Teshub must fall.

Urhi-Teshub is cunning and has lined many a pocket to buy loyalty, this earns most a slow death, even those who serve him well, but this tactic works for Urhi-Teshub  and we see Hattu banished to the Well of Silence.. In the Well time becomes meaningless and here he endures the worst tortures known.

The Well of Silence for me cemented this book as incomparable and I do not think there is anything that has been, or will be, written that will outshine these scenes!

Hattu battles to survive and sees freedom but there’s no respite.. it’s time for war! Allies make themselves known as they emerge from unlikely sources and together they will face Urhi-Teshub..he will fall..

Now, you may know or may not know the outcome for the Hittites already but the ending of The Crimson Throne is depicted so perfectly, Troy is on the verge of defeat…but where are the Hittites? I really enjoyed the author notes on this bit too linking back to well known sources and the lack of Hittite involvement, enabling the author to weave his tale in such a deliciously amazing way!

Gordon Doherty continues to shine in the historical fiction genre, his passion seeps through the pages and you cannot help but feel his energy in what has to be his best work to date. Fans of the author or the genre will not be disappointed!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

I received an ARC to allow me to have my review ready for release but as always I’ve bought my own copy and an ARC in no way ensures a good review, Gordon Doherty just knows what I like, if it was crap I’d tell you!

Need to keep the adrenaline rush going?

I don’t know about you but I’m riding high after England’s latest win in the world cup!

If like me you want to keep the excitement going then what I’m about to tell you will blow your mind! If it doesn’t then you really need to get involved and see what all the fuss is about.

Gordon Doherty is releasing Legionary book 7, titled The Blood Road on Tuesday! that’s this Tuesday 10th July!

Here’s the blurb –

381 AD: The Gothic War draws to a brutal climax, and the victor’s name will be written in blood…

The great struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Gothic Horde rumbles into its fifth year. It seems that there can be no end to the conflict, for although the Goths are masters of the land, they cannot topple the last of the imperial cities. But heralds bring news that might change it all: Emperor Gratian readies to lead his Western legions into the fray, to turn matters on their head, to crush the horde and save the East!

The men of the XI Claudia legion long for their homeland’s salvation, but Tribunus Pavo knows these hopes drip with danger. For he and his soldiers are Gratian’s quarry as much as any Goth. The road ahead will be fraught with broken oaths, enemy blades… and tides of blood.

Now why am I telling you this you might ask..,quite honestly I just love the author’s work.. I’m getting nothing from this post..I just want to share word of a release I’m excited about and I feel you should be too.

Gordon has a great talent for storytelling, you get the full package from his work and so much story for your money.

Please do check out the series! If you are disappointed with my recommendation I’ll even buy you a pint!

To find out more about the new release click here – The Blood Road

If you want to know more about the series head to the authors site – https://sites.google.com/a/gordondoherty.co.uk/gordon-doherty—writer/legionary