Tag Archives: Reading

Empire of Shades (Legionary #6) by Gordon Doherty – Review

To celebrate the release of book 7 of the Legionary series I’ve got right up to date with the adventures of Pavo and the XI Claudia so here’s the blurb and my review for book 6 of the series Empire of Shades!

The blurb –

379 AD: Thracia has fallen to the Gothic horde…

With the ashes of Adrianople still swirling in the air, the Eastern Roman Empire is in turmoil. The emperor is dead, the throne lies empty and the remaining fragments of the army are few and scattered. Numerius Vitellius Pavo, now Tribunus of the XI Claudia, tries to hold his patchwork ranks together amidst the storm. One of the few legions to have survived the disaster at Adrianople, the Claudia do what they can to keep alive the dying flame of hope.

When word spreads of a new Eastern Emperor, those hopes rise. But the coming of this leader will stir the Gothic War to new heights. And it will cast Pavo headlong into the sights of the one responsible for the East’s plight – a man mighty and seemingly untouchable, and one who will surely crush any who dares to challenge him.

From the ashes of Adrianople, new heroes will rise… with dark ghosts in close pursuit.

Review

After the events in the last book I wondered if the series had any life left in it.. I’m so glad to say YES IT DOES!

Shades torment Pavo during this tale. The faces from the past now walking by his side always. We see occasions when Pavo is urged on by these shades.

With Emperor Valens dead a new emperor must be crowned. Will this man be another puppet of Emperor Gratian?

Pavo is now Tribunus of the XI Claudia and while the faces from the past might be gone they are not forgotten. While I loved the old characters some of the new ones are just wonderful! Libo and Rectus I just loved! Stichus was by far the best addition to this tale. Pavo can see himself in Stichus and learns a lot about how to be a leader from guiding the young lad just like Gallus did with him many years back.

The war with the Goth’s intensifies as the horde splits its forces, each force might be separate but they have enough manpower to make the men of Rome shake and now Gratian is calling support to the West! this means one thing..a showdown between Pavo and Emperor Gratian. Pavo is on a mission of vengeance for Tribunus Gallus whose family were slayed on the orders of Gratian may years ago.

Now here’s an interesting thing..we’ve met Speculatores before..they are assassins loyal to only Emperor Gratian.. we hate them right? nah I’m starting to like them..well one of them at least! Scapula is his name and the relationships he forms in the story really ramped up the excitement level.

Overall another cracking plot and a storyline that just keeps getting stronger and more bloody.

The ending smashed the ball out of the park leaving me wondering just how much longer Pavo can last.. lets find out in book 7!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

 

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Gods & Emperors (Legionary 5) by Gordon Doherty – Review

Hey all, as you may remember I reviewed book 4 of the awesome Legionary series by Gordon Doherty last week! This is a series I’ve really enjoyed but sometime reviewing non stop means I miss out on books I want to read..no more! Requests make up a very small amount of my reading total now and I made it my mission to catch up on this series ready for book 7’s release tomorrow!

Here’s the blurb for  Gods & Emperors

The fate of the East rests on the edge of a sword as the legions and the Goths march to war…

378 AD: Fritigern’s Gothic horde tightens its iron grip on Thracia and only a handful of well-walled cities to the south remain in imperial hands. The few tattered legions pinned in these cities can only watch on from the battlements as smoke rises across their lost lands and the Goths roam at will, pillaging and extorting. Every Roman – legionary or citizen – speaks of only one thing: the Emperors of East and West, Valens and Gratian, who are said to be closing swiftly on this war-stricken land, each bringing with them vast armies capable of vanquishing the horde.

Awaiting the relief armies in Constantinople, Centurion Pavo and the XI Claudia prepare as best they can. The Gothic War has taken much from each of them, and none more so than Pavo. But still he and his fellow officers cling to the chance that two lost to them might yet return: their leaders, Tribunus Gallus and Primus Pilus Dexion – Pavo’s brother – have not been seen or heard from since setting off on a mission to Emperor Gratian’s court in the West. Some are sure they must have fallen, yet Pavo refuses to give up hope, instead whetting his blade and praying that fate will guide the pair back in time for the clash that is to come: a clash that promises to end the Gothic War – for the empire’s finest legions are destined to meet Fritigern’s ferocious masses… on the plains of Adrianople.

My Rating – 5/5 Stars!

Review

Just when I thought there’s no way this series could get better Doherty gives us Gods & Emperors, the most gut wrenching read I’ve ever came across.

I’m going to be honest from the start. The plot beautifully plays out but I had my heart in my mouth from the minute I opened the book…I’ve grown attached to the characters and in the latest installment the author takes an axe to many and some deaths hurt more than others.

Some major truths were revealed towards the end of book 4 that will play out during this book so I don’t want to spoil too much. THIS SERIES IS A MUST READ.

Pavo and the remains of the XI Claudia are without their leader Tribunus Gallus and Primus Pilus Dexion who set out on a mission to contact Emperor Gratian to petition him to bring his forces to bear on the Gothic horde..but why has it taken so long without any word..and if they did make it when will Gratian arrive?

There’s plenty of twists in this tale but for me character development played a heavy part in how good this book truly is. The author manages to breathe life in to the men of the XI Claudia and after 4 previous installments you’d think the author would be running on fumes.. not so.

While awaiting Gratian’s arrival Emperor Valens must ready his army. He’s quite a likable leader and seems to care about the true cost of war..He knows he’s outnumbered so eager to reach a truce with the Goths but the speculators, loyal only to Emperor Gratian, are set are making sure war comes to Valens. Gratian is only after power and has set his pieces on the table well.

Eventually the battle we know would happen comes to pass but even I could not have guessed the ending Doherty gives us, just simply WOW.

Overall another masterpiece from Gordon Doherty. He broke my heart with this one but damn it was one hell of a ride!

My review for book 6 will be out tomorrow to celebrate the release of book 7!

Check out the links below for more info.

Book 5 Gods & Emperors – Goodreads

Book 5 Gods & Emperors – Amazon

Book 7 – Amazon 

 

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

Legionary: The Scourge of Thracia by Gordon Doherty – Review

Title – Legionary: The Scourge of Thracia (Legionary #4)
Author – Gordon Doherty
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 396 pages
Publication – 5th February 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The legions are in tatters, and the Gothic hordes are gathering beyond the mountains . . .

377 AD: Thracia’s legions are few and broken in the wake of the Battle of Ad Salices. But the scattered centuries and cohorts rally in an effort to blockade the Haemus Mountain passes and hold back the relentless attacks of Fritigern’s swelling Gothic armies. These passes must endure until Eastern Emperor Valens and Western Emperor Gratian can muster and bring their Praesental Armies in relief.

Numerius Vitellius Pavo and the men of the XI Claudia return to Constantinople from their brutal Persian sortie to hear widespread tales of Thracia’s plight and the precarious mountain blockades. Each of them knows what is at stake should those passes fall: the heartland of the Eastern Empire would face the wrath of the barbarians and loved ones would be at the mercy of their savage blades. When the Claudia are despatched to aid the effort at the mountains, Pavo can think only of two souls wandering in the jaws of the Gothic threat: his beloved Felicia and his lost half-brother, Dexion. So he and his comrades march at haste, headlong into the storm that awaits them . .

Review

After the battle of Ad Salices the legions are in tatters but the Goth’s will be back soon..The forces of Emperor Valens and Emperor Gratian must combine if they have any chance of stopping the Gothic horde.

Pavo and the XI Claudia were assumed dead by most. Including Felicia who happens to Pavo’s beloved. He doesn’t have much time to rest as every man is needed to man the mountain passes. He gets his chance at a reunion with Felicia but also gets closer to his half-brother Dexion..it’s not going to be smooth sailing though that’s for sure!

Haunted by the past Pavo travels blindly on until he finds Dexion and no one could be happier for the pair than Gallus the fearless XI Claudia centurion. This book really made Gallus stand out and I couldn’t love the character more. His dealings with the speculatores are explored and it really adds to an already exciting plot.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the build up, it’s not just a simple tale of Roman’s vs Goth’s fighting to the death.. smash..smash..smash..there’s so much more, the plot goes deeper and when we get towards the end of the book the author hits you dead between the eyes with some revelations you just don’t see coming.

Gordon Doherty stands out for me as one of only a few authors I’ve read that truly know how to mix plot and descriptiveness. It’s too easy to add information that just isn’t needed for the reader to pad the word count out a bit but not with Gordon, every bit of detail feels important to the tale. I’ve read too many books that have paragraphs that leave me wondering why it was even included but not Gordon Doherty!

The author also stands out for me as one who can really engage a reader. Usually I find myself burning through a book or sometimes losing a little bit of interest (staring into space type of moment) but not with Gordon Doherty’s work. He makes me take my time.. Makes me truly appreciate the time and effort heput in to writing what I can only describe as a masterpiece! (That’s the first time I’ve ever used the word (“masterpiece” in a review)

Super plot, super twists and I’m just left with that excited/nervous feeling for more. So much so I’ve already finished books 5 & 6 ready for book 7 of the series which is released on July 10th!

Look out tomorrow for a little post about the release of book 7 and a review of book 5! I hope you are as excited for it as me!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Fifth Britain : Modern Magick, 4 by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The Fifth Britain : Modern Magick, 4
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 193 Pages
Publication –12th June
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

As an agent of the Society for Magickal Heritage, Cordelia “Ves” Vesper has an important job: to track down and rescue endangered magickal creatures, artefacts, books and spells wherever they are to be found. It’s a duty that takes her the length and breadth of Britain, and frequently gets her into trouble. But somebody’s got to keep magick alive in the modern world, and Ves is more than equal to the job.

Cast away from the Society (sort of) and out on their own, Ves, Jay and Zareen face their greatest challenge yet. What is the truth behind the mysterious, perambulatory Spire? Is it really possible to travel in time? What dangerous secrets are the Hidden Ministry keeping? Answers must be found — in the face of severe opposition from the Ministry, from Ancestria Magicka, and from every Fae Court in existence. Simple.

If only everything wouldn’t keep going wrong. If only a house hadn’t walked off with Jay. If only there wasn’t still a traitor on the loose, and if only Ancestria Magicka wasn’t always, inevitably up to no good. With the trusty trio down to two, Ves and Zareen call in the Baron for help. Their mission: track down a vanishing island, save the Striding Spire, and find the way back to 1789.

Oh — and just what exactly has become of Jay…?

Review

This series just keeps getting better!

Click below to read my reviews of the previous books in the series!

The Road to Farringale: Modern Magick, 1

Toil and Trouble: Modern Magick, 2

The Striding Spire: Modern Magick, 3

So we are back with Ves and Jay who have been tasked to find out more about the spire which has a rather fun talent of being able to disappear, and is time travel really possible?

Well the truth comes out in book 4 of the wonderful Modern Magick series and it’s not what you’d be expecting..and it’s certainly not what Ves was expecting either.

Our small team are pretty much on their own with this one as there’s still a traitor within the Society for Magickal Heritage. They just don’t know who they can trust. The mole is passing information to Ancestria Magicka who aren’t the nicest bunch to say the least.

Lets just say the Society and Ancestria Magicka have differing views on keeping magic in the world.

Ves has her work cut out for her pretty quickly when a house disappears..with Jay inside!

The Baron reappears and Ves finally gets a lead to go on..does the Baron know more than he’s letting on? Let’s be fair the Troll court don’t like to share information do they?

Once again it’s a fun tale that builds nicely. The author manages to easily keep the pressure building in the chocolate pot with even more twists to keep you engrossed and her style of writing kept me smiling all the way through.

As an avid fan of the author I’m happy to say the book delivered everything I wanted and more. I’ve no idea where we will go next but I’m excited to find out.

If you want a fun and quirky fantasy series to start this could be for you! If you want a quick fantasy hit then it’s a must!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Beg For Mercy (Detective Solomon Gray #3) by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Beg For Mercy (Detective Solomon Gray #3)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 199 Pages
Publication – 12th June 2018
My Rating –  5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Fifteen years ago Duncan Usher was sent to prison for killing his wife, Valerie. Young Detective Solomon Gray was first at the scene. His biggest case yet.

But Duncan Usher didn’t kill Valerie. While someone was strangling Val, Usher had another man’s blood on his hands. Usher took the fall for Val’s death, but now he’s out. Released on a technicality. He’s held a grudge all this time, and he won’t stop until he gets revenge on the dirty cop who framed him. Usher sets his sights on DS Solomon Gray.

And he has no qualms about using Gray’s son, Tom, as a pawn to get what he wants.

Beg for Mercy is the third book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Review

You’ve no idea how glad I am to be back in the world of Solomon Gray!

If you’ve not read the first two books in the series you should!

Click below to read my reviews –

Dig Two Graves

Burn The Evidence

So we are back with Sol and this has to be one of the best openings to a book I’ve ever read. Sure Sol is flawed but surely he’s not capable of murder or corruption!

As with previous tales we change perspectives and time periods throughout the book jumping from the past to the present. This style of writing really makes it an interesting read and builds the suspense up as the author reveals little by little the truth behind the case until all becomes clear.

This case has links to Sol’s past and his son Tim who was kidnapped many years ago and it appears a so-called friend might not be who Sol thought they were. But how does Duncan Usher fit in and what lengths will Grey go to in order to find out the truth.

There’s a few twists in this one that you don’t see coming and you can see relationships are starting to wear down. Gray doesn’t have many friends left to rely on. Who will he call in his time of need?

Beg For Mercy has to be the best in the series so far, which goes from strength to strength and the development of story just has me gagging for more. Will we ever know truth about what happened to Tom and is he alive? Oh I do hope the author lets us know one day but I’m happy to live with the suspense killing me if we get tales like this.

This is a suspenseful, thought-provoking crime thriller. I could give you the normal words I like to use like dark and gritty but the only way I can describe the book honestly is exciting! I just want to keep going!! More more more! The book has that WOW moment for me when things start to fit together and left me with that tingling feeling a great book does when you replay the events in your head to imagine what it must feel like.

I’m a big fan of the authors work and he never fails to deliver a cracking read!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

The Striding Spire (Modern Magick 3) by Charlotte E English – Review

Title – The Striding Spire (Modern Magick 3)
Author – Charlotte E English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 192 pages
Publication – Feb 2018
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

As an agent of the Society for Magickal Heritage, Cordelia “Ves” Vesper has an important job: to track down and rescue endangered magickal creatures, artefacts, books and spells wherever they are to be found. It’s a duty that takes her the length and breadth of Britain, and frequently gets her into trouble. But somebody’s got to keep magick alive in the modern world, and Ves is more than equal to the job.

Fresh from an involuntary crash course in the Stranger Arts, Ves has a new mystery to solve: the inexplicable reappearance of an extinct species. The Dappledok Pup has not been seen in the flesh since the eighteenth century – so how does one come to be found, weak but alive, over two hundred years later? A creature with a unique talent for sniffing out treasure, no less, and that can’t be a coincidence.

Where did the pup come from – and is there something sinister afoot? Aided by a talking book, a spriggan with a taste for vintage fashion and the best Waymaster in the business, nothing can stop Ves from finding out the truth. Can it?

Review

The Modern Magick series is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Short and informative chapters make these books such an easy read and the plot keeps you hooked easily.

This is an ongoing series so I do strongly suggest you read the previous books before starting this one.

Check out my reviews below –

The Road to Farringale

Toil and Trouble

So we are back with Ves and the Society for Magickal Heritage and things are starting to heat up. We start to learn more about the decline of magic in the world but also the history behind the magic..both good and bad…secrets are waiting to be discovered.

I really enjoyed the character development and its great to see each character get their own share of page time so the focus isn’t always on Ves.

Another thing I really like about the style of the tale is real life touch added to Ves and her growing infatuation with Baron Alban from the troll court. This mix of development with the main plot and her personal development just makes Ves more real..more human.

This book is all about the build-up..magical creatures long forgotten have returned.. buildings are disappearing and reappearing but why and who’s behind it…did I mention theres also a dragon? albet quite a ncie one.

Many questions get half answers in this tale..it just leads to more and more questions which for me certainly hooked me in to buy the next book.

It’s another classic tale from Charlotte who certainly knows her target market well. Her writing style continues to keep me engrossed with fantastic use of words that engages the reader and is suitable from teens up easily.

The Striding Spire is a fun tale and the series has lots of promise. I’m starting to see a bigger picture emerging but the author keeps you in the dark and only reveals tit bits as we go along to tantalise the taste buds.

I’ve high hopes for this series..don’t let me down Ms English!

If you’re looking for a good fantasy book then I can’t recommend anyone more highly than Charlotte E. English.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Oh did I mention book 4 is out today? Find out more here and look out for my review soon!