Tag Archives: Strategos

Strategos: Island in the Storm (Strategos #3) by Gordon Doherty – Review

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Title – Strategos: Island in the Storm (Strategos #3)
Author – Gordon Doherty
Genre –  Historical Fiction
Length –  402 Pages
Publication – July 2014
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The storm is upon us, Haga. The answers you seek dance within its wrath . . .

1071 AD. Emperor Romanus Diogenes has rekindled the guttering flame of Byzantium. Yet in the eastern borderlands, two vital strongholds hang in the balance. Manzikert and Chliat must be won to secure the empire’s fragile frontiers and vanquish the would-be usurpers who covet the imperial throne. But Sultan Alp Arslan and his vast Seljuk armies look to those twin fortress-towns also, resolute on seizing them first.

Apion rides by the emperor’s side as they march east, marshalling Byzantium’s armies for the conflict that is to come. He knows only too well that the threat posed by the Sultan’s hordes is well-matched by malevolent forces within the Byzantine ranks. Thus, the road to war is a savage one, but one he cannot refuse. For at its end, Fate beckons, taunting him with a choice of two futures.

On the plains of Manzikert, one great power will rise and another will fall. On the plains of Manzikert, Apion will face the storm.

Review

So here we are.. Apion’s final journey..

Ok let’s stop right here, have you read the first two books in the series? If not check out my reviews of BOOK 1 and BOOK 2.

Now on the book 3!

After the battle that took place in book 2 we are left wondering what will become of the Haga after Nasir’s death.

Emperor Romanus sets out to secure his throne by securing his boarders from the Seljuks. After the build up to this point you know it’s going to be bloody!

Apion has a lot to deal with in this book, not only is he fighting a war while having some insight from the old crone who always seems to be with him but he’s also dealing with the fact Maria, the only good thing in his life left, is out there somewhere.

Nasir’s son plays a big part in this book too as he struggles to come to terms with the death of Nasir. I’ll admit Taylan wasn’t my favourite addition to this book, I struggled at times to like him.. mainly because I thought Nasir was brilliant.. in the end Taylan turned out to be a better addition to the series than I thought he would be.

Gordon manages to bring everything together in this book and we finally get to see an end in sight for the whole Apion/Maria story. Personally I loved how Gordon finished the story. I felt it was a fitting end.. although he had me saying “no no no no” a lot while a was reading.

So character development.. there’s loads. Gordon managed to give an ending to a lot of the characters though the chapters of this book and it’s not all happy endings.  You see a lot of friendships grow and even though a character like Psellos isn’t likable you get a wonderful depth to the person in this one. Not to give anything away but the whole situation with Psellos and the old crone which plays out is brilliant.

We see additions such as Kaspax which I loved along with Vilyam. Vilyam was the star of the book for me.. 🙂

There’s a lot of bloodshed in this book but Gordon again manages to help the reader visualise the battlefield with his impressive knowledge. It gives a great feel to the book as you could imagine the clashes that took place and how many men must have died.

Gordon also uses his knowledge to give even more insight when you read the historical note. He clearly knows his stuff and it pays off well. He makes the subject interesting which isn’t always easy to do.

This series has to be the best I’ve ever read. Credit where credits due, Gordon managed to get me emotionally connected with his characters. For me that is a sign of a truly great author.

I can’t imagine a better end for the series but it’s sad that I won’t be able to read about Apion again. When I get the time I’ll definitely have to read this series again.

I hope Gordon has more books planned..

Head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com to find out more

Author Spotlight – Gordon Doherty

Gordon Doherty is the second author in my spotlight feature.

I’d like to take the time to highlight his work and give you a little insight into why I think his books are so great!

I’m a big fan of historical fiction and while i was looking into books to purchase Amazon kept showing his books in my recommend list.. I thought to myself what the hell.. why not…I’ll buy one of his books.. and I’ve read a further four since leaving only two to read which i’m planning to get through in the next couple of months.

Gordon has wrote two series so far. His Legionary series is by far the one the best I’ve ever read! and I’ve recently been introduced to his Strategos series which has surpassed all expectations

His Legionary series focuses mainly on the character of Pavo and the border legions of the Roman empire. I’m never one to spoil a plot but the tale Gordon weaves is a masterpiece. He manages to mix a great story with his impressive knowledge of the Roman Empire. He really makes you feel for the characters in this series. I’d even bought the next two books in the series before i’d even finished the first book as i was hooked straight away.

The Strategos series is of the same high standard and focuses on the brilliant character of Apion and the Byzantine Empire. Gordon handled this series a little different to the legionary series. It felt darker. I’ve read the first two books in the series so far and i really can’t wait to get on to the third book.

The main thing i like about his stories is the time he takes to develop not only the main character but also the supporting characters. The friendships he builds up are believable and you’re left wanting more every time you finish a book

If you’ve not read any of his books please do check out some reviews. I promise you’ll not be disappointed if you buy these books. The Kindle editions are all up on Amazon for the bargain price of £1.99 each currently so don’t miss out

Check out my reviews for Strategos: Born in the Borderlands & Strategos: Rise of the Golden Heart

Want to connect with Gordon? You can do so via his website Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or his Amazon author page.

Strategos: Rise of the Golden Heart by Gordon Doherty – Review

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Title – Strategos: Rise of the Golden Heart
Author – Gordon Doherty
Genre –  Historical Fiction
Length – 410 Pages (Kindle)
Publication – June 14th 2013
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Stay strong, Haga, for the Golden Heart will rise in the west. At dawn, he will wear the guise of a lion hunter. At noon, he will march to the east as if to conquer the sun itself. At dusk, you will stand with him in the final battle, like an island in the storm . . .

1068 AD: the armies of the Seljuk Sultanate tear at Byzantium’s borders, poised to strike the death blow that will bring all Anatolia under their yoke. Alp Arslan’s armies grow stronger with every passing season, while the beleaguered Byzantine soldiers defend for their lives, the hope in their hearts guttering its last.

This war has been Apion’s mistress for many years, casting a dark shadow across his soul. When the mysterious crone comes to him, she can offer him only a glimmer of light. But at the darkest of moments, the smallest chink of light can be blinding. It will sweep Apion into the heart of the empire, Constantinople, and then onto the arid plains of Syria. It will taunt him with trust, betrayal, intrigue, love and brutal conflict. But, above all, it will offer him hope.

Review

First off have you read the first book in the series?? If not… why?? Head here to read my review of Strategos – Born in the Borderlands

12 years have passed since we last saw Apion.. and by the authors own words they have been 12 bloody years..

The tone of the book is set from the start. Words that come to mind are Dark, Revenge & War

Apion and Nasir are locked in what looks like a never ending war between their opposing armies and from the start of the book you can tell Apion is currently on the losing side.. the borderlands of the empire look set to fall.. the Haga and his loyal men including my favourites from the previous book Sha, Blastares and Procopius stand in the way of the Seljuk army.

After a lot of bloodshed we see Apion summoned to Constantinople where we are introduced to a lot of new characters. The one I found interested me the most was Dederic a fellow solider, his character gains depth throughout the book, I love Apion don’t get me wrong but I absolutely loved Dederic.

The plot of the book surpassed any expectations I had. There’s so much crammed in to the book its crazy but nothing feels rushed or misplaced.

Now Apion along with his men are tasked to head into Syria and take the war to the Seljuks..and Nasir.

I don’t want to give away anything but Gordon manages to bring some conclusion to the whole Apion/Nasir revenge storyline while also leaving you on tenterhooks as to what will happen next. There are some big surprises in store for you lucky readers.

The author clearly knows his stuff, he fills you with so much background information throughout the book  but I never felt bogged down.

If I was to think of anything I didn’t like it would only be that Sha, Blastares and Procopius don’t play as big a part in this book as I would have liked but saying that once you read the story you can tell why.. Gordon weaved such a good tale that these guys needed to take a step back in order to see the story develop.

This is such a good book and I can’t wait to get time to read the 3rd book! I highly recommend to check out Gordon’s work.

Gordon has quickly became a favorite author of mine and i’m excited to see what lies ahead

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com