Thunder of the Gods (Empire #8) by Anthony Riches

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The eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire

With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries.

Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts.

And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.

REVIEW

The thing that impresses me the most, I think, and is an important element in my own fiction writing, is the author’s amazing ability to keep a long series fresh, vibrant, exuding an anticipatory eagerness. This is the 8th book in the Empire series; an adventure to the East to face Rome’s longtime rival, Parthia. By now, the familiar cast of characters are just that, familiar to the reader, almost family like even. The plots are skillfully/creatively written…the battles are exquisite…etc, etc, etc. I don’t know that I can add much more to the hundreds of reviews already posted…this is, to put it succinctly, another masterpiece of historical-fiction. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Hunting Teddy Roosevelt by James A. Ross

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It’s 1909, and Teddy Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted. The safari is a time of discovery, both personal and political. In Africa, Roosevelt encounters Sudanese slave traders, Belgian colonial atrocities, and German preparations for war. He reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Maggie, now a globe-trotting newspaper reporter sent by William Randolph Hearst to chronicle safari adventures and uncover the former president’s future political plans. But James Pierpont Morgan, the most powerful private citizen of his era, wants Roosevelt out of politics permanently. Afraid that the trust-busting president’s return to power will be disastrous for American business, he plants a killer on the safari staff to arrange a fatal accident. Roosevelt narrowly escapes the killer’s traps while leading two hundred and sixty-four men on foot through the savannas, jungles, and semi-deserts of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, and Sudan.

REVIEW

Everything I’ve read or heard about Teddy Roosevelt paints him as a larger than life, irrepressible force of nature. In Hunting Teddy Roosevelt, the author adds to that persona a man of honor, loyalty, and compassion. It is a taut, exciting thriller of a tale full of wonderful episodes on the African plains and in the steamy, critter filled jungles. The main plot is an assassination attempt on Teddy setup by three of the most powerful men in American industry – mightily put out at Roosevelt for his trust-busting activities, and to make sure that Teddy doesn’t run for President again, they want him to not return from his self imposed ‘exile’ from American politics. I fell in love with the varied array of characters the author has placed around his ebullient protagonist…the meddlesome, fiercely determined Hearst newspaper journalist; his devoted, yet flawed son; a city bred assassin completely out of his element on an African safari; unscrupulous captains of industry; Boers, and Sudanese bandits… An easy flowing narrative for the most part, even with the numerous action scenes of hunts and skirmishes with bandits, the author had me stop and gasp occasionally, e.g. stalking a leopard in the dark…that scene is a fine example of the detailed description, and sudden pulse pounding action that permeates the pages of this breathtaking tale. So, my fellow readers, put on your slouch hat, make yourself comfortable and prepare to be entertained in a Bully fashion.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pagan Death (Tribes of Britain #1) by Sam Taw

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Three lying wives. Two fated slaves. One murdered leader.
It’s 700BC and healer of the Dumnonii, Meliora, is devastated. Her favourite nephew is dead, poisoned by one of their own.

It’s a shameful way to kill a Chieftain, leaving Aebba the Wild to roam the Between Worlds until he is avenged. She knows the priests at the midsummer gathering will not allow him to pass into the Summerlands until the killer is brought to justice. With three manipulative widows pushing their sons forward to replace him, life in camp is fraught with danger. When a second body is discovered, Meliora knows that she could be next.

A neighbouring tribe have their sights set on plundering the Dumnoni tin mines. Against all vows of peace, they plan an attack for when they are at their most vulnerable. Can Meliora and her kin make it back from Stonehenge in time to defend their land and people?

Can she unmask the killer before they silence her for good?

Grab your copy now and immerse yourself in Late Bronze Age skirmishes and bloody rituals in the first of this tense and brutal historical thriller series.

REVIEW

There is something about the early history of Britain that calls to me. Perhaps it’s because I probably share a gene or two with the denizens of Bronze Age Britain, or maybe it’s just my love of history. Whatever the reason, The Tribes of Britain series promises to keep me enthralled. An amazing cast of characters highlighted by Meliora, an indomitable force in a meek-like shell, riddled with doubts, saddled with the growing infirmities of age, yet imbued with the qualities of a healer, a voice of reason and compassion among a host of foes. The tale is replete with twists and surprises as the battle for control of the tribe depends on discovering who murdered Aebba…will the tribe continue in the old ways, or will it succumb to inter-tribal rivalries and a more visceral form of religion. As I neared the end of the book, I began to look forward to the next tale in the series…then…the ending of book 1 happened…oh my…that’s all I’m going to say. Book 2 here I come.  4⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing: Troubles at Traymore College by Duncan L. Clarke

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When David Pritchard is hired to teach political science at a remote women’s college in 1969, he anticipates a quiet year before moving on to bigger things. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not well at Traymore College. President Barton and his administration curtail basic academic freedoms, harass tenured professors, and impose tight constraints on students’ personal lives. Appalled, David engages in intimate alliances with sympathetic faculty and several members of student leadership to stand up to the school’s administration. Together, they aim to ignite the press and spark far-reaching legal action. But Barton will not go down without a fight.

EARLY PRAISE

“Tremendous. The book is a hoot!”
Edward D. Jervey, Professor Emeritus of History, Radford University
[While Ed — who is 90 years old —  didn’t know it until well after the book was written, “his” character is a significant actor in the story]
“Dr. Clarke has rendered an accurate description of relationship dynamics at play in an anachronistic institution trying to futilely isolate itself from turbulent forces of 1960s America. The smooth flowing prose makes this book a pleasure to read while gaining historical perspective on changes unleashed then that are still affecting America today.”
Dr. William Rosolowsky, DVM
[Dr. Rosolowsky is a veterinarian. Xena, a German shepherd, is a major character is the story]

 

About Duncan L. Clarke

Duncan L. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and former Director of the United States Foreign Policy Field at American University’s School of International Service, Washington, D.C. He was Visiting Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Professor of National Security at the National War College. He served in the intelligence community and authored numerous articles and five books on U.S. defense and foreign policy. Clarke lived and taught in Washington, D.C., for many years before moving to the Central Coast of California. He earned his BA at Clark University, JD at Cornell University, and PhD at the University of Virginia. A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing was inspired by his experience as a faculty member in 1969-1970 at Radford College, which was then a public women’s college in Southwest Virginia. Clarke is writing a second novel titled, Murder on the Appalachian Trail: A Love Story. He has twice hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. 
To learn more about the book visit https://dlclarke.com/

Why Write A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing?

For fifty-years I’ve considered writing a novel about my experience as a young professor at what was then Radford College in Radford, Virginia. Like others of my age, I’ve lost many who were dear to me, but no time was more traumatic than Academic Year 1969-1970 when I found myself at this rural public women’s college.

The civil liberties of students and faculty were systematically and cruelly violated by the longest serving college president in the state, something I learned only after arriving on campus.

I had just passed my PhD orals at the University of Virginia and, in 1966, I’d received my law degree for Cornell University. Because of my involvement in law suits against the college, demonstrations, public speeches, etc., I was at the center of a “rebellion” against an authoritarian administration. The personal costs were great: the experience almost ended my academic career, and my life was threatened. But the president left office, academic and personal freedoms were implemented, and the college evolved into the coeducational Radford University which today has 11,000 students.

One of several reasons the book had to be presented as fiction is that I was a twenty-seven-year old unmarried male in a sea of 4,000 single women. I allied closely, sometimes very closely, with key student leaders to effectuate change.

Why write this book? Because it’s a damn good story, and sometimes fiction is truth. Few others are better positioned to tell the story. Moreover, it is always appropriate to remind ourselves that our freedoms are secure only when women and men are prepared to fight for them.

Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Belle Isle Books (August 5, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1951565878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1951565879

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Empires of Bronze: Dawn of War (Empires of Bronze #2) by Gordon Doherty

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A tale of far-flung desert adventure set in the distant Bronze Age

Two great empires on the brink of war, one last hope for peace…

1294 BC: The fragile accord between the Hittite and Egyptian empires is crumbling. The ancient world braces itself for war on an unprecedented scale. Prince Hattu, the greatest of the Hittite generals, suffers dreams of terrible consequences – conjured by the Goddess Ishtar. But Hattu refuses to accept her prophecies, adamant that there is one last chance for peace.

This fragile hope lies in the borderlands of the east, where the two rival empires touch. Hattu gathers a chosen band and sets out for this distant, blistering desert land, determined and defiant. Yet the further he ventures, the darker and more twisted his mission becomes. Old ghosts rise around him and Ishtar haunts his every move.

The Goddess’ divination’s cannot be avoided, men say. Hattu will walk through fire to prove them wrong.

REVIEW

All of the new research and discoveries regarding the early history of mankind’s penchant for building empires, and especially in the area of Anatolia, could provide a creative author enough fodder for an excellent series on a Bronze Age/pre-Trojan War empire – say maybe the Hittites. Wait, what’s that? Empires of Bronze by Gordon Doherty is just the ticket? By dream-inducing Ishtar, I do believe you are correct. A master at putting his protagonists through seven shades of suffering and turmoil, the author has once again crafted a tale that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats, as Prince Hattu must survive not only the cruel elements of geography and weather, but the immensely talented, long reaching evil of Pharaoh Seti’s pet villain, Volca.

Another thing I enjoy about Mr. Doherty’s creative prowess is his ability to transport me back to that ancient time and place- a time of tin and copper – a time of bronze tipped spears – a time of chariots – a place destined to be one of the most fought over throughout our history. Looking forward to the next episode – The Army of Ra is on the way.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Second English King (Chronicles of the English #3) by M.J. Porter

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The Second English King – Book 3 in the epic Chronicles of the English

Edmund of the English, Anlaf Sihtriccson of York, Ragnall Gothfrithsson of York, the aged Constantin of Scotland, now in retirement, with his successor Mael Coluim in control, Athelstan, Half-King of the English, Hywel of the South Welsh.

The year is 945 and Edmund of the English, finally coming into his own as the second English king now has the power and the ability to push back England’s borders even further; his eye firmly set on not just retaking the Viking kingdom of York but on the lands of Strathclyde and even the land of the Scots, floundering under its new ruler.

Can Edmund better his older half-brother Athelstan with his hopes of treaty and peace and instead use the power of his sword and the might of his warriors to ensure that this time, England stays whole, that the victory so fleetingly won at Brunanburh in 937, comes to mean more than just a passing phase in the changing fortunes of the petty kingdoms that make up the British Isles?

REVIEW

Seems every man wants to retire to a place they can call their own. For some it is York (Jorvik)…for others it is Scotland…for Hywel it is Wales..for Donald it is Strathclyde…for Edmund it is all of them. A fascinating tale that examines the inner workings and the political maneuverings of a tumultuous period in England’s long and tumultuous history. The author tells the tale through the eyes of the principal characters, and in so doing gives the reader an inside to the thinking processes; the hopes and fears, the desires and the need for revenge, the mistakes and the victories. A definite page turning story awaits you my fellow readers. 4⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Arlington Orders by Elliot Mason

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Elliot writes, “In the dying days of the Civil War, an assassination attempt is made on Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Faced with this ongoing threat, the decision is made to evacuate the Southern capital of Richmond, Virginia. Everything must be moved, including the Confederacy’s substantial gold and silver reserves, which must be kept out of Union hands. Thus, a covert plan is devised to transfer it to a secret location. However, during the move, the treasure vanishes without a trace.

One hundred and fifty years later, two historians, Des Cook and Madison Callum, stumble upon clues that could solve one of the war’s greatest mysteries while leading them to the richest and most significant find in American history. But others are searching for it too and will do anything to obtain it.

Now, Des and Madison find themselves entangled in a race that, if they fail to win, would not only result in their deaths but also change the very future of the country.”

REVIEW

A savvy mystery/treasure hunt/thriller – yes, that what The Arlington Orders is, my fellow readers. The long lost Confederate gold spirited away from Richmond before it fell is being hunted by a diverse group of people for a variety of reasons…not all of them altruistic. The story is well paced, and filled with twists and turns in the plot. The characters are well written; interesting and imbued with believable emotional responses and motives for their actions. Page turning suspense sprinkled with edge of the seat action, The Arlington Orders keeps the reader engaged and entertained. You could compare it to National Treasure, but with a villain who is even nastier than Sean Bean. 😎                                        4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Du Lac Princess (The Du Lac Chronicles #3) by Mary Anne Yarde

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The multi award-winning series The Du Lac Chronicles continues:

War is coming…

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

REVIEW

Heart pumping action, eye opening surprises, edge of the seat drama, The Du Lac Princess continues the excellence of this mesmerizing series featuring the startlingly troubled scions of Lancelot. And, my fellow readers, there is a lot of trouble for them to endure making it rather difficult to put the book down. The author has crafted a beguiling tale full of the unexpected, full of emotion, full of the tenor of the time – in short – an exhilarating page turner. Imaginative, exciting…so many superlatives could be used… once again in short – if you haven’t read The Du Lac Chronicles, you are indeed missing out on historical fiction at its finest. And there is more to come.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rise of a Champion by Stuart Rudge

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Antonio Perez is the son of a knight and a returning war hero, yet he loathes the idea of following in his father’s footsteps. But when his father is executed for alleged treason against Fernando, King of Leon-Castile, he launches a desperate bid to save his life and clear his name. Antonio soon learns that the world is much crueller and darker than he ever could have imagined.

Bereft of hope and condemned to slavery for his sins, he finds himself in the household of a young knight named Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, a man destined for greatness. Together, they must face their demons and put an end to the man responsible for the downfall of the fathers; known as Azarola, renowned for his fox like cunning and malice, and one of the most powerful lords of Leon.

Rise of a Champion is the epic beginning to the Legend of the Cid.

REVIEW

It seems that no matter how many historical fiction books I read, there are always historical events, locales, and personalities that I know little or nothing about. Sometimes these events, important though they are, become overshadowed by concurrent events in other parts of the globe. Rise of a Champion is the first book in a series about Antonio Perez, El Cid…undoubtedly an important person in an important time in what is now Spain. It is a rousing tale of his early life; the tortuous road he takes to salvage his family’s honor. The author has done his homework and has created a very entertaining tale of the clash of Moor versus Christian. The characters are well developed, fitting into the time, place and cultures of the era. I had very little knowledge of this period even though I have read many books that take place at the same time – an example of the overshadowing effect – the year Rise of a Champion ends is 1064 – lots of stuff going on in Normandy and Britain right about then. 😊 But, it is good to branch out, to learn about, and be entertained by history no matter the time or place. I am looking forward to following the rest of El Cid’s tale. 4⭐⭐⭐⭐