An excellent review from the mind of SJA Turney, Esq.

S.J.A. Turney's Books & More


For the sake of transparency, I’ll say that I’m a friend of the author, though as always I will not allow that to influence my review. Also, I would say that I have really no experience with this era, though I was lucky enough to have read and early first draft of part of this book, so when I picked up the finished article I was somewhat prepared, though the book has changed considerably since then.

My great love is Rome, and I love in particular late Rome. Living in the north of England, the events of 383-410AD (from Maximus’ withdrawal of troops to the Roman withdrawal total) are ingrained in my psyche. But what happens after 410 and Roman money and government is removed from Britain? I mean, my knowledge from then on is largely Mediterranean-based and full of Vandals, Goths and Byzantine Emperors and Persian Satraps.

Well, so…

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1066 What Fates Impose



Once again this old reader of books was asked to read and review an author’s muse inspired work.  Once again this old reader of books was glad he said yes.  1066 What Fates Impose is, as the title indicates, a story of the Norman invasion of England and William the Bastard’s attempt to claim the throne.  One of the reasons I like this book is that while William has his place in the story, it is King Harold Godwinson who is the main protagonist.  The author does an excellent job in setting up Harold’s eventual rise to the crown and the problems he faces in keeping it.  The story is rich in the feel and flavor of the times due to the historical research done by Mr. Holloway and the main characters are all well written.  While the first third of the book does run a little slow(as the author sets up the rest of the book) the remainder qualifies as page turning material.  An adventurous ride awaits the reader as the action flows from place to place setting up the climatic clash at Hastings and the world changing outcome of that battle.  Give yourself a treat and delve into the world of 11th century life, warfare and history in this well written tale.  4 stars.

About G K Holloway

I was born in a small anonymous little town in the north of England where I lived the first twenty five years of my life. On leaving school I worked in a variety of jobs until I decided it was time for a change. Having always liked history, I thought I’d enjoy studying the subject for a degree, so, enrolling onto evening classes at my local college to take O Level and A Level courses, seemed the obvious thing to do.

After graduating from Coventry with an honours degree in English and Politics, I spent nearly a year in Canada before returning to England to train as a Careers Advisor in Bristol; a city I like so much I’m still living here thirty five years later. Once I’d qualified, I worked in secondary education before moving onto further education, adult education and eventually higher education.

The inspiration for my novel, ‘1066: What Fates Impose’, came from reading a biography of Harold Godwinson, that my wife bought me. I found the book really opened my eyes to the late Anglo Saxon era. Once I’d finished it I wanted to know more, so I read books about William the Conqueror, the Godwin family and then more and more about Anglo Saxon England. I found the history fascinating, full of marauding Vikings, papal plots, blood feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, so much so, I couldn’t believe the story hadn’t been covered more. So, I decided to do something myself. I researched everything I could about the period, including court etiquette; sword manufacturing techniques; everything. I also visited many of the locations that appear in the book, usually on family holidays and once I’d done all that, and it took quite some time, I wove together facts and fiction to produce the novel.

When writing the book I decided to stick as close as possible to the events and be as true to the characters as possible. For me it’s important to get the research right, so the reader has confidence in the story, knowing what they’re reading is the real thing. This is why Lady Godiva doesn’t ride naked through the streets of Coventry – It never happened. Besides, there was enough going on at that time for me not to have to add any additional spice to the story. Most of the events depicted in my book really happened with perhaps, one or two exceptions or manipulations. That is, I think, why the history comes alive.

Who Is This Guy?


For blog day I thought I would blog a short introduction to hooverbookreviews.  My name is Paul Bennett and I have been an avid reader ever since my first grade teacher, Mrs. Gibbs, taught me how way back in 1957.  Fast forward to Spring of 2013 when I met Simon James Atkinson Turney, he of the Marius Mules series and The Ottoman Cycle, via the wonder of Twitter.  Out of this burgeoning friendship I became a book reviewer.  I have done about 100 of them so far – none of them negative, partly because I’m easy to please and partly because if I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it and if I don’t finish it there is no point in reviewing it.  Anyway, also over the last two years I have met many other fine authors from around the world and have read and reviewed many of their books.  Through this process of friendship via the Web I have been encouraged to write my first novel and have almost completed it.  It is the first of maybe 5 books that follow the history of the United States from The French Indian War(1756-1763) to the westward expansion of the 1880’s through the eyes and actions of a fictional family the Mallory’s.  I am having fun writing it and if it does okay then I’ll continue with the series…if it does well…well then it may be time to quit the day job.  🙂

Wulfsuna – The Wolf Spear Saga by E.S. Moxon



About E S Moxon:

“Born into an Anglo-Italian family, E S Moxon’s life has always involved languages and travel. Childhood holidays were spent exploring Britain’s ancient heritage sites or the openness of north Italy’s rural mountains. Her grandfather’s tales of his roguish youth, akin to old sagas told around fires in Saxon and Viking mead halls, were an inspiration. Fueled by these early influences, Elaine began writing stories. A former holistic therapist and member of the Historical Novel Society, she also enjoys walking, reading and baking.

Once again an author asked me to read and review their labor of love; a task that I enjoy especially when the book is good.  For me a good book has the following qualities: believable story and characters….good descriptive narrative….plots that twist and turn…a writing style that makes it easy to keep turning the pages(or tapping the bottom right corner of a Kindle)….  Wulfsuna has all those qualities and more.  The story line is a Saxon tribe returning to Britain to reunite with with the other half of their tribe…no problem there except for a revenge seeking Angle who gets the saga off to a roaring start and supplies the drama and tension throughout the Wolf Sons journey.  Recovering from the tragic betrayal by the Angles is not easy for the new headman of the Wulfsuna and is complicated by the finding of a strange woman in the woods; a woman who threatens to tear the tribe apart because of her ties to Earth Magic and her visions of the future.

A word about the magic/seer qualities that are an important part of this story….the use of magic and visions by the author enhances the telling and simply reinforces the beliefs that were a part of the 5th century and is especially useful in a tale that is not a retelling of a historical event.  It is an excellent tool for getting into the mindsets of the people of the time and the author has done this in a most pleasant and entertaining fashion.

I really enjoyed this book even when unforeseen events shook me and made me put the book down and exclaim, ‘What? No, she didn’t do that, did she?  I didn’t see that coming.’  Of course those kinds of reader shaking events are what make a book a page turner, aren’t they?  A hearty recommendation and 5 stars…looking forward to the sequel.

Here’s a link to the book trailer.