Empires of Bronze: Son of Ishtar (Empires of Bronze #1) by Gordon Doherty

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BLURB

Four sons. One throne. A world on the precipice. 

1315 BC: Tensions soar between the great powers of the Late Bronze Age. The Hittites stand toe-to-toe with Egypt, Assyria and Mycenaean Ahhiyawa, and war seems inevitable. More, the fierce Kaskan tribes – age-old enemies of the Hittites – amass at the northern borders.

When Prince Hattu is born, it should be a rare joyous moment for all the Hittite people. But when the Goddess Ishtar comes to King Mursili in a dream, she warns that the boy is no blessing, telling of a dark future where he will stain Mursili’s throne with blood and bring destruction upon the world.

Thus, Hattu endures a solitary boyhood in the shadow of his siblings, spurned by his father and shunned by the Hittite people. But when the Kaskans invade, Hattu is drawn into the fray. It is a savage journey in which he strives to show his worth and valour. Yet with his every step, the shadow of Ishtar’s prophecy darkens…

REVIEW

Okay, my peeps and fellow readers of Mr. Doherty, we already know the dude can write, but this is the start of a new series…has his heretofore exemplary writing skills carried over? Let’s have a look at the Hoover Book Review checklist – intriguing subject matter/check – characters the reader can embrace/check – a story line with twists and turns/check – obstacles overcome/check – engaging dialogue/check – tense drama/check – descriptions that invite the reader to the very walls of Hattusa…that leave the scent of battle on the pages/check. It’s apparent that the author has ticked all of the boxes which I guess isn’t too much of a surprise. He’s taken on a period, area, and a people not well known, but who were certainly the boss of Asia Minor, and has crafted a wonderful tale of the Hittite world, a tale of overcoming the odds stacked high against success, a tale of two brothers and the growing divide between them…a tale of an empire being tested to the brink of destruction. A well done story that has me looking expectantly for the next one. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Breaking the Foals by Maximilian Hawker

 

 

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Breaking The Foals by Maximilian Hawker

  • Paperback:272 pages
  • Publisher:Unbound Digital (26 April 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1911586726
  • ISBN-13:978-1911586722 

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breaking-Foals-Maximilian-Hawker/dp/1911586726/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1523387592&sr=1-1  

BLURB: The Troy of myth was a real city and it was called Wilusa. This is its story… Hektor’s life of privilege is forever changed when a man, allegedly possessed by the sun god, inspires revolution among the oppressed people of Wilusa. For Hektor, son of the city’s despotic ruler, social equality contradicts every principle he has been taught. And his obsession with duty is alienating him from his own young son, Hapi, with whom he has a fractured relationship. But when Hapi’s life is threatened, Hektor is compelled to question his every belief as he rebuilds his relationship with his child through the breaking of a foal. As Wilusa collapses into political violence and the commoners rise up, Hektor must finally decide whether to defend the people and lose his identity, or remain loyal to his irrational, dangerous father.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maximilian Hawker is a 30-year-old writer who lives in Croydon, South London, with his wife and two daughters. He is author of the novel Breaking the Foals, due to be published with Unbound in March 2018. An alumnus of Kingston University, he has a postgraduate degree in English Literature and has worked in education, editorial and design. Currently, he works in frontline children’s social care for Croydon Council, providing a service for care leavers and also runs a YouTube channel for looked after children and care leavers called formeR Relevant, which he aims to eventually promote at a national level. He has had poetry and short stories – occasionally nominated for awards – appear in publications run by Dog Horn Publishing, Kingston University Press, Arachne Press and Rebel Poetry, among others. He also aims to see the word ‘asparagi’ added to the English Dictionary, as its absence troubles him

 

Twitter @MaxHawker

Website:  http://www.maximilianhawker.com/

Facebook Author Page

My Review:

I don’t remember exactly what triggered my interest as a teenager about Troy, but I do remember checking Schliemann’s book on his Trojan excavations out of the Monteith Branch of the Detroit Public Library.  Thus began my lifelong affair with ancient times. When I entered Wayne State University a few years later, I chose Classical Civilization as my area of study and immersed myself in the mythologies and histories of ancient Greece and Rome, including Homer’s Iliad. Since then I’ve read more than a few historical fiction tales of The Trojan War, e.g. Hand of Fire by Judith Starkson, the Odysseus series by Glyn Iliffe, the Ilium and Olympos duo by Dan Simmons. The one common factor in all of them is that they all see the tale from different perspectives; a trait they share with Breaking the Foals.  This tale brings to life a Troy that existed prior to the city of Homer. Indeed it is one school of thought that Homer’s Iliad was based on a series of events that happened in this corner of Asia. Wilusa was a Bronze Age vassal to the Hittite Empire at the time of this Priam and Hektor; albeit the more powerful of the various cities in the region. The author has pieced together a marvelous tale integrating the time and tenor of Bronze Age Asia Minor with elements of Homer; elements that are presented in a manner to make them less mythological and more historical.  The plot develops around Hektor, the dutiful son and right hand man of Priam, the representative of the Sun God on Earth, and the growing discontent of the populace of the lower town with the “deserving” in the upper town.  Hektor finds himself torn about his duties especially as his son, Hapi, is not one of the “deserving” being born to a prostitute mother. The tense atmosphere with the lower town subjects, plus a rather unfortunate set of events; earthquake, a rather unhappy neighboring city, and the general feeling that Priam has lost the favor of the gods lead to an exciting climatic conclusion.  The reader is presented with believable characters, wonderful descriptions, and an entertaining telling of a story that is at once familiar yet different enough to rouse the historically curious.

5 stars.

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