Jade Empire – Tales of the Empire 6 by S.J.A. Turney

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The 6th and final book in this fantasy/real world series has the author not only telling tall tales, but also a cautionary tale reflecting the cyclical nature of history – and an uncanny reflection of modern day political madness.  The theme of East versus West with the battleground in the middle is prevalent as the Jade Emperor and the Western Emperor decide they both want to stretch their boundaries, with the land of Inda being the prize.  It is a story filled with irony as the three sons of a minor Inda rajah choose different paths for their lives as the Jade Empire begins it’s conquest.  The irony doesn’t stop there, but I will not say more about that, I will let the reader enjoy the unfolding tension and unexpected developments without any spoilers from me.

In the many books I have read by Mr. Turney, I was always blown away with his mastery of description, and he doesn’t disappoint in this one.  An example is the telling of the monsoon season and the effects it has on the land and on the two armies facing each other across a vast plain they cannot cross.  The differences in the three cultures, the differing approaches to the military; the differences in religion; the differences in the ruling hierarchies – all are exquisitely told.

This has been an exciting and thoroughly entertaining ride through The Tales of the Empire, and I highly recommend it.  4.8 stars

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The Reaper’s Touch – The Ripper Legacies Book 2 – by Robert Southworth

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A gripping sequel to say the least.  With the identity of The Ripper still unknown, the author throws out tantalizing hints and creative plot twists, capturing the mood and emotions of everyone involved.  Fast paced action, engaging characters; a tale replete with the sights and sounds of London; it’s vibrancy and it’s decadence.  I was taken in once again by Mr. Southworth’s grasp of the facts and his creative touch on one of the more ghoulish murder sprees London has ever experienced.  Another facet of this tale I like is that the mystery of who is The Ripper hasn’t been solved yet, and that means there will be a third book – that is a good thing to look forward to.  4.7 stars

The Abbey of Death by Steven A. McKay

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Will Scarlett, outlaw, wolf’s head, violently tempered right hand man to Robin Hood, has been pardoned for his many sins and crimes but cannot find peace within.  Donning the robes and tonsured hairstyle, he becomes a monk.  In a wonderful bit of story telling, the author has taken an account of a troublesome group of monks who basically disregarded their vows and ran wild, causing strained relations between the townsfolk and the local abbey.  Brother Scaflock(Scarlett) finds that old habits die hard even as he begins to find some of the peace he’s been seeking.  A tension filled tale worthy of being the final episode in the author’s very fine Robin Hood series, The Forest Lord. 4.3 stars

 

Katharina – Deliverance by Margaret Skea

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One of the things I like about historical-fiction is the way an author can take a subject, be that a place, an event, or in this case a person, and tell a story that is so compellingly real that you think you’re reading a non-fictional account.  That is, in the opinion of this humble, yet moderately astute reviewer, precisely what Margaret Skea has done in Katharina – Deliverance.  Little is known of the woman who became the wife of Martin Luther, but by the time I finished this portion of her story, I felt as if she had sprung out from the pages of history, so fully depicted, so fully a part of that time.  As for the historical bits of this early period of Luther’s reformation, I have to admit to a certain ignorance.  Of course, I knew the basics and was aware of the incredible repercussions that resulted, but I was somewhat unaware of the schisms among the reformers, though certainly not surprised.  What the author has done is to skillfully blend the fiction with the fact, and like a good medieval tapestry weaver, leaves no trace of the seams between the two.  4.8 stars  Note: the sequel is expected in 2018, and is already on my ‘to be read list.’

Blog Tour: A Sea of Sorrow

Incisive review.

What Cathy Read Next...

A Sea of Sorrow_Blog Tour Banner_FINALI’m thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for A Sea of Sorrow by the team of writers known as the H Team. They have come together to create stories that provide a different perspective on the tale of Odysseus recounted in The Odyssey.

Check out the tour schedule hereWinFrom the tour page you can also enter the giveaway (US only) with a chance to win a paperback copy of A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus.

The giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 17th 2017.


ASeaofSorrowAbout the Book

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters – no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are…

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A Sea of Sorrow by by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield, Gary Corby (Introduction)

 

 

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One might ask, ‘why another book about Troy; another book about Odysseus?’  Well, in answer to that question, I would say, ‘because of the variety of ways the story can be told.’  In A Sea of Sorrow we have that variety – here are told the tales of Odysseus without the elements of mythical monsters or capricious gods and goddesses; not that the monsters and gods are missing from the stories but are only in the minds and beliefs of the participants of the tale.  So, we find Polyphemus, not as a man eating ogre, but as a wronged shepherd; someone we can find pity for.  The same holds true for Circe, the Sirens and Calypso; their stories too, shed the supernatural causes and bring the reader into the depths of the suffering experienced at the hands of the Hero of Troy. The authors present the events of Homer in a manner that not only renders them more believable; more human, but they also wondrously elicit the emotions and anguish of each tale, breathing even more life into the well known mythic version.  In each of the stories, I found something new, a tidbit of information; an idea or thought, enhancing the entertainment. Another well done collaboration by the H-Team.  4.3 stars

 

About the Authors

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia’s novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen’s Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.

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David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

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Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie’s recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

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Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

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Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.

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Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA’S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

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Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Chapters

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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A Wounded Realm – The Blood of Kings 2 by K.M. Ashman

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An engaging sequel to A Land Divided, it continues the Welsh struggle to maintain or regain land and power from the English under King Henry 1st.  Replete with wonderful characters and interest grabbing plots and scenarios, the author has once again shown his creative abilities conjuring up some great fiction interspersed with his knowledge of the historical record. A fascinating look at a period of upheaval and change following the events of 1066.  Looking forward to book 3, Rebellion’s Forge. 4 stars.