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Book Review of Protector by Conn Iggulden

My rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The second instalment Conn Iggulden’s ‘Athenian’ series was unsurprisingly just as brilliant as the first, ‘Gates of Athens’. As with all Iggulden’s work it is exceptionally well researched, enthralling and eloquently written. Where the first book dealt with the Battle of Marathon and Thermopylae this one begins with the infamous naval battle of Salamis. Athenians have fled the city which is now burning to the ground on the orders of the Persian king Xerxes. The women and children find sanctuary on the island of Salamis and the men take to the water to meet the Persians and defend their home. Strategy is paramount considering they are greatly outnumbered. Although it looks like an impossible feat, the clear-headed Themistocles comes up with a plan which may just help their plight. Following this spectacular naval battle, the Persian army return to conquer the Greeks at the battle of Plataea and what ensues is an intense and utterly thrilling battle. The Athenians are joined by the Spartans, whose ruthlessness in battle is all too well known by the Persians. 

This all consuming, action packed novel takes you to another time and place, you feel like you are living history. You stand alongside the Athenians and their allies on the battlefield, the smell of sweat and blood in the air consumed with dread at the prospect of meeting the enemy in battle. This epic tale consumes you completely and is surely unbeatable in the realms of historical fiction. 

This is so much more than an account of battles and bloodshed, here you get insightful political strategy, an understanding of cultural intricacies and an exquisite exploration of human emotion.  A must read for all historical fiction lovers and anyone with an interest in ancient history. 

I was gifted this beautiful proof edition by Penguin Michael Joseph in return for an honest review.

@lovebooksgroup, @RCahillAuthor, book blogger, book review, Books, review

The Bound and The Broken: Of Blood and Fire by @RCahillAuthor Blog Tour Organised by @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

My rating 5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Best enjoyed with a tankard of Mead!

Spectacular, sensational and superb… need I say more? The world of Epheria is now imprinted upon my mind thanks to the beautiful and vivid descriptions along with the tantalisingly intriguing plot. Look no further book lovers, ‘Of Blood and Fire’ is epic fantasy at its best. This truly thrilling tale full of wonder and adventure will surely entice even those readers who haven’t forayed into the literary world of fantasy before. We meet giants, elves and dwarves and a glimmer of hope in the form of a dragon which may unite them in the fight against evil.

Cahill’s characters are a joy to behold. The heroes, driven by friendship and loyalty recruit the reader to champion their cause and stand by them throughout. The callousness and sheer malice of those who wish to do harm to them makes it oh so easy to detest these dastardly villains. Though we begin in the quaint and comparatively quiet village of The Glade we soon follow our protagonists on a dangerous and exciting journey into lands unknown. Calen, Rist and Dann leave behind their home and everything they once knew as they embark on a journey of self-discovery and a quest which will change their lives irrevocably. I entreat you to indulge in this gripping tale where magic is wielded, people are drawn together and endeavour to fight the evil that plights their land. For those who love Tolkien, who wish to be completely consumed by another world, you need not look further, you are in good hands with Cahill’s brilliant “Of Blood and Fire”.

Synopsis:

Epheria is a land divided by war and mistrust. The High Lords of the south squabble and fight, only kept in check by the Dragonguard, traitors of a time long past, who serve the empire of the North.

In the remote villages of southern Epheria, still reeling from the tragic loss of his brother, Calen Bryer prepares for The Proving—a test of courage and skill that not all survive.

But when three strangers arrive in the village of Milltown, with a secret they are willing to die for, Calen’s world is ripped from under him and he is thrust headfirst into a war that has been raging for centuries.

There is no prophecy. His coming was not foretold.

He bleeds like any man, and bleed he will.

I want to thank @RCahillAuthor and @lovebooksgroup for providing me with a #gifted copy.

Get yourself a copy here!
book blogger, book review, Books, review

Book reveiw of The Deception of Harriet Fleet by Helen Scarlett

My rating 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Journey back in time to 1871 to the gothic landscape of County Durham where all is not as it seems at mysterious Teesbank Hall. Fans of the Gothic Novel, rejoice, this spectacular, utterly chilling tale will put you under its spell and consume not only your mind but your entire being. I reached page 40 and decided I had figured it all out and was feeling utterly smug only to be thwarted time and time again by the devilishly clever plot. The characters were written exquisitely, the eery descriptions brought the story to life and certainly induced spine-tingling and heart fluttering moments of fear. I absolutely loved this book, I highly recommend this to any lover of mysteries, historical fiction, thrillers and of course fans of the Gothic novel. It was certainly creepy and altogether quite thrilling especially with the added ghostly elements. The dark and foreboding secrets within the tragic past of the Wainwright family intrigues the new governess Harriet who has left behind an uncertain but distressing past. So, I entreat you to go a get yourself a copy of this book, it is simply marvellous and I will surely be reading this again. 

Synopsis

1871. An age of discovery and progress. But for the Wainwright family, residents of the gloomy Teesbank Hall in County Durham the secrets of the past continue to overshadow their lives. 

Harriet would not have taken the job of governess in such a remote place unless she wanted to hide from something or someone. Her charge is Eleanor, the daughter of the house, a fiercely bright eighteen-year-old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it soon becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and dangerous behaviour – to spy on her. 

Worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds herself embroiled in Eleanor’s obsession – the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history. As family secrets are unearthed, Harriet’s own begin to haunt her and she becomes convinced that ghosts from her past are determined to reveal her shameful story.

For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.

I want to thank @QuercusBooks and @HelenSWriter for the wonderful opportunity to read and review this #gifted copy of #TheDeceptionOfHarrietFleet 

book blogger, book review, Books

Review of What Happened to us by Faith Hogan

My rating: 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well, this was just simply marvellous to read, a real pleasure and an utter joy. This is a comfort read at its best- pure loveliness which will keep you up all night! If you are in the mood to be completely and utterly captivated by a heart-warming story of deceit, second chances, friendship and love then this is the book for you! Read it now – you won’t regret it!!

Carrie is simply gorgeous, such a wonderful protagonist who I felt like I could connect with. Given the number of difficulties thrown her way she handles them all incredibly well as she tries to stay positive throughout. I was rooting for her from the beginning and she really comes into her own and grows throughout the novel. I really liked the fact that it switched viewpoints throughout the novel – so we got to learn a bit more about the other characters connected to Carrie. 

It begins with a shocking revelation and the end of long-term relationship for Carrie and though she is treated badly she will ultimately triumph over her misery. Another spanner is thrown into the works as this partner is also a business partner, the chef of the Sea Pear a restaurant which both Carrie and Kevin have dedicated the past ten years to. As the novel progresses, she surrounds herself with a lovely group of people who appreciate and care for her like she does them. It is this, that reinforces the idea that friendship is reciprocal, and this is ultimately what drives her happiness and her growth. 

I absolutely loved the wonderful characters excepting, of course, a few questionable and deceitful characters who you shall discover upon reading. It wasn’t long before I became fully engrossed in this wonderful tale with a great plot which will keep you intrigued, entertained and ultimately on tenterhooks to discover what happens.

Synopsis:

Sometimes the end is only the beginning… 

After ten years together, Carrie Nolan is devastated when she’s dumped by her hot-shot chef boyfriend, Kevin Mulvey, without even a backwards glance! But on reflection, she has sacrificed her own long-term happiness by pandering to his excessive ego in their successful Dublin restaurant (and out of it) – but not anymore! 

While Kevin is ‘living the dream’ with his beautiful new Brazilian girlfriend, Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched strangers who need her as much as she needs them. 

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable. 

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

I want to thank the publishers Head of Zeus for the gifted copy of this beautiful book. I am so grateful to have been able to read this and discover such a wonderful author. Though this is my first Faith Hogan novel – I can assure you it will not be my last- bring on more wonderful weekends spent whiling the time away reading her wonderful stories! 

book blogger, book review, Books, culture, review

Book Tour Review: The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

My rating: 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What a truly brilliant book!!! Ruth Goodman adds another layer to the research she does through actually implementing the methods and practices which she discusses in her work. This is one of the many things that make her work even more interesting, as she is able to add her own experience of practicing these historical methods. This action seems to add credibility to the facts and even makes it clearer to visualise how they would have been done. Goodman writes in a way which draws the reader in, she has an easy style which captivates the reader, through her discussion and analysis of each aspect. As someone who is interested in the social history of England, yet by no means claiming to be an expert, I felt I was in safe hands reading this book. The engaging way she writes does not detract from the content of what she writes. I found her examination of different fuels used in England before coal became universal to be highly interesting. From learning about the history of peat which I knew barely anything of to coppicing and pollarding the first few chapters alone give you are wealth of information to ponder for an extensive period of time. This is all before we get to coal and how it burned, or even how it became to fuel of choice. The depth of the research, the quality and quantity of information is truly great. It only goes to show that Goodman, of course, an expert in the field is able to create incredible work such as this whilst making it accessible, and fun to read without sacrificing the quality of her work. She shows that the introduction of coal had a huge impact on society as a whole, as well as individuals day to day life. In the latter part of the book she explores the impact of the change to coal on cooking and cleaning, which shed a new light and perspective on the daily lives of ordinary people – a topic which is discussed and examined less often.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in British or social history. 

A huge thanks to @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup for allowing me to be part of this book tour and for this #gifted copy.