“Aborologist Florence Brock steps into the hollow of an ancient tree and awakes transported several hundred years into England’s past. Thrust into a land at war, where her skills count for nothing and her life even less, Florence has to forget everything she once knew and become something more.
Her fate is entwined with Nat Haslet, a savvy and resourceful soldier marooned beyond his own time, desperate to get back home. Nat has learned what it is to survive in this broken land, doing what he must to stay alive.
Their incursion in the time-line alerts both friend and foe. There are those who would help them – The Taxanes – a secretive order as ancient as the trees themselves, who protect the time-line from ripples that were never meant to be. And there are those who would seek to use Florence’s knowledge for a far darker purpose, twisting history to their own malevolent ends.
Now, Florence and Nat must forge an understanding if they are to navigate the treachery of England’s lost and brutal past, before time itself runs out.” Continue reading “Shadow of the Savernake – Jayne Hackett (Review)”
A good-looking gent in a soft hat leans back in his seat as the train puffs down the track to Barcelona. When the engine pauses in Narbonne, he stubs out his cigarette and walks quickly out on to the platform. Minutes later, a beautiful woman will be found dead.
Yes, we are in the chain-smoking, gun-toting, heart-breaking 1930s. The clouds are gathering over northern Europe, but in Spain, the storm has already broken. The eponymous hero of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s thriller, the mysterious Falcó, is making the best of the situation by offering his sinister talents to Franco’s secret service. Continue reading “Falcó – Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Review)”
Beck is the story of an eponymous mixed-race orphan in an uncaring world. After the death of his mother, Beck is shipped off to Canada, where he deals with abusive priests, abusive farmers, and violent mobsters (plus more) while he searches for a place to belong.
This is a book that desperately wants to have an important message. It’s just not clear what that message is. Every event drips with unused significance. He is neglected and abused as an orphan, but it ends there – any larger point about man’s inhumanity to man or poverty fizzle out as he pushed the memories behind him and wanders on. Instead of an exploration of society or identity or anything else, each plot point is simply another event in a series of them with no real purpose. Continue reading “Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)”
The Empire of Salt has declined and fallen. What is left is Darien – a city ruled through a puppet king by twelve noble families. Magic has faded too, and only the wealthy manage to hoard anything more than trinkets. Plague ravages the countryside, and children steal to survive. Society is old and tired, looking back to an earlier age to avoid thinking about the failures and compromises of the modern day. There’s no pride, justice, or nobility left.
Darien focuses on a cast of characters who want something more. A thief who dreams of a treasure hoard, a girl who dreams of justice. A gang leader with memories of a nobler calling and a general tired of pointless orders. Darien has been in placid decline for centuries, but times are changing. Plans and paths converge, beginning a chain of events that will either destroy the city or redeem it. Continue reading “Darien – C. F. Iggulden (Review)”
Eagles at War tells the story of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Given that it’s one of the most famous military upsets in all of recorded history, I don’t think I’m giving away any plot twists here if I talk about it. I don’t think many people read historical fiction in a state of surprise. Three Roman legions march into Germany under the command of Quintillius Varus. They all die. Continue reading “Eagles at War – Ben Kane (Review)”
I’ve been meaning to read Simon Scarrow for a while. Fiction set in the Roman Empire is a favourite of mine, ever since I first read The Eagle of the Ninth. Simon Scarrow’s books sat on the shelves in bookstores glossily, promising to be exactly the sort of book I love; there’s something about that Empire, the contradictions and complexities of the ideas, that I find very appealing. Continue reading “Under the Eagle – Simon Scarrow (Review)”