Monday, 27 January 2014

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Brother's Fury by Giles Kristian (Rivers Book 2)

Brother's Fury (Rivers Family, #2)Brother's Fury by Giles Kristian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Behind blood, sweat, fear and loyalty of conflict, battle and war Giles reminds us all that all soldiers, fighters and rebels are human with their own dreams and nightmares pushing them forward or haunting their steps.
For brothers Tom and Edmund Rivers it is no truer for they must overcome family loyalty to do what each believes is right in a world where no one knows what choice is wrong. It is an era where everyone has black and white beliefs but Giles reveals the blurred lines, the blending borders of a grey area which fractured a family, broke hearts, severed bonds and fuelled ever more chaos as every character we get to know tries their best to make their world right again. The engines of war are repeatedly churning the land to battlefields and ruin. Both sides struggling to claim as much land as they can whilst a sister searches for redemption for her youngest brother and hopes forgiveness from her eldest sibling. Even women protected or not are not safe from the men who dominate this age regardless of class. The battles and war the reader experiences is hot, dirty and filled with key moments of decision for when one will, or won't, overcome another. The brutal truth of it all is a very literal fight for survival even when their armour is good, the horses bold and the men well trained and loyal. In a split second none of that can matter, in the blink of an eye the advantage can be gained or lost. It is another edge of seat gripping read leaving the reader as always struggling to support either side but endlessly hoping and maybe even praying like Bess that the brothers can reunite in peace and kinship when the fury of the age has passed. Which leaves a small knot of concern in the readers chest as they wait and hope for their to be less strife for the Rivers family in the much anticipated book 3.
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Thursday, 2 January 2014

1st Becky Bookworm Book Review of 2014 - #Warlord by @angus_donald (Outlaw Chronicles #4)

Warlord  (The Outlaw Chronicles, #4)Warlord by Angus Donald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you hunger for bigger battles after the seige of Nottingham Castle and the battles in the Holy Land from previous books Warlord provides what it says on the tin - WAR over quite a good number of years including the odd seige of a castle or two or maybe three.
This book shifts its focus ever so slightly from Alan's adventures with Robin (although he hasn't completely taken a back seat in this tale) to Alan's adventures as a loyal and supportive Knight under the leadership of none other than Richard the Lion Heart himself. And yets as an extra bonus Alan has a family murder mystery to solve inspired from his last meeting with the now at long last dead Sir Murdac AND the psychotic and disfigured Nur is still haunting the lands around Westbury. So as you can see there is A HECK OF A LOT for Alan to deal with besides just surviving one battle around Normandy from the next.
There isn't ever a slow period, a peaceful season or a respite for Alan as he has challenges both personal and private to deal with whether he's at home with the ever reliable Goody or abroad amongst his fellow Knights.
This book is quite an eye opener mixed in with a history lesson for most people probably know the Lion Heart best for his failed campaigns into the Holy Land. But what Angus Donald reveals in this telling is a glimpse into what the Lionheart did next as he began years of sieges and battles to reclaim his lands lost to King Philip of France. A campaign I dare say he proved more successful that is until....well I won't spoil it.
However I will say that woven within the latter half of this epic tale is a secret that could change a lot of lives for better or for worse if discovered and claimed by Robin and his men - and that dear reader is where Angus Donald cunningly leads you into the next book in the series.
Over all a roller coaster of a read - each chapter grips you by the collar and drags you through Alan's many trials and tribulations and will leave you gasping for breath at the end but also craving more. A superb piece of historical fiction written with a human heart, soul and mind at the centre of it all that gives this story such power over the reader that they are gripped even when there isn't a sword clashing with a shield or an arrow being fired from a castle keep.
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