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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale



I enjoy alternate history.  This is the invasion of the Midwest of the United States by a Roman Legion. 

Gaius Publius Marcellinus is the protagonist.  He is the tribune of the legion.   The book details his experience in invading the Midwest from a Chesapeake Bay landing.   His opinion of the American Indian is very low since they use gurillea warfare tactics and refuse to fight pitched battles.  

The legion runs into the Mississippian civilization of mound builders that is characterized by the author as the Cahokians.   The mound builders are a historic mystery as they left little behind besides their mounds.   The author builds on their mounds, add his own twist with bird clans and Roman innovations.

Smale did a great job with this book.  You are in the mind of Gaius and suffer with him through his losses and successes.  The story builds on real historic perspectives but the author leavens these with his own twists.

I highly recommend the book.

Site:  http://www.alansmale.com/clashofeagles/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer



Stephen is aware of my penchant for strong female protagonists.    Note the list of books at the top of my Azure Dwarf site on butt kicking female protagonists.   Digressing, Person of Interest, the TV series is populated by some seriously strong female characters.   Caring on for Stephen Zimmer's latest treat, Heart of a Lion is an excellent fantasy where Rayden Valkyrie is traveling home through many trials and tribulations.

Rayden is a no nonsense woman who takes her men by her choice and her's alone.   She battles injustice as she sees it and internally philosophizes as she travels.  She faces horrific danger with pragmatic good humor and depends on her wits and strength of arm to see her through her occasionally self destructive behavior.

The plot is intricate without being confusing.  My only note of discord is that I felt her abandonment of Ammanus was out of character.

I highly recommend it.  

Web site:  http://www.stephenzimmer.com/



Excellent Trailer

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Lord-Protector's Daughter by L.E. Modesitt, jr

This blog is not becoming an all Modesitt blog.   However I do have the next book in the series on order.   Ha!


This book is set before the first three books in the Corean Chronicles and after the next three.  Court intrigue and succession are the major themes in this volume.

Mykel of the last few books is now a historic figure.   The land that he undertook to protect has flourished but seems to be in a decline.   The current Lord Protector does not seem to measure up to the Talent that Mykel displayed.

Mykella, a female namesake, is the protagonist in this book.   She discovers facets of her being that were previously unknown.   She also faces the Soarers who have been in every volume of the series.

If you have read any of my reviews, you have seen I am  fond of a strong female protagonist.   The men in this book seem terrified by competent  women and dismayingly enough, I know a few guys who would fit in that category.   Kudos to Modesitt for providing strong role models for both young men and women.

In my repetitive closing on Modesitt's books, I am an admitted admirer of Modesitt's style and work.  There is a common thread of honor and responsibility through his work.  His characters struggle to maintain their core identities and to remain truly humble in spite of increasing power.

I highly recommend.  




This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Soarer's Choice by L.E. Modesitt, jr


This is book six of the Corean Chronicles. This is more like the end of the beginning of the series.   The plot sets the stage for the first three books.   Dainyl discovers the extent of his known powers and Mykel discovers he has talent.

Although this book appears to offer closure to the roots of the first three books, one wonders if it does.   I am currently reading Lord Protector's Daughter which seems to follow Mykel's family line although generations later.   If a saga is making money why not continue to expand it's nature.

The impact of differing goals is clearly illustrated.   The lander's desire for gold to the exclusion of all else and the alector's obsession with power are both examples of overwhelming greed rather than two different goals.

In my repetitive closing on Modesitt's books, I am an admitted admirer of Modesitt's style and work.  There is a common thread of honor and responsibility through his work.  His characters struggle to maintain their core identities and to remain truly humble in spite of increasing power.

I highly recommend.  




This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cadmian's Choice by L.E. Modesitt, jr




This is book five of the Corean Chronicles. The origins of Corus's problems are further exposed in this book.    Book four focused on the Alector's point of view.  This book  presents more of the Cadmian officer, Majer Mykel's viewpoint. 

Point of view may be somewhat simplistic.  This volume shows some of the origins of the problems faced by Alucius, the main protagonist, in the first three books.  This book is set several thousand years before the first three books. 

Dainyl, of the ruling class, is forced to enhance his own talent and to reassess his feelings on steers.    Mykel, the steer discovers he  is not one of the herd.  His latent  talent continues to grow after one of the native Soarers points it out to him. Talented refers to the ability to manipulate time, energy or matter.

Modesitt has the ability to take contrary points of view from book to book in the same series.   I find that quite thought provoking.   He deals with arrogance and prejudice in an inoffensive manner but still provokes the questions of human motivation.  The failure of  life on a distant planet underlines the motivation of perceived villainy.  The husbanding  of resources and the care of the environment is subtly promoted by Modesitt's work.

I am an admitted admirer of Modesitt's style and work.  There is a common thread of honor and responsibility through his work.  His characters struggle to maintain their core identities and to remain truly humble in spite of increasing power.

I highly recommend.  





This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alector's Choice by L.E. Modesitt, jr



This is book four  of the Corean Chronicles. The origins of Corus's problems are clearly exposed in this book.    A new cast of characters presenting the other side of the equation.  This books viewpoint is from the villain's point of view which, as you may guess, is rather different than the point of view of the first three books.

Point of view may be somewhat simplistic.  This volume shows some of the origins of the problems faced by Alucius, the main protagonist, up to this point.  This is set several thousand years before the first three books. 

Dainyl is of the ruling class and is highly but circumspectly talented.  Talented refers to the ability to manipulate time, energy or matter.  Mykel is a steer, one of the herd, who is unaware of his own talent until one of the native Soarers points it out to him.

Modesitt has the ability to take contrary points of view from book to book in the same series.   I find that quite thought provoking.

I am an admitted admirer of Modesitt's style and work.  There is a common thread of honor and responsibility through his work.  His characters struggle to maintain their core identities and to remain truly humble in spite of increasing power.

I highly recommend.  



 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Stephen Zimmer Author

Information on Stephen Zimmer's  Rising Dawn Saga, Fires In Eden Series, Hellscapes Collection, Chronicles of Ave, and the brand new Heart of a Lion are on there. 10 titles in all, covering fantasy, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery and horror. 

I invite you to take a look! descriptions and direct links for every title!http://www.seventhstarpress.com/stephen-zimmer/
Stephen Zimmer Award-winning author and filmmaker Stephen Zimmer is based out of Lexington, Kentucky. His works include the Rising Dawn Saga, the Fires in Eden Series, the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections, the Harvey and Solomon steampunk stories, and the Rayden Valkyrie Tale…
SEVENTHSTARPRESS.COM


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.