I had a bit of a buying splurge in May and as a result, on my desk this month, I have three nice, shiny and newly arrived novels with some really eye catching covers. Although they all look like variations on a theme, giving us their backs. No eyes to the front for these lads. Butts clenched. Facing their enemies... I guess...
The Green Count by Christian Cameron
Book three in his terrific Chivalry series continues the story of the knight William Gold. The first book in the series, The Ill-Made Knight, ( my review of Ill-Made Knight on this blog) saw this character dragging himself to the top by his bloodied fingernails. He tried hard to better himself and so he did. Book two, which I only recently read, The Long Sword, (my review of The Long Sword on this blog) was a real beauty of a read. I loved it, despite the author's propensity for occasional wordiness. It isn't an issue though. I just skim those parts.
The Green Count is book three. Quite eager to read it, but then I'm also quite eager to read several of the books sitting on my bookshelves.
The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden
This is an author that I think will slay with his version of the Spartans. He is a big talent, his writing nowadays simply deft. I read his stand alone novel Dunstan (my review of Dunstan on this blog) last month and gave it five stars. He really proved himself in that book as one of the best in the business. Maybe he proved it with his Wars of the Roses series, but I haven't read them. I have only read his Mongols and one of his Roman books. All of which had a very mixed response to. Going from love to loathe. All these years later I tried him again with Dunstan and I am back to singing his praises. Probably more eager to read this one than The Green Count by Christian Cameron, so this one will come before it.
Blood Forest by Geraint Jones
A new kid on the historical fiction scene, Geraint Jones, is impressing readers of the genre with his gritty and bloody Roman period historical fiction. Me, well, I'm not really a Roman period kind of girl, but I am giving this debut author a shot to impress before I give up on the sub-genre again. Often Roman historical fiction, reads with an over the top machismo. It is more prevalent in that sub-genre than it is in any other sub-genre that I read in the historical fiction genre. I don't tar them all with the same brush, some are good writers, but some simply are not. Like drunk teenagers playing cowboys and Indians...only in the case of this period, Romans and barbarians; an equally, no, greater, vile genocidal people of history. Yeah, you guessed it, I don't like Romans much. Which is another reason why I avoid the sub-genre.
I read a few sample pages from Blood Forest and what I read I found didn't read like that at all and I am so relieved. Because I went and bought it. And seeing as this is the June Group Read in Ancient and Medieval Historical Fiction Group, I am 20 pages into it.
And I am impressed. Intelligent dialogue. Smart visualization. Hope this lasts past the first three chapters. (and anybody who knows about submitting manuscripts knows why).