Thursday, August 25, 2016

(Review) A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris

Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Windmill Books
Genre: Nonfiction, British History, British Monarchy, Edward I
Pages: 462
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for more information at the publisher: A Great and Terrible King

Amazon












At Amazon, there are two books available primarily on Edward I: A Great and Terrible King and Edward I (The Monarch Series) by Michael Prestwich.


Summary:
Edward I, the son of Henry III, and Eleanor of Provence, was born in 1239. Edward succeeded the throne in 1272. His first wife was Eleanor of Castile, and they had possibly as many as 16 children. His second wife was Marguerite of France, and he fathered three children. Edward I died in 1307.
A Great and Terrible King begins in 1239, with Henry III and Eleanor, the parents of Edward I. She was a young girl when they married, no children followed for three years. Edward was their first child. Edward was a decisive man and king: he responded quickly to rebels in England, he went on a crusade in 1270, with a vengeance he took over authority of Wales, and he sought control over Scotland.

Several links for further reading on Edward I:
BBC History
English Monarchs
Britannica 
Britiannia 
Education Scotland 

A Great and Terrible King has 29 illustrations, both black and white, and color.

A lengthy section for notes, bibliography, and the family tree. The lists are prime and secondary sources. From page 379 to 462 is the research information. The book itself ends on page 378. A brief preface in included, which begins the book by examining the mix-up of the kings named Edward.
Morris remarked there is sufficient historical documentation during the 1200s from monks. The National Archives holds this information.
Search results for Edward I @ The National Archives. 

My Thoughts: 
Even though there were places in the book where the reading was dry, I cannot help but give A Great and Terrible King 5 stars for excellent. The research is outstanding, and Marc Morris caught my interest from the first page until the last page (index).
When I read a historical biography, I ask: do I understand the person? Do I understand what their personality was like? Their victories and defeats? Do I see multiple sides of their personality? I knew little of Edward I when I began reading, now I feel a solid grasp of the man and king.
Lastly, I enjoyed reading about Edward and his marriage; however, I did not enjoy reading about his aggression against Wales and Scotland.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

(Review) Bloodline, Wars of the Roses Book #3 by Conn Iggulden

Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons-Penguin 
Genre: Historical fiction, The Wars of the Roses, Edward IV
Pages: 432
Source: Free copy from G.P Putnam's Sons in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for more info @ the publisher: Penguin. 




Amazon







Summary:
1461-1464
Edward of York had declared himself king of England in early March 1461. The Towton battle was in late March. The Battle of Towton was a Yorkist victory. Margaret of Anjou and her Lancaster army had been defeated. The previous King, pious Henry, is not capable of leadership and war. Henry is interested in confession of sin and prayer. Henry's wife, Margaret, is a woman of action. She does not sit idle waiting for her family to crumble. Bloodline, follows the period after Edward of York becomes Edward IV of England. The book examines his marriage, the Earl of Warwick's shock and counter maneuver at Edward's independence, and the rise of the Woodville family.

My Thoughts: 
Several reasons led me to give Bloodline 5 stars for excellent:

  • Marvelous scene descriptions. 
  • Preparation and the act of battle itself. This includes the weapons used, the various combat roles, injuries, and the madness of war. 
  • Elizabeth of Woodville's womanly charms to redirect or entice Edward IV. He is a man of strength; however, she "knows" how to seduce him to her will. This point I found interesting because of the strong characters of these two people. I felt like a fly-on-the-wall hovering over their conversations. I found it fascinating to pick apart their psyche. 
  • This is one of the first books on this subject where I actually felt sorry for Warwick. Iggulden digs deep into his characters composition in order to show the reader various aspects of their personalities and their reasoning behind choices. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

(Review) Rebel of Ross by Mary Lancaster


Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Mary Lancaster
Genre: Historical Fiction, Scotland
Pages: 340
Source: Free ebook copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for the tour: Rebel of Ross @ HFVBT

To read an excerpt: Rebel of Ross

Amazon





Summary:
Scotland, 1156.
Malcolm MacHeth, one time Earl of Ross, languishes as a prisoner in Roxburgh Castle, while his sons raise rebellion in his name. Optimistically, the King of Scots, promises the earldom of Ross to landless Norman knight, Sir William de Lanson, if he can somehow defeat the infamous MacHeths.
It wasn’t quite how William’s disgraced wife Christian dreamed of coming home. Captured by the strange and ferocious Adam MacHeth was hardly part of her plan either, although she and William quickly become pawns in his.
Adam, warrior and seer, fights for his father’s freedom and his family’s right to claim the kingdom of the Scots. Plagued by waking dreams which threaten his sanity and life, he’s learned to use his prophecies to further his family’s goals. But when he abducts his enemy’s lady, his dreams and desires are suddenly more personal.
Surrounded by intrigue, ambition and betrayal, Christian must choose between loyalty and love, in order to keep a fragile peace for her people and for the man she loves beyond all reason.

My Thoughts: 
I love reading British history, especially English, Scottish, and Welsh. Primarily because I have a great love for this history and because this is my ancestry. 

There was a Somerled. He lived in 12th century Scotland. His DNA is primarily of Norse, but also Gaelic ancestry. 
To read further information: Somerled, Undiscovered Scotland.  
There was also a 12th century Adam macDomnaill, and counted as one of the MacHeths (reminds me a little of MacBeth.) I found only one link with a scant amount of info on him. 
To read further information on Adam MacDomnaill: Wikipedia. 

Rebel of Ross is Adam MacHeth. He is an interesting character, besides being a warrior, he has the ability to see things: past, present, and future. He is a seer. The people close to him know of his special ability, but he is uncomfortable in the attention the gift brings. He does not use this ability for evil purposes. It is an ability he does not quite understand himself. This brings a mystery element to the story. Since Adam nor the secondary characters do not fully understand his ability, then the reader does not understand. He experiences visions and I am given a veiled explanation of what he sees. I'm anxious to read more about Adam's ability in book two (to be published later in 2016.)
Adam MacHeth is a dangerous looking and acting individual. On the other hand, the people he loves and the men who fight with him, he is seen as a committed and devoted person. He is handsome, secretive, mysterious, rugged, determined, and loyal. However, through Mary Lancaster, I am shown Adam's tender and passionate side.
Christian is a damsel in distress; however, she is not a complete victim and out of control character. She has a way of showing who is in charge, but in a ladylike fashion. She is a person who has compassion and interest in people. It does not matter if the in-need person is beneath her in society, she is patient, gentle, and compassionate. I find this to be another character who showed me two sides of their personality. Further, Christian has an imperfection. All humans have imperfections, some are outward and some inward. Through Rebel of Ross, I came to understand Christian's inward beauty. and its outward reflection. She is a person who glows with strength, grace, and beauty.
Somerled is the uncle of Adam, related through Adam's mother.
The narrative pace of the story is at times quick when there is a battle, or slows down as when Adam and Christian have an encounter. I believe it is the scenes and dialogue of Adam and Christian that gave me the most pleasure. Their story enticed me and kept me reading until the last page.
The history of this period, 12th century Scotland, is the battle for power from opposing factions. The Scottish people versus Norman English. For the Scottish people, controlling and protecting their homeland against the English is a matter of life and death. It is their way of life.
I loved Rebel of Ross. I am anxious to read part two in the continuing saga of Adam and Christian!

Scottish Battle Music:




About The Author:
Mary Lancaster’s first love was historical fiction. Since then she has grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films – simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.
As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.
Mary is the author of three historical novels:
An Endless Exile – the story of Hereward, 11th century outlaw hero
A World to Win – a Scottish governess finds love in revolutionary Hungary
A Prince to be Feared: the love story of Vlad Dracula
Mary loves to hear from readers. You can email her at Mary@MaryLancaster.com, and connect on Facebook. Find out more about Mary and her books at www.MaryLancaster.com.


Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, August 8
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, August 9
Review and Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at Books and Benches
Wednesday, August 10
Excerpt at The Reading Queen
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Thursday, August 11
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Guest Post and Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Friday, August 12
Review at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, August 13
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Monday, August 15
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review and Excerpt at Historical Fiction Obsession

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please see the GLEAM form below.
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

(Review) A Moment Forever, Liberty Victory Series #1 by Cat Gardiner

Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Publisher: Vanity and Pride Press
Genre: Fiction, Family Saga, Family Secrets, World War II, Romance
Pages: 566
ISBN: 9780997313000
Source: Free copy from Cat Gardiner and Poetic Book Tours in exchange for a review
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

https://poeticbooktours.wordpress.com













The book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited until August 28. Follow link @ Amazon.

Cat Gardiner's Bio: 
Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.
She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend USO dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.
She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.
Cat Gardiner's blog and Facebook and Twitter
A Moment Forever's website.
An additional bio Cat Gardiner's 


Summary:
In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.
Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.
This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.
A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.

My Thoughts: 
I am a big fan of the 1940s. Both of my parents came of age during this period. My dad was a World War II Veteran. Mother shared stories of going to the USO clubs to dance with the military men. Mother worked as an overseas operator for Ma Bell. She spent her paycheck on clothes, make-up, and having fun. Mother was secretive about her romances. My mother was a glamorous beauty and I am sure she left a wake of men. 
When I read a synopsis of A Moment Forever, I knew I had to read this story. I immediately fell in love with the story from the start. 
A Moment Forever is a busy story. There are several plots going on, plus a change in the time period. The story moves back and forth from the 1940s (primarily 1942) to 1992. 
In 1992, Juliana Martel inherits a home in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, NY. She is a writer for a magazine, but yearns to write something of importance. She uncovers a mystery in her family-a missing relative and an epic love story. Other characters in A Moment Forever, plus the war and Nazism, bring about further plots. 
The time shift was easy to keep up with. The chapters did not alternate with a back and forth time change, but sometimes camped out for a few chapters in one time period. 
I cared deeply about the characters, several of them had underlying stories that emerged as the book developed. 
Several surprises in the family history awaited me in the later half of the story. It was then I realized what a super ambitious first novel is A Moment Forever. 
A Moment Forever is a lengthy novel; however, it has a solid pace and kept me reading to the last page.
Lastly, the romantic element in the story brings an epic feel. It is a love story that transcends time. I believe this last element brings the reader a splash of magic. We all yearn to be loved and treasured beyond the restraints of age and life's hardships.

My mother 1943. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

(Review) How To Read Literature by Terry Eagleton

Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Yale University Press
Genre: Nonfiction, critique of reading literature
Pages: 232
Source: Library
Rating: 4 stars for very good

Amazon













Summary:
How To Read Literature is written for readers who want to understand how to analyze a work of literature.
In five chapters, Terry Eagleton, organizes the book.
Chapter One: Openings
Chapter Two: Character
Chapter Three: Narrative
Chapter Four: Interpretation
Chapter Five: Value
Eagleton's explanation of a "literary work...is one in which what is said is to be taken in terms of how it is said. It is the kind of writing in which the content is inseparable from the language in which it is presented."  Page 3.

My Thoughts:
I've read and reviewed long enough to discern certain elements while reading a work of literature. For example: symbolism, character development, external and internal conflicts, point of view, believability, and clarity.
How To Read Literature gives examples through works of literature in showing five ways of analyzing. Eagleton uses classic literature examples to show his point: Wuthering Heights, A Passage to India, Jane Eyre, Macbeth, the Bible, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations.
One of the first interesting things I learned is "Literary works quite often know things that the reader does not know, or does not know yet, or will never know." Page 14. I've never considered this thought. In future literature books I read, I plan to take action in looking for what the work might know and has not revealed.
A favorite chapter in the book is on characters. I love strong characters. I don't have to like them, I just want them to be strong in either good or bad points. Jane Eyre is used as an example of an "agreeable heroine." She is a character who has hidden agendas that even she might not be aware. Jude the Obscure analyzes the characters: Jude, Arabella, and Sue. Jude the Obscure is a story I read recently and had already discovered Sue's unusual and fickle persona. She is a conflicted person. Eagleton reminded me the reader "sees her through Jude's eyes."


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

(Review) John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman


Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Nonfiction, biography
Pages: 672
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Amazon




Summary:
Marion Robert Morrison was born May 26, 1907. He later changed his name to Duke Morrison. His acting name was John Wayne, but he preferred to be called Duke. He was born in Iowa, but the family later moved to the towns of Palmdale, and Glendale, California. He attended college on a football scholarship. He worked the props in films at Fox Studio in the 1920's. The film, The Big Trail, made in 1930, was his first lead in a film. It was not a success. His first major break came in the film Stagecoach. The director of Stagecoach was John Ford.

John Wayne acted in several B films, before becoming a lead actor in major films. Several of his films are classics: Wake of the Red WitchThe Quiet Man, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and True Grit.

John Wayne: The Life and Legend, examines the childhood, film career, political beliefs, family, relationships, and personality of John Wayne.

My Thoughts:
I love this bio on John Wayne! I have been a fan of John Wayne most of my life. My dad loved John Wayne films. Back in the day before cable, if a John Wayne film was on TV, our family would be watching it.
Several years ago I read another bio of John Wayne, written by his third wife, Pilar Wayne.
John Wayne: My Life With the Duke by Pilar Wayne and Alex Thorleifson.
The book was interesting, but I don't trust a bio written by an estranged wife of the subject.
Several reasons led me to give John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman 5 stars.

  • Heavy research. Scott Eyman interviewed several of John Wayne's children, friends, co-workers, and John Wayne himself. 
  • Several short biographies are given on people John Wayne worked with. For example: Gail Russell, Maureen O'Hara, and John Ford.
  • From page 402 to 417, John Wayne's personality is explored. The person he was, not the John Wayne of films. 
  • A filmography of John Wayne's career. Most of them are written in brief, several are given a detailed inspection. 
  • References are made to John Wayne's ultra-conservative political beliefs. I've read other reviewers remark they found the author, Scott Eyman, to have a problem with John Wayne's political leanings. I guess I missed something in respect to the author showing a bias. He stated John Wayne's political beliefs, and choosing to be close friends with other people who believed as he did, but I did not see the author as bias. 
  • His marriages are examined. I'm thankful Eyman did not give uncomfortable information regarding the three marriages. I am not interested in reading a titillating expose on a celebrity. I find them boring. I'm more interested in knowing the real person behind the acting name. 
  • I felt the book gave me a full dimension of John Wayne's personality and life. I see both positive and negative aspects. 
  • One of my favorite stories of John Wayne is when he went to see the wife of a friend. She was in the hospital sick with cancer. John Wayne as a kind gesture brushed her hair. 



Thursday, June 16, 2016

(Review) By Helen's Hand by Amalia Carosella

Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction, Greek Mythology, Odysseus
Pages: 429
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Amalia Carosella
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Tour Schedule @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Summary: 
With divine beauty comes dangerous power.
Helen believed she could escape her destiny and save her people from utter destruction. After defying her family and betraying her intended husband, she found peace with her beloved Theseus, the king of Athens and son of Poseidon.
But peace did not last long. Cruelly separated from Theseus by the gods, and uncertain whether he will live or die, Helen is forced to return to Sparta. In order to avoid marriage to Menelaus, a powerful prince unhinged by desire, Helen assembles an array of suitors to compete for her hand. As the men circle like vultures, Helen dreams again of war—and of a strange prince, meant to steal her away. Every step she takes to protect herself and her people seems to bring destruction nearer. Without Theseus’s strength to support her, can Helen thwart the gods and stop her nightmare from coming to pass?

My Thoughts:
I reviewed Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella, April of 2015. I had mixed feelings about the book, but have fallen in love with By Helen's Hands.  I had reservations about a few of the themes in Helen of Sparta, but By Helen's Hands is an amazing story with a twist.
One of the things I've learned about human characters in Greek Mythology is they too can have extra special talents. They attribute the gods as having these special powers, but their strength, beauty, charm, reasoning, or heroic prowess are remarkable.
Helen has the "gift" of beauty and charm. Her beauty and charm is mesmerizing to men. They are obsessed with her body, voice, hair, eyes, and skin. She is intoxicating and they loose all rationality. She is something to be won, attained, and conquered.
Human character is a strong element in By Helen's Hands. I'm fascinated by the way in which both men and women react to Helen, because their reaction shows what is in their heart. Some of the characters want power or prestige, some want extravagant gifts, and some want to be a god themselves (to be worshiped.)
Few characters in By Helen's Hands love Helen. The rest of the characters want her for selfish reasons.
Odysseus is a secondary character. He is portrayed as neither one of the selfish men who want her, nor one of the men who love her. He is a balanced individual.
By Helen's Hands is a pre-story to the Trojan War. It is a twist on another possibility of Helen, Paris, and the Trojan War.
Menelaus is a cruel tyrant. He is an abusive man. He is Helen's thorn. Her monster. The person she most fears.
By Helen's Hands is a character driven story and I love stories where the characters (whether good or bad) come to life and keep me reading till the last page.
One of my favorite scenes in the story is where Hermes, Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera visit Paris. An enticing arrangement is presented. Paris thinks he has the upper hand, but the gods are not trustworthy. Throughout the story references are made about the gods, they are untrustworthy and connive. I feel the gods are bored and play with the lives of humans. The gods have the same problem as humans have: selfish desires. They are as imperfect as humans. The gods have special powers, but they are often indifferent and have malicious contempt for humanity.
A twist at the end of By Helen's Hands shocked me, I did not see the change in script. I loved the twist and I loved the ending.
Bravo!

Giveaway:  To win a $40 Amazon Gift Card, sponsored by Amalia Carosella, please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. By Helen's Hand

About The Author:
Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). For more information, visit her blog atwww.amaliacarosella.com. She also writes fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin.
You can also connect with Amalia on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter here and here.


Tour Schedule:
Monday, May 16
Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, May 17
Review at The Reading Queen
Wednesday, May 18
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Thursday, May 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, May 23
Review at Creating Herstory
Tuesday, May 24
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, May 25
Review at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, May 26
Review at Helen’s Daughter
Wednesday, June 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Friday, June 3
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, June 6
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, June 8
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, June 16
Review at Impressions In Ink
Friday, June 17
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, June 20
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, June 22
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, June 24
Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past





Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Lord of Ireland, The Fifth Night, Book Three by E.M. Powell

Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer, a trademark of Amazon
Genre: Historical fiction, Historical thriller, 12th century, England, Ireland, Henry II, John
Pages: 370
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour and Amazon. 
Rating: 4 stars for very good



Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour page

Summary:
England, 1185. John is a prince without prospect of a crown. As the youngest son of Henry II, he has long borne the hated nickname ‘Lackland’. When warring tribes and an ambitious Anglo-Norman lord threaten Henry’s reign in Ireland, John believes his time has finally come. Henry is dispatching him there with a mighty force to impose order.
Yet it is a thwarted young man who arrives on the troubled isle. John has not been granted its kingship—he is merely the Lord of Ireland, destined never to escape his father’s shadow. Unknown to John, Henry has also sent his right-hand man, Sir Benedict Palmer, to root out the traitors he fears are working to steal the land from him.
But Palmer is horrified when John disregards Henry’s orders and embarks on a campaign of bloodshed that could destroy the kingdom. Now Palmer has to battle the increasingly powerful Lord of Ireland. Power, in John’s hands, is a murderous force—and he is only just beginning to wield it.

My Thoughts:
I've not read any stand alone books on John Plantagenet, the youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
I have a nonfiction book on my shelf to be read, King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta by Marc Morris.
I've been anxious to study John, to unravel his character a bit. From what little information I've read about him, he is described as calculating, manipulative, volatile, and callous.
E.M. Powell has reflected these character traits and more in The Lord of Ireland.
While reading The Lord of Ireland, John is the character that drew my attention to foremost. Even when he is not in a scene, the other characters are menaced by his control and power.
John reminds me of a "bull in a china shop," because he forces his way through a situation to achieve his ambitions.
Sir Benedict Palmer is sent to Ireland by Henry II. Palmer's wife, Theodosia, does not want to be absent from her husband.
They are an unusual pair for this era, a married couple who are devoted to one another and are in love. Marriages during this age were arranged. I'm sure there were many couples who did love one another, but marriages were more like business transactions, a union created for dowries and to procreate.
Theodosia is intelligent and brave. She takes great risks on behalf of her husband. Their story line kept me reading till the end.
Another couple is Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, and wife Eimear. I did not quite figure them out in the book. I understand how their marriage came to be, and I understand their "arrangement." I did wonder if there were undertones of something else? They are a mystery to me.
I enjoyed reading The Lord of Ireland. I believe the characters are what popped for me in the story. I am anxious to read the previous books in this series.
I want to mention, The Lord of Ireland can be read without reading the previous books in the series. It can be read as a stand alone book.


About The Author:
E.M. Powell’s medieval thrillers The Fifth Knight and The Blood of the Fifth Knight have been number-one Amazon bestsellers and on the Bild bestseller list in Germany.
Born into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State) and raised in the Republic of Ireland, she lives in north-west England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.
She reviews fiction and non-fiction for the Historical Novel Society, blogs for English Historical Fiction Authors and is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers’ The Big Thrill magazine.
Find more information at E.M. Powell’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Barnes and Noble

“With her fast-paced mysteries set in the tumultuous reign of Henry II, E.M. Powell takes readers on enthralling, and unforgettable, journeys.” -Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown
“Both Fifth Novels are terrific. Benedict and Theodosia are not merely attractive characters: they are intensely real people.” -Historical Novels Review
“From the get-go you know you are in an adventure when you enter the world of E.M. Powell’s 12th century. Peril pins you down like a knight’s lance to the chest”-Edward Ruadh Butler, author of Swordland