Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Horse Soldiers by Harold Sinclair

This novel is a fictionalised account of a famous Union Cavalry raid during the American Civil War. It was made into a film starring John Wayne back in the 1950's but I managed to get my hands on a recent reprint published in 2001.

This is a terrific read. Even though it is highly fictionalised (all the characters names are changed) it does lean heavily on the facts of Grearson's heroic raid . Apart from being well written and a great read it also gives a great flavour of the this the first modern war. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on a copy.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

First novel in Joe Abercrombies "First Law" trilogy. This is shaping up to be a really entertaining fantasy. A country facing invasion on several fronts that is rendered impotent through a combination of a weak doddering monarch, a corrupt government and foolish class prejudices. The dangers are even more extreme than first appears however and the legendary first Magus decides after centuries of isolation to once again take a role in world affairs only everybody is so caught up in their own petty jockeying for position that nobody cares to recognise him. The story is peopled with some great characters including a superb twisted inquisitor who has devoted his life to causing pain and suffering in others after his once glittering military career was cut short by two years of persecution in an enemies dungeons.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Cry Of The Icemark by Stuart Hill.

Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield is barely 14 years old when her father the king dies heroically defending his small northerly kingdom. When the invaders come back with the largest army the world has ever seen young Queen Thirrin must assemble her own army of unlikely allies including vampires, werewolves and other creatures of legend in a desperate attempt to hold them off.

Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy yarn. First of a series apparently but the story is entirely self contained.