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Posts tagged “Byzantine Empire

Read Through History: May 2015

Summer’s here… apparently. Well, they say a heatwave is on the way so here’s hoping.

Now, I bet you’re all wondering what I’ve been plundering from the local libraries, aren’t you? Well, here we are:

1) I Belong to the Earth by J. A. Ironside. Taking a break from historical fiction (‘Whaaaat?’ I hear you all cry) I enjoyed this very much. A classic ghost story with elements of fantasy added for good measure.

2) Assassins’ Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden. Although I’ve not played the game I’m tempted to give the first one in the series another go and move onto this. A good adventure story with a good mix of historical characters and events.

3) Thief’s Tale by S. J. A. Turney. This is the first in the Ottoman Cycle series. Gives a good account of life in Istanbul shortly after the Ottoman conquest. If you liked the Marius’ Mules series, you’ll like this too.

4) Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the East by Alex Rutherford. I’m glad I gave this a go. I know very little about this time and place so it’s good to try something new.

I also finished The Tower by Nigel Jones that I started last month. One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a while. There will be a Tower of London post at some point. Honest.


Read Through History – March 2015

Did anyone else think March was a long month. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is summer coming anytime soon?

Anyway, to while away the last thirty one days, here’s what literary delights flowed into my eyes (yes, that does need some work…)

1) Fatherland by Robert Harris. I read this before a long time ago and thought it was time to give it another read, especially with the adaptation of The Man in the High Castle which is another alternative history of life after the Second World War, had the Nazis and Japanese won.

2) Emperor: Blood of Gods by Conn Iggulden. I loved the previous books in this series and enjoyed this too. I can also recommend the Conqueror series and have just started Stormbird set at the beginning of the Wars of the Roses.

3) 1602 by Neil Gaiman. Do you like graphic novels? Superheroes? Alternative History? All three mixed together? Then read this – the story of Sir Nicholas Fury, Peter Parquagh, the Four of the Fantastick and many more. I liked this very much.

4) Walls of Byzantium by James Heneage. First he sold good books. Now he writes great books. I loved this novel, set in the late fourteenth century at a time when great empires clashed: the Byzantines, the Ottomans, Mongols, Venetians and Genoans. I look forward to reading the next one.

As for my work, the latest round of edits for the Alternative History are finished. All that needs now is a visit to some locations where the action takes place (any excuse for a holiday) and then it can go round the agents, hot on the heels of The Lenin Plots. While I plan where the series goes from here I’ve started another novella. All that needs to be done is another visit to where it takes place. Just as soon as the weather eases up…

Happy Easter, one and all.

Read Through History: September – December 2013

Yes, I know, I’ve fallen behind! Sorry! Here’s what I read over the last few months of last year:

1) Theodora by Stella Duffy: The rags to riches story of the sixth century Byzantine Empress

2) Sharpe’s Gold by Bernard Cornwell

3) Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: A very good example of how historical fiction should be written (in my opinion, anyway)

4) New York by Edward Rutherfurd: Got this signed at a talk Edward gave in Winchester in July. A very nice man and this book was very good for the flights to and from New York in October.

5) Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players by Steven Cooper: A bit of non-fiction from an author who came to speak at the Portsmouth Bookfest.

6) Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo: A tale based on the story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army. Another author who appeared at the Bookfest.

7) Sharpe’s Escape by Bernard Cornwell

8) Sharpe’s Fury  by Bernard Cornwell (I fell behind)

9) To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams: Read this back in 2010. Very good thriller set in Russia in 1881, a few years before the Revolution.

10) Sharpe’s Battle by Bernard Cornwell

Right. There we are. All up-to-date until next week! I’ll try and keep up in future…