Tuesday, 20 February 2018

#Review 8 of 2018 The Dissolute Rake by Francine Howarth

Those Regency Rakes are definitely a degenerate bunch, though some are entirely able to be saved from a sad and lonely end. The story heats up almost immediately, no coy hanging around for the two main characters in this Regency tale- though it’s perfectly clear from the disclaimer that it is going to be ‘steamy’.  

It’s a quick read, a mix of well known themes intermingled in this tale from Ms Howarth. Well written, the author finds a distinctive voice, the language displaying a real flavour of the era yet some of the themes also seem to be very modern.  

Finding real love, and satisfying lust, isn’t going to happen within the lovely May Thorne’s marriage but it’s amazing how quickly one man, Marcus Fairweather, can overturn all of her guilt. I’m totally glad it is Marcus who can make May stray because the lawyer, Harris, is an objectionable horror and very well portrayed as such!


#Review 7 of 2018 Caledonii by Ian Hall

The title and the date of the book drew my attention immediately. 

Set around the time of my own writing it's interesting to get the perspective of other authors. The intention of this short prologue is to introduce the books which follow. Will go on and buy them? Yes, I probably will because I don't personally focus on the spiritual aspects of the druids but I think I'll enjoy what Ian Hall brings to his novels regarding the functions and special powers of the druids in the lives of the Late Iron age peoples of northern Britannia. 

(If he has any particular verified ancient sources to share on this aspect of druidism I'd be delighted to read them!) 

There are quite a lot of historical themes in this short introduction which display a good knowledge of the era.

The link with the sons of Venutius, King of the Brigantes is an interesting one. 


#Review 6 of 2018 Vindolanda by Adrian Goldsworthy

The thing I liked best about this tale of life at Vindolanda is the fact that the author highlights the fact that there probably were many Roman forts and fortlets along the stretch where Hadrian’s Wall was built some 20 plus years after this story.

The story has plenty of action but the author manages to show that there was also plenty of routine tedium for those stationed on the forts along the wall, so far from their homes and the lives left behind. I wanted to skip past the battle scenes to get onto the next bit of Flavius Ferox's story but didn't dare miss any of the action. 

In this story there’s a bit of know who your friends are and respect your enemies but essentially until proven trust no one.

I felt there was still quite a mystery about Rerox and where his ultimate allegiance might lie - although he was definitely true to Rome in Vindolanda.

One part of the book did make me pause for thought and that was wehn Ferox goes to the settlement/ hillfort of the Iron Age tribes allies. Something about the location of the Vacomagi leader's territory didn't match with what I've learned of the geographical area covered by the Vacomagi. I just might have to resort to reading non-fiction by Goldsworthy- it's not that I've avoided his work it's more that I haven't come across it yet so it hasn't been added to my considerable amount of source material.

Readers who enjoy bloody battle scenes and slicing skirmishes will probably like this one a lot.