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Paddy samurai maybe 50 books in a year



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Enjoyed this part 2 of the trilogy big time.Took a while as its 700 pages, but its a great read with great characters.This one was about the fall of acre and the end of the Crusades.As i said in the review of part 1 its one of the best fictional Templar books that i have read and Robyn's take on the Templar secret sounds more plausible than Dan browns or some of the others out there.Looking forward to part 3.

    'Crusade is a sweeping historical adventure as well as a cracking sequel' --Financial Times

    'Intricate but wonderfully written, a romp of a read and an exhilarating ride' --Birmingham Post

    Product Description

    It is 1274 and in the fortified city of Acre, the last major stronghold of the Crusaders in Palestine, an epic conflict is beginning.

    Will Campbell is a Templar Knight, trained for war, but as a member of the mysterious group known as the Brethren, he is also a man of peace. After years of bloodshed, the Brethren have helped to create a truce between the Christians and Muslims. But Will now fears they have been betrayed. King Edward of England has promised the Pope that he will lead a new Crusade, while in Acre itself, a ruthless cabal of Western merchants, profiteering from slaves and armaments, is plotting to reignite hostilities in the Holy Land.

    Meanwhile, in Egypt, Sultan Baybars is caught in a power struggle. His son and heir has become involved in the dangerous designs of the insidious soothsayer, Khadir. While Baybars wants to take on the mighty Mongol empire, Khadir and others want to destroy the Christians once and for all.

    As war looms, Will is torn between his oath as a Templar, his secret role in the Brethren and his duty to Elwen, the woman he loves but is forbidden to marry. He is caught at the centre of a web of deception and destruction, as he and all those around him rush headlong towards one of the most dramatic moments in history.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Enjoyed the book especially the characters,Maximus the Hibernian bodyguard is one of my favourites. Took a while to get into it as i felt at the start it was just more of the same .Sidebottom seems to know his history ,so you get a great feel for the period.The Cliffhanger ending means i will be buying part III.
    If you like historic fiction ,its well worth reading.


    Product Description

    AD 256 - the specter of treachery hangs ominously over the Roman Empire. The sparks of Christian fervor have spread through the empire like wildfire, and the imperium is alive with the machinations of dangerous and powerful men. All the while, Sassanid forces press forward relentlessly along the eastern frontier. The battle-bloodied general Ballista returns to the imperial court from the fallen city of Arete - only to find that there are those who would rather see him dead than alive. Ballista is soon caught in a sinister web of intrigue and religious fanaticism...his courage and loyalty will be put to the ultimate test in the service of Rome and the Emperor. The Warrior of Rome is back...
    In depth review:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Liked this book alot and will get part 2 when it comes out.A good read.I have never read the seven suns saga,might give it a go when i get a chance.


    "The Edge of the World" stands at almost 600 pages and it is divided into 126 chapters, each told from the POV of one of the main characters, Criston, Adrea, Aldo, Omra, Anjine, Mateo, Hannes, Imir as well as from the POV of several less prominent ones. There are several maps at the beggining of the novel, a glossary of names and places at the end and an interview with the author as well as an extract from the next installment of the trilogy.

    Note that the Glossary contains some notable spoilers as I found out to my surprise, so I recommend to avoid it at least for the first 200 or so pages.

    The multiple threads of the novel weave very nicely, there are several unexpcted twists and turns and the ending is essentially where the next novel will start. No particular cliffhangers, but no true resolutions either.

    Fast moving, engrossing, clear prose and great characters you learn to care about. This is how "The Edge of World" read to me and despite its length I finished it quite quickly since it's a very easy read. However this does not mean straightforward, since the novel twists and turns in quite unexpected directions and when you think you have an idea where it goes next, you are soon confounded.

    Also the novel takes place across quite an extended period of time, so we see characters change, grow, children become adults, babies become teenagers and that adds a lot to the depth of the novel in contrast to many series that compress a lifetime worth of events in a short period.

    Reading the Glossary early in the novel I found out about one of the major twists and about a character that becomes quite important later on, and that is a reason to avoid doing that at least for a while.

    Despite its name, the novel is not a maritime one, most action takes place in palaces, cities and other land based places, though map-making, exploration and voyages of discovery always hover in the background. While saying that hot air balloons play as important a role in the story as ships is an exaggeration, the fact that we can compare the two illustrates the point above.

    If you start liking a character a lot, be aware, since Mr. Anderson tends to put them through trials and tribulations that change them and their circumstances a lot, another big plus in my opinion.

    Comparing with the "Seven Suns" saga with which this novel shares quite a lot of themes and character sketches, I have to say that the "limited expanse" of the Tierra/Uraba world actually focuses the novel much better, than the sprawling galactic action in "Seven Suns", and while the sense of wonder of the latter is much less seen here, the characters are more interesting, more developed than the somewhat steoretyped ones in "Seven Suns".

    So I would say that on the whole "The Edge of the World" is the superior book unless you look only for sense of wonder and unlimited vistas, where "Seven Suns" excels.

    "The Edge of the World" was a positive surprise not in that I liked it a lot, which I expected based on my prior experience with "Seven Suns", but in that it is a deeper novel, one that re-reads much better, with characters I really care about and want to see their fates in the next volumes which became true asap's for me.

    Highly, highly recommended and a notable 2009 fantasy novel for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Enjoyed this book up to a point,and that point
    was the arrival of the figgin elves , i like elves in fantasy as much as anyone but it just did'nt gel for me,maybe it will if i decide to finish the trilogy
    .Personally I feel they were unnecessary for the story and took away what was a brillant armageddon story.But everyone to their own,lots of people will like this aspect of the story.

    In this exciting first of a new fantasy trilogy, bestseller Brooks effortlessly connects the Tolkien-infused magic of his Shannara books (First King of Shannara, etc.) with the urban, postapocalyptic world of his Word and the Void series (Running with the Demon, etc.). The author envisions a chilling near-future U.S., where civilization has collapsed from environmental degradation, plagues, global warfare and supernatural threats. The last surviving members of the Knights of the Word, Logan Tom and Angel Perez, seek to keep the "balance of the world's magic in check" as they battle the Void—embodied by demons, their leader Findo Cask and their vicious human mutant counterparts known as "once-men." The Ghosts, an endearing tribe of street teens led by the resourceful Hawk, also scrabble for survival.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    This is a history book about the battle of Agincourt.First heard about this book in Bernard Cornwells Historic fictional account of the battle.
    If you are interested in medieval history,Henry V or the famous battle ,then this is the book for you.Very informative and easy to read.



    '... a lively, stimulating account of this bloody day of battle. It is full of both serious research and entertaining gems. Barker makes the politics of the Hundred Years' War lucidly comprehensible.' Erica Wagner, The Times 'She brings vividly to life scenes such as the ceremonial surrender of Harfleur at the outset of the campaign, or the extraordinary pageant mounted by the city of London to celebrate the victorious king's return.' Richard Barber, Literary Review 'Juliet Barker is a talented and versatile historian ... [Her] deep understanding of the late Middle Ages shows in many fascinating asides about contemporary life. Biographical vignettes of the participants, great and small, liven up the pages ... This book is a model of how to write scholarly history for a wide audience' Jonathan Sumption, Evening Standard 'History writ fine, overflowing with extraordinary details ... a milestone in Agincourt studies' Independent


    'A gripping story'

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    As a mixed-genre anthology, I think this collection worked fantastically. Not only did it present quite a few authors outside of their native genres (Carrie Vaughn and Tad Williams, especially), but it also proved that Martin’s “spinner rack theory” has some basis of truth. When given the opportunity to read in genres that were outside my norm, I found that I enjoyed them and wanted to read more of them.

    Some good short stories here,a great way to find new authors.

    Best three IMO.

    Out of The Dark by David Weber........loved this story of alien invasion with a twist,i will definitely be checking out his books for future reading.

    Defenders of The Frontier by Robert Silverberg...........enjoyed the idea behind this story.

    The Mystery Knight by RR Martin............good to get my RR Martin westeros fix as i have been waiting a while for some new stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets


    This is a true crime classic from the creator of "The Wire".The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the centre of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of men confronted by the darkest of American visions. David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and his remarkable book is both a compelling account of casework and an investigation into our culture of violence. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator nearing the end of his career; Harry Edgerton, an iconoclastic black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl.
    'A MASTERPIECE' Martin Amis .....,'A HARD-NOSED CLASSIC'GQ.... , 'BRILLANT' Financial Times....,'TRUE GENIUS'Sunday Times....,
    Not my usual type of reading,as i don't read murder/true crime books,But in this case i agree 100% with all the of the above.This book is a fantastic read and Simon does a great job.You become emotionally involved with these detectives and their daily work,and it is with sadness and regret you come to the end of this book.IMO .......A MUST READ!.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    “There isn’t anything quite as lovely as a fresh idea,” I said when I reviewed Peter V. Brett’s first book, The Painted Man, and I was spot on, which is always nice. Reading a lot of fantasy it is hard to always find a book that comes along with a new idea, something that, even if it’s been done before, is done in a new way.
    So I was really looking forward to the second in Brett’s Demon War trilogy, entitled The Desert Spear. I included it in “My Most Anticipated Books of 2010” article that I did at the beginning of the year, and was pleasantly surprised when it rocked up on my doorstep.
    I really enjoyed this book, minus a few missteps along the way. Peter V. Brett continues his “fresh idea” into The Desert Spear nicely, despite the first quarter of the book seeming to be a hurried summary of a forgotten plotline from the first book. The perspective jump after that section left me hard pressed to continue, but I finally picked the book back up and really enjoyed everything that came after (that being said, I also enjoyed what came before, but it just seems odd and unwieldy).
    Brett has a knack for making me really care about his characters. Rojer is especially enjoyable to read, his realization of unrequited love, his maturation and his awkward bathing scene towards the end of the book are specifically enjoyable. Renna Tanner is a nice return, maybe a little contrived but both moving and heartbreaking, though a little hard to read if you’re the least bit squeamish about incest.
    Leesha and Arlen continue their “leader” type rolls which, for the middle quarters of the book, are predictable and tried. Not to say they aren’t interesting, but not as interesting as they get by the end of the book.
    There are a few little things that I could pick up on; inconsistencies and style issues that an editor should really pick up on, and the perspective jumping that occurs with no rhyme nor reason – or adherence to linear time – is a little unwieldy.
    But the reason you read this book is because of the ideas and the story behind the style and grammar. The world that Brett has created is impressive, with hints at a greater story beneath the earth than what is known to the characters on the surface. Arlen’s journey is moving, and you are really pulling for him by the end. Leesha is witty and strong and determined: the epitome of a Joss Whedon-esque female lead.
    Why should you pick this book up? Because of those reasons. Because you will enjoy it, be moved to laughter and tears, and caring for the characters on both sides of the argument. Their lives inspire and captivate, and that is worth any amount of money, especially when it is surrounded by a clever and fantastical storyline involving demons and killing and warded weapons.
    Loved his first "The Painted Man" and enjoyed this sequel,will get part 3 when it arrives.
    The above review reflects my opinions on this book perfectly.
    In my head it was like the Amish versus the Jihadi Saracens :D ,it should'nt have worked given the differences , but it did decause i loved the characters.

    Authors video on book and future of series.

    Amazon reviews

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Picked this up on hols in the Bargain bin when i ran out of reading material.Its historic fiction about the fall of Montsegur and the Cathars ,also the inquisition,Jesus's death shroud ,King Louis ,king Henry of England all thrown in for good measure.
    Its a part of history i have a big interest in (way before Dan Browne)and have read about before.Its easy to read and has a good feel for the period.I liked it enough that i will get part 1 & 2,.....LOL did'nt realise it was part 3 of a trilogy.:D
    1242 AD and Europe is in flames once more. The King of France, Louis, has decided to stamp out the heretic faith of the Cathars once and for all. The trouble is that Petroc and his mentor, Captain de Montalhac are on the wrong side... For the Captain can no longer ignore his Cathar roots and heads for the Languedoc and war with his former patron. He takes with him not only gold, but also something far more valuable - a mysterious relic depicting the face of Jesus. This 'Cathar Crucifix' will rally a full-scale rebellion against the French Monarchy. But Petroc can see the danger to his friend. Louis possesses a huge army and the necessary ruthlessness to crush all in his path. Now - as Montalhac retreats to the mountain fastness of Montsegur - only Petroc can save his friend - and perhaps the most sacred relic of all...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Its a long time since i read a book by Feist,and i enjoyed revisiting all the old characters.Very easy to read and I am looking foreward to the next installment.
    The first book in a brand new series by the master of epic fantasy, Raymond E. Feist. Ten years after the cataclysmic events of Wrath of a Mad God took place, Midkemia now faces a new danger thought buried in myth and antiquity. A lost race of elves, the taredhel or 'people of the stars', have found a way across the universe to reach Midkemia. On their current home world, these elves are hard pressed by a ravaging demon horde, and what was once a huge empire has been reduced to a handful of survivors. The cornerstone of taredhel lore is the tale of their lost origins in the world they call simply 'Home', a place lost in the mists of time. Now they are convinced that Midkemia is that place, and they are coming to reclaim it. Ruthless and arrogant, the taredhel intend to let nothing stand in their way; but before long, Pug and the Conclave realise that it's not necessarily the elves, but the demon horde pursuing them where the true danger lies. And hanging over Pug always is the prophecy that he will be doomed to watch everyone he loves die before him!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Top notch Viking Norsemen adventure,with great characters.You can feel yourself standing in the shieldwall,and the battle madness taking hold of you.Great stuff!.
    I am looking forward to part 2.
    In A.D. 793 a flotilla of sleek longships sailed out of a storm and onto the windswept beach at the Holy Island of Lindesfarne, off England's north-east coast. The marauders who leapt from these grim-prowed craft sacked the monastery there, slaughtering its monks in what was seen as a strike against civilization itself. This event marks the dawn of the Viking age, an age in which adventurous, ambitious heathens surged from their Scandinavian homelands to raid and trade along the coasts of Europe. Fellowships of warriors, bound by honour and wanderlust, would reach as far as Newfoundland and Baghdad, the sword-song of their battles ringing out in Africa and the Arctic. They were nobles and outcasts, pirates, pioneers and great seafarers. They were the Norsemen.

    Being half Norwegian and spending so much time in the fjords, I have always known I would write a Viking novel. As a child, I would look out across the water, letting my imagination summon the image of a dragon-prowed longboat rowed by grizzled, bearded men. I could, if I really concentrated, hear the sound of oars dipping in unison into the sea. I still do it even now! I imagine families standing on the smooth rocks of the shore, waving their menfolk off. I feel the fear knotting in the men's stomachs as they set off in open boats across the North Sea. I feel the prickle excitement beneath my skin. In the summer of 2004 I scribbled down the first words: 'I do not know where I was born. When I was young, I would sometimes dream of great rock walls rising from the sea so high that the sun's warmth never hit the cold, black water....I know nothing of my childhood, of my parents, or if I had brothers and sisters. I do not even know my birth name.' I think this opening was a deliberate attempt to venture beyond my own reality, seeing as I come from a very close, firmly-rooted family. Osric (later Raven) is shunned by society because he is different. He is an outcast. My life may be a little unconventional, but I would like to think I am not entirely outcast!
    Much about the novel changed over the two years of writing, but those opening lines made it all the way, and I'm glad about that.
    From then on, I just tried to write the sort of book I would want to read, full of battles and adventure, but one which also delves into the mind of a young man thrust into a strange new world. I hope I have succeeded. The book was certainly a lot of fun to write.
    Giles Kristian.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Started this to take a break from my current book(which is proving hard to finish).
    Enjoyable horror story about alien invasion.The short chapters make it very easy to read.I read it over 3 nights.
    Although some reviewers have complained about the ending,i liked the twist at the end.
    A glowing rain begins falling at one a.m. in the San Bernardino Mountains of California, where productive but hardly best-selling novelist Molly Sloan and her ex-priest husband, Neil, live outside a small town. Besides being luminous, the downpour smells like rancid semen, Molly thinks, and it brings with it a feeling of oppression. Animals cower from it, as Molly grasps when she sees a pack of coyotes huddling on the porch. The little wolves seem to be appealing to her for help, and when she walks out to them, they seem to expect her to lead them. She goes to wake Neil, rescuing him from a nightmare, and to wash--no, scour--her hands where the rain hit them. The torrent continues, taking out the power, but then appliances come on spontaneously, and the hands of clocks run wildly in opposite directions. The Sloans conclude they must leave after an interior mirror reflects the house as invaded by ghastly vegetation--but doesn't reflect them at all. Opening sequences come no creepier than this one, and the rest of Koontz's version of the extraterrestrial attack scenario so well lives up to it that the revelation, painstakingly apprehended by Molly, of who the aliens really are comes as no surprise. Nor do Koontz's authorial insertions about modernity and social degeneracy seem anything but explanatory in the context of this gripping, blood-curdling, thought-provoking parable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    I loved this book big time,the characters ,the historic/geographical setting etc. and the fact it was about Irish immigrants was a bonus.I have already ordered another of his books and i am trying to get some of his older stuff.A Great read IMO and now on my top ten booklist ,i was sorry to come to the last page.:(


    Blake (The Pistoleer, 1995, etc.) again demonstrates his talent for mingling historical fact with fiction, in the case here of the Mexican War and the antebellum frontier. Brothers John and Edward Little return to their remote north Florida farm from a search for their runaway sister only to find their father on a murderous rampage. The boys defend themselves and kill their father. Their mother, meanwhile, has fled. Left alone, the teenagers set out for Texas, but they become separated in New Orleans. John, who can't control his violent nature, kills a man and, to escape hanging, joins Zachary Taylor's Mexican Warbound army. Edward, in the meantime, also commits murder but flees to Texas and after several bloody adventures ends up in Mexico. He first joins a company of scalp-hunters, then takes up with a band of Mexican bandits who are ultimately impressed into US Service as the infamous Spy Company. For his part, John deserts the army and joins the St. Patrick's Brigade, composed of Americans (mostly Irishmen) fighting on the Mexican side. Shifting between the brothers' parallel stories, Blake offers a virtual encyclopedia of graphic violence. People are shot, clubbed, knifed, eviscerated, castrated, decapitated, impaled, flayed alive, hanged, scalped, dismembered, blown up, and immolated. And sexual perversions run the gamut from rape to sodomy to incest and necrophilia; only bestiality is omitted. Brutality and grotesque images are played out against invariably blood-red sunsets and dawns.

    This book is definitely a adult read ,which graphic depictions of all of the above .
    The only book bloodier than Blood Meridian. Early on I thought Blake was actually trying to outdo McCarthy in the body count, and maybe he was. But Blake is very much his own writer, and there's plenty of the "Old, Weird (and super violent) America" to go around.

    Except maybe Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" there is no other book I can think of that compares with Blake's noir, hardcore, historically-based vision of the 1840s west.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Pretty good read about Robin Hood,The only other Robin Hood books I have Read were Stephen Lawhead's Hood series and i did'nt like his version , i gave up after book 2(Scarlet).Worth checking this one out ,if your interested in the Robin hood story.

    When he's caught stealing, young Alan Dale is forced to leave his family and go to live with a notorious band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest. Their leader is the infamous Robin Hood. A tough, bloodthirsty warrior, Robin is more feared than any man in the county. And he becomes a mentor for Alan; with his fellow outlaws, Robin teaches Alan how to fight - and how to win. But Robin is a ruthless man - and although he is Alan's protector, if Alan displeases him, he could also just as easily become his murderer...From bloody battles to riotous feast days to marauding packs of wolves, Outlaw is a gripping, action-packed historical thriller that delves deep into the fascinating legend of Robin Hood.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    [URL="javascript:openWindow('', 'ProductZoom', 400, 425);"]9781841496122.jpg[/URL]

    I have a love /hate relationship with this book.I started this book a long time back ,but found it to be tough going.Put it down a good few times with the intention of leaving it,but the characters drew me back.Between starting and finishing it, I have read the 3 previous books in my log.IMO the whole story was too drawn out and would have been better,if told in half the time.Don't know if I will continue with this series.

    In a remote mountain academy, the politically expendable younger sons of the Great Houses study for an extraordinary task. Most will fail, some will die, but the reward for the dedicated few is great: mastery of the andat, and the rank of Poet. Thanks to these men - part sorcerers, part scholars - the great city-states of the Khaiem enjoy wealth and power beyond measure, and the greatest of them all is Saraykeht: glittering jewel of the Summer Cities. There are those in the world, however, who envy such wealth. There are great riches to be had in the Summer and Winter Cities, and only the threat of the andat unleashed holds the enemies of the Khaiem in check. Conflict is brewing in the world. Alliances will be broken and friends betrayed. The lowly will be raised up, the mighty will fall and innocents will be slaughtered. And two men, bound to each other by an act of kindness and an act of brutality, may be all that stands between the civilised world and war. War and something worse ...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Book 3 in The Night Angel trilogy

    For a first time Author ,this was a top notch debut .Great characters on an amazing non-stop journey. Usually you have an idea about were a trilogy is heading,not in this case.No way could I have foreseen where this story would end , when I finished part one.
    Tons of glorious(googled this word:D) characters involved in this epic trilogy but Kyler Stern and Durzo Blint in particular are memorable characters worthy of note.A great conclusion to a impressive trilogy ,looking forward to his new book.

    If you like fantasy,give this trilogy a try.

    In epic fashion, Brent Weeks brings his debut trilogy to a conclusion in Beyond the Shadows. The story here picks up directly after the events of Shadow’s Edge, and as such, this review will likely contain spoilers.
    The revelation at the end of Shadow’s Edge was initially very surprising, but as it settled into how the story played out, it felt logical and perhaps could have been choreographed when put in relation to the story and the genre itself. That said, the effects of that revelation are played out to good effect throughout the majority of Beyond the Shadows. Weeks brought many of the dangling plot-threads together in this volume in a relatively satisfying manner.
    ..................................................................................The storyline is definitely wrapped up but Weeks has built a foundation for many stories within the pages of these three books. Whether they feature Kylar or some of the descendants of other characters like Logan and Solon, he’s got ample room to return and he will be doing that in the future as he’s signed to write some more books for Orib.

    On some levels, the overall trilogy is firmly entrenched in the clichés of the genre – the honorable king, the assassin who wishes to work beyond his limitations, the hellcat/vixen of lust and desire, the hated despot, and the orphan of destiny. At times these clichés mix up with one character fitting multiple roles. However, Weeks talent for pacing and tension elevate the trilogy to a solid debut and worthy of recommendation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Great book,easy to read ,really enjoyed this book big time.
    Like most people I have heard of Blackbeard,but I never heard about John Roberts aka Black Bart the most successful pirate of the golden age.He took over 400+ ships and his story is well worth reading.
    In If a Pirate I Must Be..., Richard Sanders tells the larger-than-life story of Bartholomew Roberts, aka Black Bart. Born in a rural town, Roberts rose from third mate on a slave ship to pirate captain in a matter of months. Before long, his combination of audaciousness and cunning won him fame and fortune from the fisheries of Newfoundland to the slave ports of West Africa. Sanders brings to life a fascinating world of theater and ritual, where men (a third of whom were black) lived a close-knit, egalitarian life, democratically electing their officers and sharing their spoils. They were highly (if surreptitiously) popular with many merchants, with whom they struck incredibly lucrative deals. Yet with a fierce team of Royal Navy pirate hunters tracking his every move, Roberts' heyday would prove a brief one, and with his capture, the Golden Age of pirates would pass into the lore and legend of books and movies. Based on historical records and journal and on writings by Roberts himself, If a Pirate I Must the true story of the greatest pirate ever to sail the Caribbean.
    One of the satisfactions of Richard Sanders' book is the revelation of how close pirate mythology is to the truth.
    This book is fascinating and a fast read.Richard Sanders admirably satisfies my love for swashbuckling and rollicking pirate tales, whilst providing historical and societal background in great detail.
    This book is a great example of how narrative history can be used not just to tell stories about the past but also to illuminate the world in which these events unfolded.
    Great book. Although a historical study it reads like a novel and is clearly written by someone with a love for the subject who is able to put the concept of piracy into a greater context.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    In 1964, 12-year-old Cory Mackenson lives with his parents in Zephyr, Alabama. It is a sleepy, comfortable town. Cory is helping with his father's milk route one morning when a car plunges into the lake before their eyes. His father dives in after the car and finds a dead man handcuffed to the steering wheel. Their world no longer seems so innocent: a vicious killer hides among apparently friendly neighbors. Other, equally unsettling transmogrifications occur: a friend's father becomes a shambling bully under the influence of moonshine, decent men metamorphose into Klan bigots, "responsible" adults flee when faced with danger for the first time. With the aid of unexpected allies, Cory faces hair-raising dangers as he seeks to find the secret of the dead man in the lake. McCammon writes an exciting adventure story. He also gives us an affecting tale of a young man growing out of childhood in a troubled place and time.

    Alot of discussions online about Stephen King Versus McCammon(The Stand Verus Swan Song,They Thirst versus Salems Lot,etc,etc),but for me ,McCammon delivers more consistantly than far.
    I don't agree with many reviewers that this is McCammons best book,and while IMO some of the american reviews are a bit over the top this is still a great read,and has something for everyone.
    IMO this would make a great read for a book club,lots of quirky occurences and interesting characters.

    270 X (5 star rating) on amazon

    Sometimes I get to thinking that my mental list of the "Top 5 Books I've Ever Read" is going to remain cast in stone until the day I draw my terminal breath. Then, out of the blue, an accidental discovery like "A Boy's Life" will come along and prove that, while I may consider myself well-read, there's still way too much opportunity for bona fide treasures to remain hidden.
    Once in a while you find a rare book which stays in your mind long after your finished it. Boy's Life is just that. The story is simply beautiful and still captures my heart and imagination after reading it the second time, 10 years later. McCammon is famous for his horrors. But in Boy's Life, Mc Cammon has written a brilliant story filled with sensitivity, humanity and emotional depth
    I'm not going to tell you about this novel. Instead, I want you to do the biggest favor you've done for yourself in years... buy this book and read it. When you've turned the last page, go directly to the beginning and start all over again. That is exactly what I did three times.
    I have been teaching 42 years; and in that time many students have brought books to me that "I must read." Beginning with a new Lord of the Flies, a new To Kill a Mockingbird, a new Cat's Cradle and a new Catch 22 through A Prayer for Owen Meany, Prince of Tides, The Power of One and Boy's Life, I have read the best of modern literature because I listened to my high school seniors. Well Boy's Life will be around schools for just as long as the previous mentioned books and their Catcher in the Rye counterparts,for those of us who love books and love to see students excited about reading rather than comatose with boredom will keep teaching books like Boy's Life. It's a wonderful book filled with many things to discuss and for today's youth so interested in the sixties it provides a non-historical approach to so much of that life without the inane trappings of drugs and flower power. I have spread the knowledge of this book to an extended community of former students to rave reviews without exception. It may not have the snob appeal of a Ulysses ( a book I love merely because I'm an Irish literate) but I defy anyone 60 or 15 to read it with being swept up in the magic of flying bicycles and boys and a prehistoric animal who is sent by a dead young man to rescue his still living buddy. And if you want this teacher's opinion; it's the novel Vernon Thazter couldn't write.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    This is my second McCarthy book ,tough going in parts but well worth the effort.
    Lots of talk online about "Blood Meridian " versus "In the rogue blood".
    For me In the rogue blood is my preferred book , more accessable, some say more violent and as a bonus based around actual historical events. Having said that Blood Meridian is the one that you analyse the most after reading.And the judge is a character that you never forget.
    "The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Great stuff!.If you like vampires,or are a fan of Salems Lot by King then this is the book for you.As the author intentionally keeps this out of print it can be hard to get a copy. But its well worth tracking down.I got my copy from abe books.
    Prince Vulkan, master of the vampires, has loosed his army of the undead on Los Angeles in this seamlessly written horror novel by the author of Mine. Vulkan's plan is to replace humankind, city by city, with the living dead. Four people stand in his way. Homicide detective Andy Palatazin, a Hungarian immigrant who fled this scourge as a child, is determined to stop it now. Young Tommy Chandler, whose parents were killed before his eyes, wants revenge. TV star Wes Richer hopes to save his beloved by tracking Vulkan to his lair. Father Silvera, a dying priest, believes that God has chosen him to destroy the vampire prince. Wreaking death and carnage, Vulkan proceeds to a final confrontation between the forces of good and evil. McCammon delivers terror with skillful ferocity as he pays tribute to masters of the genre and raises the standards for the craft a notch or two.
    As a horror novel They Thirst must rank up there with classic vampire novels such as Stephen King's Salem's Lot, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and Stoker's own Dracula. Robert McCammon takes an age-old legend and infuses it with a modern sensibility and a sense of the epic that even King's own classic vampire novel didn't have.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Part 3 of a well researched historical trilogy IMO ,following the Templar Knights ,their secret and their demise. Huge range of historical characters , Amir Baybars , King Philip IV of France , King Edward (longshanks) of England , William Wallace, Pope Clement etc. If you have an interest in the Knights Templar ,the end of the Crusades or like historical fiction , give this one a try
    1295 AD. The Christian empire in the Holy Land lies in ruins. Returning to Paris, Templar Knight Will Campbell is at a crossroads. He has sworn to uphold the principles of the Anima Templi, a secret brotherhood within the Order whose aim is peace - but peace seems ever more impossible. The Temple has forged an alliance with Will's enemy, King Edward of England, vowing to help him wage war on Scotland. This Will now faces a bitter choice: to stay with the Temple and fight another war he doesn't believe in, or to break his vows and forge his own path to peace - even if that too means fighting - for the Scots. Soon caught up in bloody conflict, Will is unaware that an even more ominous threat is rising, for there is a warrior king on the throne of France whose desire for supremacy knows no bounds and who will stop at nothing to fulfil his twisted ambitions. The fight for the Holy Land has ended. The Temple's last battle has just begun.
    'Young writes with remarkable accuracy, action-packed efficiency and gut-wrenching violence' (The Times 20060627)

    'An outstanding contemporary writer' (Kate Mosse 20060627)

    'A sweeping historical adventure as well as a cracking sequel' (Financial Times on CRUSADE 20060627)

    'Swords clash in the first sentence of Young's latest and go on clashing throughout...plenty of action...attention to historical detail...pacey dialogue' (The Times on CRUSADE )

    'El Cid meets The Da Vinci Code! Exciting, page-turning fiction' (Simon Mayo's book panel, BBC Radio Five Live on BRETHREN )

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    I liked this book alot and read it over three nights.I have now read all of Wallace Breems books.Eagle in the snow is still my favourite .This book gives a good insight into the mindset of the tribes that lived and still live in that area of the world.As has been noted by other reviewers this is not a feel good book, i myself was saddened by the way it ended.

    It is based loosely on a real incident from the nearly-forgotten Third Afghan War, which lasted for only 26 days in 1919

    In 1919 war broke out between Britain and Afghanistan which severely destabilised the tribal areas. In the Waziristan area the Frontier Corps units became highly unreliable. The novel deals with the effects of this on one particular unit, its officers and other ranks - both tribal and British.

    The book gives a very thorough exposition of tribal culture, the Frontier Corps and its operations as well as the employment of the Vickers Medium Machine Gun. As the other reviewer said it is useful in throwing light on the complex motivations of the Moslem soldier when his loyalties are strained, the difficulties of cross cultural relations in a military context and the problems of commanding para-military units in remote under-developed areas.

    That aside, however, it is an extremely depressing book which makes "All Quiet on the Western Front" look quite jolly. This is why I have given it four stars. Expect to be educated, expect good, gripping writing - BUT do not expect to be uplifted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Great little novella ,I read it in one sitting.If you enjoyed The warded man or The Desert Spear then try this out.Nice illustrations and an interesting little tale about Arlen as an apprentice messenger.
    Still unable to find a copy of The Great Bazaar. :(
    Brett spins another side story (after The Great Bazaar and Other Stories) off the deliberately harsh fantasy world first developed in 2009's The Warded Man. This novella is a slight but enjoyable tale with a light, almost YA feel. Newcomers will get an easy introduction as Arlen, still an apprentice Messenger, takes on his first solo excursion into the demon-haunted night. When Sandar breaks his leg, Curk, Arlan's mentor, is assigned to take his place hauling explosives to a far-off mining town. Brigands attack and Curk flees, but the ever-brave Arlan stands his ground, making himself new enemies and allies in what will become his long fight against the demons. The lack of female characters--other than one who needs Arlen's help to dodge her father's wrath over her unexpected pregnancy--will give some readers pause, but many will find Arlen's courage inspiring. (Jan.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    The Wise Man's Fear continues the mesmerizing slow reveal of the story of Kvothe the Bloodless, an orphaned actor who became a fearsome hero before banishing himself to a tiny town in the middle of Newarre. The readers of Patrick Rothfuss's outstanding first book, The Name of the Wind, which has gathered both a cult following and a wide readership in the four years since it came out, will remember that Kvothe promised to tell his tale of wonder and woe to Chronicler, the king's scribe, in three days. The Wise Man's Fear makes up day two, and uncovers enough to satisfy readers and make them desperate for the full tale, from Kvothe's rapidly escalating feud with Ambrose to the shockingly brutal events that mark his transformation into a true warrior, and to his encounters with Felurian and the Adem. Rothfuss remains a remarkably adept and inventive storyteller, and Kvothe's is a riveting tale about a boy who becomes a man who becomes a hero and a killer, spinning his own mythology out of the ether until he traps himself within it. Drop everything and read these books. --Daphne Durham

    Stories within stories,within stories.Maybe too many stories.
    Name of The Wind was top notch ,and I have recommended it to everyone that I know.
    I was a bit dissapointed with this sequel as I found this one a bit of a mixed bag .Brilliant in parts ,and not so billiant in others.
    The bandit hunt dragged on IMO and I found the whole Felurian thing tedious ,and for me did not gel with the rest of the story............A personal thing I know,but enough to throw me off some.
    Kvothe is a fantastic character and I loved his adventures at University and with the Adem.Overall I would have preferred if the main story had progressed a lot more.Mr Rothfuss is leaving himself a lot to do in the final part.
    Still love Name of the Wind and I still love Rothfuss ,so I am looking forward to Patricks next installment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    The conclusion of the bestselling Demon War series, which began with Rides a Dread Legion. Recent events have devastated the Conclave of Shadows; the discovery of the Demon horde on the heels of the taredhel invasion of Midkemia, the threat of the star elves themselves, and the terrible personal cost paid by Pug and his family. But grieving must wait. At a deserted fortress in the Valley of Lost Men, the Conclave's agents witness horror beyond their imagination, orchestrated by a familiar enemy. But Belasco's motives are as yet unclear. The Conclave must regroup and discover the true meaning behind the chaos seeded by the evil magician if they are ever to find a way to stop the destruction of Triagia before the demon horde even arrives

    More of the same,...............predictable ending.As a long time feist fan I bought this and read it over a couple of days.Its an easy read with the old familar characters.As nothing special happens you end up reading this just to stay in touch with whats happening on Midkemia. Midkemia is a great world that Mr Feist has developed, but I think it is time for him to introduce some new main characters /storylines ,maybe show us a different region /a different era of Midkemia.
    Does the indestructable Pug need to be in every book?.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    510Vg5Q%2BdIL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg £5 new from 22 sellers
    Originally started as an online fiction journal, ‘Day by Day Armageddon’ is written in a diary form from the perspective of a lone survivor in a post-apocalyptic world that is overrun by the living dead. The author, John Bourne has been writing this ongoing zombie saga in between serving as a U.S. Naval officer. His knowledge of tactical survival and weaponry is reflected perfectly within the pages of the novel. Sometimes quite clumsily written, the book gives off a realistic viewpoint of this harrowing and desperate situation.

    Not my usual reading material,Came across this online,and ending up reading the free sample chapters available. Did'nt expect to like it ,but I did, so ordered the Part 2 is in the post.:)

    If your a fan of The Walking Dead ,then give this try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    From the raw clay of historical fact, James Carlos Blake has sculpted powerful novel of both a man and an America at war with themselves. It is the poignant and brutally honest story of William Anderson—a lover of music, poetry, and horse-thievery—who was drawn into a savage conflict of state against state. As Kansas "bushwackers" fly the black flag of no quarter, Bill and his brother Jim take up with the infamous Quantrill's raiders, the most notorious of the bushwacker bands. When a catastrophic loss unleashes a fury in his anguished soul, Anderson becomes the most fearsome guerilla captain of them all and earns a name some whisper in fear, some in reverence, some in terror: "Bloody Bill."

    I loved this book big time,Historical fiction at its best IMO. This is the type of book that encourages you to find out more about the characters and the times they lived in.
    Although Bill Anderson had a brutal reputation Anderson does succeed in humanising "Bloody Bill" and making you wonder what you would be capable of doing in similar circumstances.Quantrill,Frank and Jesse James also feature in this book.It details the Lawerence and Centralia raids ,showing the viciousness of civil wars.One particular Poignant scene
    is the fiddle player tryng to save his life by mesmerising the Guerillas with his fiddle playing

    While "In the Rogue Blood " is still my favourite book by Blake ,this is a top notch read.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai

    Matsuoka continues the chronicle of Japanese nobleman Lord Genji he began in Cloud of Sparrows (2002).
    East collides with West in this complex, epic tale by Matsuoka (Cloud of Sparrows), in which the ability to see the future is transferred from generation to generation in a Japanese clan. The mid-19th-century inheritor of the clan's visionary powers is Lord Genji, a powerful samurai warlord who favors western style modernization for Japan but faces fierce opposition from the antiforeigner element. Compounding his political troubles is his peculiar love affair . Emily Gibson has been in Japan for six years, doing her missionary work, trying to hide her feelings for Genji and translating a series of mysterious scrolls recounting the history of the clan. As she reads the scrolls, she discovers inexplicable references to her own life and her association with Genji's family. Meanwhile, flashbacks describe centuries of tangled relationships and events that result in Genji's rise to power, focusing particularly on beautiful Shizuka, Genji's 14th-century forebear, who has the sharpest vision of the clan's future. The convoluted tale is bursting with too many characters and jumps around in time too much to be a smooth read—a 13th-century Mongol invasion, assassination, clan warfare, romantic rivalries and an estranged son and heir to Genji's rule round out the packed narrative—but Matsuoka's rich, authoritative storytelling makes this an engrossing read.

    While not as good as part one "Cloud of Sparrows" , Autumn Bridge is still
    a good read.This could be considered a difficult read because of the books layout.The author jumps from different time periods back and forth throughout the book ,which can lead to confusion unless you pay close attention.
    I read online that the Author toned down the violence in this book because of complaints about part one. This book has great characters and is set in the period of the last samurai.If you are interested in Japan and its transition to modernity give this one a try.
    Takashi Matsuoka

    Inspired by stories told to him as a child of his ancestors in Japan, Takashi Matsuoka transports readers into a majestic realm of samurai and geisha, ninjas and Zen masters in his debut novel, 'Cloud of Sparrows.'"

    You have to love this kind of breathless introduction from publishers. In Matsuoka's case, those inspirational stories, instead of coming from some wise and wizened relative, probably came from his regular visits to the Kokusai and Nippon Gekijo theaters near Aala Park, where Matsuoka's father would take the impressionable Takashi to see the latest samurai movie, and his imagination was stimulated by archetypes of gruff samurai and refined geisha.

    Who knows, in several years' time, "Tash" will attend a swanky Hollywood red-carpet premiere of the movie adaptation of his first published novel. In this world of snapping up "intellectual properties" as quickly as one can, the film rights to "Cloud of Sparrows" were purchased by Universal - specifically by the prestigious production team of Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, whose work has been most associated with some director named Steven Spielberg - a month after Random House bought the book.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Although a top notch read , this is not Robert McCammons usual fare.In the past he became famous for his horror stories,competing with and IMO surpassing King.The subject matter of this book ,would not normally be something that would interest me.But given McCammons previous books I decided to give it a try.
    This book is whats called a "Page turner",when you leave it down you can't wait till you pick it up again.You have to find out whats going to happen next.It was a pleasure to read.If you like fiction give this a try.Go on ,treat yourself.

    I liked this book so much ,that half way through I ordered "Queen of Bedlam" and "Mr Slaughter". :)
    A trial for witchcraft proves the tip of an iceberg of intrigues in this absorbing historical mystery, the first newly published novel in 10 years from McCammon (the book was written in the mid-'90s), a bestseller in the 1980s with such supernatural novels in the Stephen King tradition as Usher's Passing and Baal. Set in 1699 in Fount Royal, a coastal settlement in the colonial Carolinas, this latest unfolds the adventures of magistrate Isaac Woodward and his assistant, Matthew Corbett, who have been summoned to the struggling town to adjudicate in the trial of Rachel Howarth, a young widow accused of deviltry that is blamed for murders, wretched weather and other calamities driving settlers away. Though town leaders press for swift execution, Matthew is persuaded by Rachel's dignity and fortitude that she's innocent. Using skills honed living by his wits as an orphaned child, he pursues inconsistencies in testimony and throwaway clues and uncovers an elaborate plot involving pirate booty, animal magnetism and deadly deceit at the highest levels of town organization. This robust tale is as historically detailed as it is long, and its recreation of an era where superstition held its own with enlightenment is among its strongest achievements. Anachronisms, improbably fortuitous coincidences and private dramas that make Fount Royal seem a pre-Revolutionary Peyton Place lard the plot, but Matthew's race against time to save Rachel with the rudimentary tools to hand makes a compulsively readable yarn. McCammon's loyal fans will find his resurfacing reason to rejoice. (Sept.) Forecast: Those who enjoyed the author's last three novels (Mine; Boy's Life; Gone South), studies of the human condition that transcended genre labeling, will snap this one up, too. But McCammon also lost readers with these novels because in them he turned away from the horror themes that made his reputation. This latest could well gain him new fans, but it won't win back any horror readers.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Paddy Samurai


    Its a long time since I first read this book...15+yrs.It has always been remembered as one of my favourite reads ,so decided to revisit it.This is a great read ,top notch IMO.If you like fantasy give this a read.Don't let the film put you off ,as it bears little if no resemblance to this brillant book..Jack Shandy rules!.
    Tim Powers did not win 2 "World fantasy Awards" for nothing.

    Starred Review. World Fantasy Award–winner Powers (Three Days to Never) demonstrates a precise control of complex narratives in this reprint of his rollicking and enchanting 1987 novel. Puppeteer John Chandagnac, bound for Jamaica to recover stolen money from his uncle, becomes Jack Shandy after pirates attack his ship and force him to join their crew. Shandy's struggle to accept his new life grounds the story for readers, even as Blackbeard and vodun magicians whisk everyone away to dreamlike lands where the Fountain of Youth itself awaits. The chaotic sea battles sing, though at times key events happen so quickly that they get lost in the shuffle as Jack tries to comprehend where he's going and what's at stake. This dark fantasy tale will appeal not just to pirate fans but also to anyone who appreciates Powers's talent for blending the most unlikely elements into a brilliantly cohesive whole.
    “One of the most original and innovative writers of fantasy currently working….The quality of Powers’s prose never falters….His writing defies characterization and he never repeats himself.” (Washington Post )