…took a week off last Friday.
Angus Donald‘s Warlord ‘finally’ gets a release in the US of A this week. Here’s what I am saying about it ‘it’s great!’, ahead of a full review soonest.
As I’ve mentioned before, he is finished, nearly, with the sixth instalment of his successful re-vamping of the Robin Hood legend, which has a release date of July 3 2014. You can, if you can wait that long, though I suppose you’re going to have to, order it from Amazon right now. Should give you a chance to catch up with reading all the others in the series. You can tell it’s a successful series, by the sprouting of other authors jumping (if one can both sprout and jump at the same time) on Angus’ Robin Hood bandwagon/coat-tails. Angus will always be the original and best in my opinion.
I’m just getting into liking/reading Anthony Riches‘ Empire series (and a good job too, as I have actually bought all six before reading any of them!) and now he’s on his way to finishing number seven! To be called The Emperor’s Knives, it is at something called ‘page proof stage’. It looks from the picture he posted on his Facebook page, like it’s been written, type-set and divided into the page-sequence as it will be in the final book version. Probably to check it runs on ok, with no ‘widows’ and what-have-you. A kind of what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of proof, I guess. As his picture of said proofs had a glass of a very amber looking liquid in it, this could take a while. Having said that, it is available for order on Amazon’s website, with a release date of February 13 2014. Just in time for Valentinus Day – should you feel the wife’ll go for a blood-soaked tale of ancient Rome, instead of flowers and chocs. Go to order and you will of course notice that while Amazon have a cover picture, they also have it listed as ‘Empirel VII…’ Maybe they’ve been on the amber liquid as well?
As he suggested at the end of Odin’s Wolves, young Giles Kristian has returned to the world of the Wolfpack. Only this time, if I understand it right, it’s a prequel to the previous saga of Raven and his motley crew. Called God of Vengeance, here’s what he’s told Amazon what to say about it:
Norway AD785. A land of petty kingdoms and ambitious men . . .
When King Gorm betrays Jarl Harald and puts his family to the sword, he makes a terrible mistake – he doesn’t kill Harald’s youngest son, Sigurd. Now on the run, hunted by powerful men and hiding in a sacred fen, Sigurd believes the gods have turned their backs on his family: his kin are slain or prisoners, his village attacked, its people taken as slaves. Honour is lost. Yet all men know that Ódin – whose name means frenzy – is drawn to chaos and bloodshed, as a raven is to the slaughtered dead. And Sigurd means to spill blood.
Alone but for a small band of loyal men including his red-bearded friend Svein, his father’s right-hand man Olaf, and Asgot the godi, Sigurd hungers to avenge the murder of his family. In an attempt to catch Ódin’s eye, the young man sacrifices himself – as the god once did – and it is during this ritual ordeal that Sigurd is shown a vision. The Wolf. The Bear. The Serpent. The Eagle. Sigurd will need the help of all these and more if he is to become a man whom others will follow…and if he is to make kings pay in blood for their treachery.
But the gods have spoken and Sigurd’s quest begins. Using cunning and war-craft he must gather the fiercest warriors of the north – warriors such as Bram who men call Bear, Black Floki who is death with a blade, and the shield Maiden Valgerd, who brave men fear – and convince them to follow him. For whether or not Ódin is with him, Sigurd will have his vengeance – and neither men nor the gods can stand in his way . . . Be assured that when the blood is flowing, the gods are watching…
Giles said yesterday, that he has finished the book, by which I guess he means he’s finished his first draft version and that when he’s rubbed out the doodles in the margins and shopping lists from the back, it’ll be on its way to the person at his publisher whose job it is to say “How am I supposed to sell this?!” There isn’t a cover image posted for God of Vengeance as yet, so I’ll have to keep an eye on that one as well. It’s available to order right now from Amazon, with a release date of 8 May 2014.
And as for names, if you’re thinking about the name Gorm there; I know Giles’ family (or at least part of it) come from Norway, but (where I live) Denmark’s first recognised king, was called Gorm den Gamle (Gorm the old). He ruled Denmark from 936 to 938 and was the son of Harthacnut and (amongst others) father of Harald Blåtand, who you know as Harold Bluetooth,
inventor of who gave his name to ‘Bluetooth’, the wireless means of connecting things like your iPhone, to your music player, etc. Gorm raised the first of the world famous Jelling Stones, here in Denmark. He is mentioned on it, because he had it raised in dedication to his wife Thyra. The perhaps more well-known of the Jelling Stones, was raised by Harald Bluetooth in memory of his father and mother. It has both the oldest representation of Christ in Scandinavia (Gorm was Pagan, but under Harald, Denmark became Christian) and the first known description of these lands as being ‘Denmark’. I live about 3/4 hour north of Jelling and if you’re even slightly interested in this sort of thing, I can confirm that a trip to see the stones will indeed blow your mind.