Friday book news 18 April

“Who’s that over there on the throne?”
Bernard Cornwell, who is, according to my blog statistics, the name to tag for almost unimited page views, has announced two books coming out soonest. Why am I reminded of the Simpsons‘ Captain (to paraphrase) “‘Tis no man, ’tis a remorseless writing machine, arr.”
Well, I’m, how can I put it? A little ‘suspicious’ of a writer like him who churns books out at the rate of knots he does. Just seems too quick, going from the Tweets/posts/time other writers say their books take, for each book to truly have had his full attention at the time of writing. Seems like his diary might go something like “got up, wrote a book, had breakfast, messed about, wrote another book, messed about, went to bed.”
If I’m being charitable and imagining another, a different scenario, I would say he may well have (at least) two on the go the whole time. But for me, that’s one too many. As I’ve mentioned/mused before, I’d guess he feeds his markets with (at least) one new book a year. Markets? Sharpe, Warrior Chronicles, other. Like I said, ‘machine’, and who wants a book written by a machine? The Pagan Lord was clearly written by a machine. One that hadn’t been updated to Grammar 2.0, the version that doesn’t allow sentences and/or paragraphs to start with ‘and.’

WaterlooAnyway, calming pills having been taken…and (!) we see BC has a book, a non-fiction book no less, about Waterloo coming out on the 11th September. About the 1974 Eurovison winning songthe history of the railway station  battle of Waterloo in 1815. The blurb runs thusly:

‘Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.’ Bestselling author Bernard Cornwall is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo – a momentous turning point in European history – a tale of one campaign, four days and three armies. He focuses on what it was like to be fighting in that long battle, whether officer or private, whether British, Prussian or French; he makes you feel you are present at the scene. The combination of his vivid, gripping style and detailed historical research make this, his first non-fiction book, the number one book for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It is a magnificent story. There was heroism on both sides, tragedy too and much misery. Bernard Cornwell brings those combatants back to life, using their memories to recreate what it must have been like to fight in one of the most ghastly battles of history. It was given extra piquancy because all of Europe reckoned that the two greatest soldiers of the age were Napoleon and Wellington, yet the two had never faced each other in battle. Both were acutely aware of that, and aware that history would judge them by the result. In the end it was a victory for Wellington, but when he saw the casualty lists he wept openly. ‘I pray to God,’ he said, ‘I have fought my last battle.’ He had, and it is a story for the ages.

It could actually be worth a read. But I think I’ll leave it until prices have settled down a little, or look for it second-hand. as Waterloo and that era, has never been of particular interest to me.

The Empty Throne 1The other however, is of more immediate interest to me, being the continuation, number 8 in fact, of that there The Warrior Chronicles.
Interesting that they’ve put a dummy cover up, a place-holder, if you will, instead of leaving the space blank until they actually do have the final(ish) cover done, as they did if I remember rightly with The Pagan Lord. Although, even that (the picture put up before launch) on Amazon, wasn’t the final version. Compare and contrast, if you have the hardback TPL.
What actually makes me laugh with this, is the ‘may contain nuts’ on a packet of peanuts-type warning that this may not be the actual final cover. “Oh, really?!” Clearly, the previous titles in this particular (cover style) incarnation of The Warrior Chronicles would at least suggest a picture as well as type, but that warning seems almost to be suggesting that some people might in some way feel short-changed, if there wasn’t also a picture on there. I’m laughing too, because having worked in the advertising business, where we sometimes did mock-ups like that, I can see, if it were our firm looking after this, the final cover coming back from the printer still with Final Cover Coming Soon, slap-dab in the middle! It happens, let me assure you. Primarily when everyone assumes that someone else will sort it before it goes off to the printer and the printer doesn’t see checking the thing or warning of possible mistakes, as any of his business. Assumption is always the mother of all It’s the law.

Waterloo comes out 11th September and you can order/pre-order from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (US) Does only seem to be available to order on Kindle as yet.

The Empty Throne comes out 23rd October on Amazon (US) again, does only seem to be available for order on Kindle as yet. Or Amazon (UK)

Distant thunder
Those BC books are for sale later in 2014, but if you want to really plan ahead, try this on for size:
Anthony RichesA new book in Anthony Riches epic Empire series, is listed now on Amazon – for release 5th March 2015! So time to order it on Amazon, then time to forget you’ve done so and order a signed one on Goldsboro and end up with two. D’oh!
Anyway, it will (though as release date is just under a year away and things could change) be called Thunder of the Gods. Good title, as Shakespeare once said. As you might guess, there isn’t a cover sorted as yet. A quick count up from my bookshelf tells me it will be number…eight in the Empire series.
I haven’t seen mention of this new one on Anthony’s Facebook page, or website (though that does seem to be lagging a little behind). It’s probably because he is, along with Ben Kane and Russ Whitfield, involved in preparations for, and taking part in, The Romani Walk II. It is (click on the link for more information) a walk in full Roman kit, in aid of Medicine sans Frontiers and Combat Stress, from Capua to the forum in Rome, where they will fight a series of lions and tigers before the survivor earns their freedom. Except for the bit about fighting the lions and tigers and earning their freedom.

Here is, as far as I can tell, the route of this new Romani Walk. Well, what Apple Maps suggests would be the best route anyway (click to enlarge) or if you have Apple maps, click here:

Romani Walk IIWhilst Apple suggests walking time is just 1 day and 14 hours, it doesn’t actually give the option for seeing how long it would take in full Roman military gear. I’m guessing a bit longer. I think that the 1 day etc, is if you did it in one go, without stopping at all (and not in Roman gear). I don’t know how long they plan to spend on the walk, but I’d guess the Scriptores Tres will probably take about a week. There’s a film crew going along as well, so expect to see some sort of documentary up somewhere, TV or on-line, in the not too distant future. Should be fun.

I wasn’t looking for a new AR book (honest, I don’t just trawl Amazon all day) it just popped up in the ‘you might like’ part of my Amazon page. I’m not going to pre-order it this time. Not because I would forget (which I would) but in protest at Amazon removing the free Super Saver delivery to Denmark! It’ll soon have Amazon on their knees, just you wait and see!

Pre-order Thunder of the Gods on Amazon (UK)

Matt Hilton
Dead Men's DustI’ve been following a thriller writer called Matt Hilton on Twitter and so decided to test the waters by getting hold of his first book in his Joe Hunter series. As far as I can tell,  he released the ninth in the series in January and is on the go with number ten. If you’re wondering where on earth I’m getting all the money from to buy so many books and ‘test the waters’, relax. I search for second-hand ones. I have a few places I check and I’ve had good results. This Matt Hilton one, I’ve gone for off‘s second-hand section. They do ‘free’ delivery to Denmark as well, so as Amazon have stopped delivering for free (if you ordered over £25)  I’m probably going to use them a lot more in the future.
What I can do, is when I get a book delivered from a place, I can let you know how the service and condition is/was. Fair enough? Most of the books I’ve had second hand so far, have been in excellent nick. Only a bunch of paperbacks I got through Amazon’s secondhand network didn’t live up to their ‘good or very good’ claims. Otherwise, the hardbacks I’ve gone for have been surprisingly tip-top in their condition. Plus, I can get stuff delivered out here in Denmark, from the UK, cheaper than it would cost me to get the bus, return, into town (Aarhus). So, suddenly the cost looks a lot more reasonable.

Rebel Rebel
FeudA Traitor's GateOne I thoroughly enjoyed a while back, was Feud  by Derek Birks. Feud is the first of his Rebels and Brothers series, set during The Wars of The Roses (1455-ish – 1487-ish). Again, not a period I know an awful lot about, but it does look like I’m about to be a whole lot ‘klogere’, as I now say here in Denmark, cleverer as you would probably say wherever you are. This is because Derek is well under way with #3 in his series, this time to be called Kingdom of Rebels. He mentions on Twitter that the is currently screaming (and looking at previous posts where he describes the bath-loads of blood being spilled so far, I use that word advisedly) past the 117,000 words on that there third book. I have the first two on Kindle and have so far only read the first one –  not through any intention, just that it hasn’t reached the top of the electronic pile as yet. Though I am looking forward tremendously to when it does. The links (if you click on the covers, will take you to the paperback versions, both are, as I say, available on Amazon’s Kindle service – should you be lucky enough to live somewhere where they allow you to download a Kindle version…but that’s another story.

You can follow Derek – and get your own blood-soaked updates – on Twitter here.

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