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review 2019-09-09 11:00
New Release Review! The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) G.A. Aiken!

 

 

 

Good Morning, Readers! Today I am starting off the week with a visit to the Hill Lands where the Old King has died and a prophecy about a new queen has emerged. Enjoy and don't forget to add The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken to your shelves!

 

 

 

 

When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.  

 

The Old King Is Dead

 

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. 

 

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

 

 

 

The Old King has died and a prophecy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills has emerged and the king’s sons are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers including each other. Blacksmith Keeley Smythe is benefiting from the war until it looks like the chosen queen will be her younger sisters, now it’s all she can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily she doesn’t have to fight alone, because the clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amicahi have joined the quest.

 

The author has given her fascinating world life once again with some truly wonderful additional elements that readers can definitely appreciate. The dragons may not be a full part of this story, but it takes place in the same world, just a different part. The characters of this new series are strong and blood thirsty as the others and there definitely grab all of the reader’s attention from the very beginning. While Keeley reminds readers of the Human Queen, she has her own refreshing personality that readers can definitely enjoy and the budding relationship that is building between her and Caid promises to be epic.

 

This fast paced story is full of adventure, suspense, excitement and emotional angst, but the way these characters deal with that turmoil can be a bit frightening as well as charming. The author makes this blood thirsty world seem so very reasonable that readers can’t help but have fun and be delighted with the captivating characters, which includes centaurs, dwarves, barbarians, witches, and wild horses, while they are completely enthralled by this riveting and exhilarating adventure.

 

 

 

Author's Book Page

 

 

Goodreads   *   BookLikes   *   BookBub

 

Riffle   *   Romance.io   *   GBooks 

 

 

 

 

The Blacksmith Queen is the 1st book in The Scarred Earth Saga.

 

Based in the same universe as the Dragon Kin series, the Scarred Earth world introduces you to the women, men, and centaurs of the Hill Lands and the treacherous rulers fighting for control.

 

 

Goodreads   

 

 

The Scarred Earth takes place in the same universe as the Dragon Kin!

 

 

 

AVAILABLE in print, ebook or audio

 

Amazon   *   B&N   *   Kobo   iBooks   *   GPlay

 

BookDepo   *   IndieBound   *   Kindle   *   BaM

 

Nook   *   RecordedBooks   *   Target 

 

Kensington >   Trade   *   ebook 

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author G.A. Aiken, Originally from Long Island, New York, lives on the West Coast and spends most of her time writing and making sure her rescued Pittie doesn’t love everyone into a coma. When she’s not writing about sexy dragons, she’s writing about sexy wolf, lion, tiger, and other fang-filled predators under the name Shelly Laurenston. Find out more about this New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors books at www.shellylaurenston.com.

 

 

Website   *   Facebook   *   Amazon  

 

BookBub   *   Goodreads

 

 

 

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review 2019-09-06 03:40
5 Star Blacksmith Queen
The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) - G.A. Aiken

 

The Old King has died and a prophecy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills has emerged and the king’s sons are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers including each other. Blacksmith Keeley Smythe is benefiting from the war until it looks like the chosen queen will be her younger sisters, now it’s all she can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily she doesn’t have to fight alone, because the clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amicahi have joined the quest.

 

The author has given her fascinating world life once again with some truly wonderful additional elements that readers can definitely appreciate. The dragons may not be a full part of this story, but it takes place in the same world, just a different part. The characters of this new series are strong and blood thirsty as the others and there definitely grab all of the reader’s attention from the very beginning. While Keeley reminds readers of the Human Queen, she has her own refreshing personality that readers can definitely enjoy and the budding relationship that is building between her and Caid promises to be epic.

 

This fast paced story is full of adventure, suspense, excitement and emotional angst, but the way these characters deal with that turmoil can be a bit frightening as well as charming. The author makes this blood thirsty world seem so very reasonable that readers can’t help but have fun and be delighted with the captivating characters, which includes centaurs, dwarves, barbarians, witches, and wild horses, while they are completely enthralled by this riveting and exhilarating adventure.

 

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review 2018-05-15 17:40
My ninety-ninth podcast is up!
Barbarians in the Greek and Roman World - Erik Jensen

Podcast #99 is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview historian Erik Jensen about his book on the idea of barbarians in the ancient world and the insights they offer into Greek and Roman concepts of identity. Enjoy!

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review 2017-09-02 05:31
BOHEMIAN LONDON, 1994-95
The Lesser Barbarians - Eimear McBride

Last year, I first learned about "THE LESSER BOHEMIANS" through a radio interview the author had given BBC Radio London. My curiosity was piqued so much that I ordered the paperback edition from a UK-based website. But when I began reading the novel, it was a struggle trying to keep up with the stream-of-consciousness rhythm for the first 30 to 40 pages. I was very frustrated because to get a real, firm grasp of the story itself, told largely from the vantage point of Eily, an 18 year old acting student from Ireland who had come to London in 1994 to pursue a dream -- and along the way, finds love with Stephen, an established actor 20 years her senior --- wasn't an easy process. This was a demanding book, one that I came close to abandoning out of frustration. But then, somehow, the maddening struggle to keep apace of the stream-of-consciousness rush of words on the page faded away and I found that I could now easily follow the storyline. That helped to change my attitude towards the book.

As the saying goes, 'the course of true love never did run smooth'. Eily and Stephen had a very rocky path to get through, because like most people in new, budding relationships, each of them had longstanding issues in their pasts that made it difficult for both to trust themselves and each other. And the way the author uses words like a pointillist painter gave me a kind of visceral sensation at times that this roiling drama was happening in real time, not the early 1990s. 

"THE LITTLE BOHEMIANS" may not be a book for readers leery or unreceptive to stream-of-consciousness prose. But if you are willing to be challenged as a reader, the journey itself will be well-worth the time taken to immerse yourself in it.
 

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review 2017-08-21 09:50
Barbarians to Angels by Peter S. Wells
Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered - Peter S. Wells

TITLE:  Barbarians to Angels:  The Dark Ages Reconsidered

 

AUTHOR:  Peter S. Wells

 

DATE PUBLISHED: 2008

 

FORMAT: e-book

 

ISBN:  9780393069372

 

_________________________________________

 

In Barbarians to Angels, Wells discusses his basic thesis that the “Dark Ages” weren’t quite so dark. That the barbarians “invading” the Roman Empire, adapted,  integrated and modified the Roman government institutions, but also retained a great deal of their own complex culture and institutions after the collapse of the Roman Empire.  Wells decides to focus his attention on the examination of archaeological materials to construct a picture of barbarian society in northern Europe.

 

In my opinion, Wells’ argument may well be correct, but he doesn’t convey this adequately (in this book) due to poor argumentation and the questionable interpretation and use of evidence.  The author continually states that the Dark Ages were a time of brilliant cultural activity, but fails to show this.  He keeps going back to the archaeological evidence and ignores any other type of evidence.  While Wells describes the archaeological features in detail, he fails to place these objects in a wider context or compare them with similar findings in the rest of Europe.  Wells’ also tends to focus on sites on the edge of the Roman Empire or even beyond its borders.  There is rarely any discussion of sites within what once was the Western Roman Empire.  There is also a lack of information of how his findings compare to what was happening in the area before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.  The author does present some interesting information about the evidence for trade and culture and wealth that refutes the common misconception of savage barbarians plundering cities, ravished populations and empty landscapes.  But he doesn’t provide enough information to compare economic complexity during the Roman period and the post-Roman period.  For example, Wells demonstrates that Dark Age Europeans were capable of creating sophisticated goods and distributing them, but the why, how, and its relation to the earlier Roman period is not explained.

 

In general, this book is rather basic and bland and may well be intended as an introduction to the early Middle Ages or as a limited survey to the subject.  The writing style is easy to read with many photographs and maps, however, the argument is weak and unsatisfactory.

 

OTHER BOOKS:

 

~Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages by Frances Gies, Joseph Gies

 

~Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe by Peter Heather

 

~The Celts by Alice Roberts

 

~A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: The Beginnings of the English Nation by Geoffrey Hindley

 

~Terry Jones' Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History by Terry Jones, Alan Ereira

 

~The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 by Chris Wickham

 

~Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 by Chris Wickham

 

~The World of Late Antiquity 150-750 by Peter R.L. Brown

 

~Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World by Patrick J. Geary

 

~In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood

 

~The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph & Diversity 200–1000 by Peter R.L. Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

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