Posts Tagged ‘Historical Fiction’

lastkingdomBernard Cornwell is one of the master storytellers in historical fiction today. I first learned about Cornwell via his Sharpe series based on his books, which take place during the Napoleonic wars (when the show first came out–this probably dates me). Sean Bean played the title character, and after watching the first episode I was hooked, watched the rest of the series, and then had to go back and read Cornwell’s books. When I learned he was writing a series about the formation of a unified Anglo-Saxon England in the 9th Century, I started with THE LAST KINGDOM and have been keeping current with the series ever since.

So imagine my glee when I learned there is a TV series for these books, too. (more…)

fall of lightMatthew Corbett is missing. Following the events in the 5th Matthew Corbett novel, THE RIVER OF SOULS, our favorite problem-solver finds himself without memories of who he really is. So begins the 6th Matthew Corbett novel, FREEDOM OF THE MASK.

Robert McCammon is in top form in this meaty novel. Yes, you heard that right. Meaty. As much as I loved the prior novel in the series, I felt like it was a quick adventure meant to set up the next several books in the series. A transitional novel. It was an excellent read, but with this 6th novel I hoped we would get something closer in scope to SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD and THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM. Turns out, this is exactly what we got. (more…)

nightbirdI recently went back to do a re-read of Robert McCammon’s SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD. Though, I suppose, a “re-listen” is more accurate as I bought the audiobook. It’s been a long time since I read this novel, and with the sixth Matthew Corbett novel, FREEDOM OF THE MASK coming in just a few short months, I wanted to go back to Matthew’s origins as a refresher.

It is incredible how well this novel stands up to multiple reads.

SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD follows a young Matthew Corbett as he participates in the trial of Rachel Howarth, who is accused of murder and witchcraft. Th novel channels the fear, suspicion, and paranoia of the Salem witch trials which occurred just six years before the events of this novel. This is before Matthew’s days as a “problem-solver” that we see in QUEEN OF BEDLAM and beyond, and seeing the near-innocent (in adult matters) attitude and world-view Matthew has in NIGHTBIRD is so interesting. (more…)

Things Half In Shadow

Posted: February 25, 2015 by Steven Diamond in Books We Love
Tags: , ,

redrisingAdding supernatural elements to Historical Fiction is one of my favorite things. I’m already a lover of history, and I can’t get enough supernatural stuff. For me, it’s a match made in heaven. From Jasper Kent to Sarah Pinborough to Robert McCammon…I love it. Alan Finn’s novel, THINGS HALF IN SHADOW, scratches that itch nicely.
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Captured as a slave while a child, Laura escapes and finds a new life in the home of a mountain healer and midwife. Clever and industrious, Laura learns her new profession so well that her adoptive mother, Crescia, sends her to Solerno’s famed medical school so she can become a physician and bring her worldly learning back to the midwife’s humble cottage. (more…)

Right from the moment you pick up a Dan Simmons novel and first set eyes upon the page, you know you’re in for a whole new kind of reading experience. It took me an entire paragraph (yes, the first one, because it’s just that obvious) to realize this would be the case. There is detail, flow and a sense of perfection in the way Simmons has crafted the first scene in BLACK HILLS, and I have to admit that I readily gobbled down every delicious bite of it. What’s more, I found that I continued to devour the pages by great sheaves despite the growing concerns niggling at the back of my neck.

Dude can write. (more…)