Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Fiction and non-fiction paperbacks

It's review time again of books I've recently read!

I don't often read paperback novels these days since I prefer to use my tablet for reading novels in bed. However, I've just finished a paperback non-fiction book and a paperback novel. 

The non-fiction book was a very short read which I'll no doubt use again as a handy reference. It's called Domitian by Suetonius -a translation of Suetonius' work by Rise of Douai. I bought this one since I'm waiting for a copy of another non-fiction text about Domitian, which has the reputation of being a definitive work on Emperor Domitian. I'm presently interested in reading up on Domitian because he is critical regarding what happens to the characters in my historical Celtic Fervour Series, since he seems to have been instrumental in recalling General Agricola back from northern Britannia to Rome in c. early A.D. 85. 

The other paperback is a signed copy of The Warrior Princess by K.M. Ashman. I acquired the signed copy from Kevin Ashman at a session he undertook at the Historical Novel Society Conference 2018 in Cumbernauld, Scotland. It's taken a while for me to read it since my paperback pile is as high as my kindle pile.  

I've read other novels by Kevin Ashman before, thoroughly enjoyed them, and found this one a really interesting journey back in time. I know almost nothing about the history of Wales so could not comment on any accuracy, but I found it very credible.

When reading The Warrior Princess I kept recalling Kevin's lovely Welsh lilt saying that for him the story is the 'key'. For him historical accuracy is important, he said, but a believable story has to be the overriding factor in creating the novel. This novel, about the attempts of Gwenllian and Tarw to oust the English invaders who have settled in Wales A.D. 1135, reads very fluently. There are multiple well-portrayed characters in the novel and I would be hard put to say that Nesta, wife to Gerald of Windsor and sister of Tarw (Gruffydd ap Rhys), is the main one even though the back blurb seems to indicate it may be so. Nesta' s part in the failed rebellion which results in the death of The Warrior Princess Gwenllian, is a tragic one.

If you like reading historical novels with more than a touch of adventure in them, I'm sure you'll love reading The Warrior Princess. 

I now have a couple of novels to read as a beta reader next up in my schedule. I'm not experienced in this type of reading, but I'm looking forward to them. More about them at a suitable opportunity when they become published novels. 


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