Tuesday, 25 February 2020

#BookReview — Oath of Allegiance (Allegiance, Book 2) by Jana Petken #HistoricalFiction #WW1 #Ireland

Oath of Allegiance
(Allegiance, Book 2)
By Jana Petken

As the Great War enters its most deadly phase, Patrick, Jenny, and Danny Carmody must cast aside their personal desires in order to stand with Britain against Germany and her allies.

Danny, who is recovering from serious wounds, is devastated when he learns he must return to the Continent to fight at the front.

Patrick, traumatised by his experience on HMHS Britannic, prays for a shore posting, but the Royal Navy has something much more insidious in store for him.

Jenny and Kevin rekindle their love for one another but their relationship is tested when the Irish people demand their independence from Britain and its king. Jenny must choose between her brothers and her new husband’s Anglo-Irish aristocratic family.

"I promise you, my darlin', I'll not get involved in Ireland's troubles when I come home..."

That's if he came home. Danny Carmody had already cheated death once. He doubted he would do so again. Danny had thought his war over when he had been gassed at the Front, but no. Here he was back at the Somme, waiting for the orders that would send him over the top and towards certain death. And for what? To gain a few miles of land? It was a war governed by fools who sent lambs to the slaughter while expecting a result other than butchery.

Patrick Carmody had, unlike his brother, joined the Royal Navy. However, if Patrick never stepped on a boat again, it would be too soon. The White Star Line was cursed, or so it seemed. Patrick had survived the sinking of HMHS Britannic, but would he be so lucky a second time?

Jenny Carmody was at last married to the man she loved, and that was all that mattered. However, Kevin had not told Jenny the whole truth about who his family were. Jenny knew they were protestant and of standing, but there was so much more she did not know. So much more...

From the horrors of The Western Front to the disappointment of The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, Oath of Allegiance: Allegiance, Book 2 by Jana Petken is the unforgettable story of the Carmody family, and how they survived one war but were very nearly torn apart by another.

Where do I even begin to attempt to express how wonderful this book is? I could speak of how Petken stimulated all five senses with her vivacious storytelling. I could praise Petken for her fabulous historical descriptions. I could celebrate Petken's novelist eyes for human failings — her emphatic understanding of the human condition. I could, of course, praise the narrative, which is as lucid as it is enthralling. Or, the prose that washed over me in riotous colours of green and white and orange. This is a book where the patriots become the terrorists. Where those who are meant to protect become a seedy colour of Black and Tan. Where life is torn asunder by a war that had been going on for years and would continue to go on for decades more. This is a story about the day the Emerald Isle began to drown in the blood of her own people. This is a story about the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This is the story of one family whose life would never be the same again.

The historical detailing of this book has to be commended. Petken has really nailed this era. Not only is Petken a talented author, she is also the most dedicated of historians. Petken's knowledge of what conditions were like at the Somme, to her understanding of the events that led up to Bloody Sunday and the Civil War in Ireland has to be commended. One does not just sit down and write a historical fiction book that is so incredibly authentic and as true to the history as can be without hours and hours of research. Petken is, without a doubt the creme de la creme of historical fiction writers. If you don't believe me, pick up this book.

Petken's depiction of The Battle of the Somme was vivid in all its desperate detail. We experience the brutalities of trench warfare through the eyes of Danny Carmody. The horror of learning that you were being sent back to where you had almost died is beyond comprehension. But when in Hell, Danny is pragmatic enough to keep walking. Danny endures so many unbearable events in this book, and he finds himself embroiled in a world that is dark and dangerous. He survives one world war, only to fight in a very different type of warfare when he finally makes his way home. Danny is a fabulous example of an anti-hero — as a reader, I sympathised with Danny so much, he is dealt one terrible blow after another, and he finds himself in an incredibly dark place. Danny's demons are always near him, and for some reason, he seems to believe that he has no right to happiness and peace. However, what he becomes, and the things that he does with such cold and calculated precision makes him something short of monstrous. His character reminded me greatly of Frankie McGuire, in Vincent Patrick's, David Aaron Cohen's, and Kevin Jarre's, The Devil's Own. Like Frankie, Danny is a really likeable character, and I feared for him throughout this book. I just wanted him to escape this dangerous cycle of violence that he can't seem to see his way out of, not that he wants to be out of it. Danny becomes a fanatic, but there is so much more to him than that. I thought Danny's portrayal was absolutely fabulous, and his narrative made Oath of Allegiance unputdownable. His depiction was brilliantly executed.

Patrick Carmody is the glue that holds this troubled family together. He is the one constant in everybody's life. But unbeknown to anyone, Patrick has his own demons. Demons, that if discovered, could end in imprisonment and, in a worst-case scenario, his execution. Patrick fights a different type of war to his brother, although like Danny's it is one shrouded in secrets and untruths. This book is set during a time where a person's sexual identity concerning the gender to which they were attracted to was, in some cases, illegal, and if discovered, your life was over. Not being able to hold hands with the person you loved, having to be always on guard must have been a dreadfully frightening burden. I thought Petken approached Patrick's character with a tenacious understanding of the time this book is set in. I wept for Patrick, I really did. Add to that Patrick's attempts to keep his family together when circumstance was tearing them apart, made him, for me, the hero of this story.

Jenny Jackson is a very strong heroine, who, like Patrick, has to fight for what she wants. She is a woman and therefore should, as society dictates, be ruled by her husband. The very idea that she wants access to her own money seems almost scandalous. Times were changing, but they were not changing that fast. Thankfully, Jenny married Kevin, who adores the ground she walks on. Unfortunately, with the onslaught of escalating troubles in Ireland, Jenny must make an impossible choice. Jenny is married into a wealthy and very influential protestant family. Her father-in-law is a member of the House of Lords and a British Loyalist. Jenny's brother-in-law is a detective at Dublin Castle, whereas Jenny's brother, Danny, becomes a known member of the IRA. This is a family where loyalties are fundamentally divided, but the deep love the Carmody siblings have for each other makes estrangement incredibly challenging. Jenny comes from a very loving and very loyal family, and the path that Danny chooses has devastating consequences for all of them. I adored Jenny, she is a wonderful heroine who will not be cowed by her husband’s aristocratic family, nor will she be used by Kevin's brother who is desperate to find out Danny's whereabouts. I thought her depiction was marvellous.

As one would expect, there are some historical figures in this book. One cannot write a book about the IRA in the early 20th century without mentioning Michael Collins. Petken presents her readers with a very charismatic man in Collins, but she also stuck very close to the documented history about him. Collins commands respect, and he does not tolerate disloyalty. I was intrigued by her depiction of Collins, and although he is only a secondary character in this book, Collins is of course, as he once was in life, controlling the narrative.

Petken portrays the IRA as a very violent organisation, but she also explains why these men thought such actions were necessary. Petken does not make them heroes but like with Danny's characterisation, she does try to provide a balanced view of who they were and what they were fighting for, which of course was an independent Ireland. The actions are at times utterly deplorable, but then so was the activities of the RIC which Petken also depicts in all its reprehensible behaviour.

Petken is a multi award-winning and international bestselling author, and I can understand why. All of her books are amazing, I am already a massive fan of Petken's work, but Oath of Allegiance completely blew me away. It is outstanding. This book deserves a place on your bookshelf, and if ever a book deserved to be the next big series on Netflix, then it is this one.

I Highly Recommend

Review by Mary Anne Yarde
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
Oath of Allegiance

Jana Petken

Jana Petken is a bestselling historical fiction novelist and screenwriter. 

She is critically acclaimed as a bestselling, gritty, author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines. She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction and is presently in talks with film producers regarding one of her titles.
Before life as an author, she served in the British Royal Navy. During her service, she studied Naval Law and history. After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely.

Connect with Jana: Website • Twitter  • Goodreads

Monday, 24 February 2020

#BookReview — Siege (The First Crusade, Book One) by Richard Foreman #HistoricalFiction #Crusades

(The First Crusade, Book One)
By Richard Foreman

The crusader army still stands outside Antioch. Starving. Deserting.
An enemy force, led by Kerbogha of Mosul, is days away from relieving the walled city.
Bohemond of Taranto calls upon the English knight, Edward Kemp, to meet with an agent, who is willing to provide the Norman prince with access to Antioch.
But Bohemond is not alone in wishing to capture and lay claim to the prize. Edward must contend with enemies in his own camp.
Should the knight's mission fail, then so may the entire campaign.
Antioch must fall.

 is the first book in a new series, set during the First Crusade, by bestselling historical novelist Richard Foreman.

"The Army of God has turned into the army of God Help Us..."

It began with an inspirational speech. Pope Urban II called all of the Christians of Europe to reclaim the Holy Lands from the Muslims. "Deus vult," Urban had cried. "God wills it." Glory and riches, in this life, and the next, would be the reward to those brave enough to wrestle the Holy Sepulchre from the Saracens.

"Deus vult," he had cried. "Deus vult."

And so it seemed God had indeed willed it. Until the day His army looked upon the high fortified walls of the City of Antioch. It was then that His soldiers began to doubt the sincerity of Pope Urban II's words.

From a contest between Raymond's nephew and a knight of Bohemond's to the breaching of the walls of Antioch, Siege (The First Crusade, Book 1) by Richard Foreman is the most compelling historical fiction book I have ever read about the Crusades. Like a snapshot in time, Foreman has thrown his readers into the desperate situation facing the Crusaders as they came upon a colossal stumbling block in their bid to retake the Holy Lands.

With a narrative that is almost ornate in the telling and with an astoundingly ambitious, yet very successful, plot, Foreman has presented a book that lovers of great historical fiction can get very excited about. Not only is Siege vastly entertaining, but it is also next to impossible to put down. One more page became one more chapter. This is the kind of book that makes a reader forgo sleep to finish. 

The scope of the historical detail in this book has to be commended. Foreman has captured not only the desperation of the soldiers as food becomes scarce and starvation sets in but also the political intricacy and rivalry of men such as  Bohemond and Raymond. Foreman has, it seems, an intuitive understanding of what makes history worth reading.

The crusading army was meant to be one of unity, but all men are ambitious, especially when it comes to peer esteem and wealth. The rivalry and the ambitions of the nobles who took up the Cross have been wonderfully explored in this book. Foreman concentrates on two rival companies.The first company is led by Bohemond of Otranto, and the second, by Raymond of Toulouse. Foreman demonstrates this rivalry between Bohemond and Raymond with great skill and diligence. Both men want to best the other — they both want to be victorious, although whether that was for God's sake or their own is open to debate. 

Bohemond is portrayed as a man who commands the respect of his men. Men such as Edward Kemp and Thomas Devin — the protagonists in this story. Bohemond is also a very shrewd politician, as well as a military leader. He comes across as a very intelligent, and very knowledgeable commander. It seems that Foreman has brought Bohemond back from the dead and has breathed new life into him.

Raymond of Toulouse, as history tells us, was a very religious man who wished to die with honour in the Holy Lands. He was also extremely ambitious, and he wanted to be remembered. Foreman has given his readers a man who is more determined to vanquish Bohemond than to defeat the actual enemy, which I thought was an interesting take on this man's character and it was one that certainly helped to drive the story forward.

The protagonists of this book are two very different, and yet very wonderful men. Edward Kempt is a man who has suffered much during his life. He isn't a religious man at all. He sees what happened to him as a child as God's fault — God did nothing to stop the atrocities, or his parents murder. Edward is of the same mind as the seriousness of this siege takes hold. Men are starving. Men are dying because there is not enough food. Whose fault could this be but God's? They are, after all, fighting His war. Throughout this book, Edward struggles with his relationship with God, which I thought was endlessly fascinating. Also, Edward isn't in this fight because he wants to liberate the Holy Lands — he wants to earn enough money so he can buy a cottage, retire, get married, and raise a family. When you think of the Crusades, you think of men fighting under the banner of God, but Foreman reminds us with his characterisation of Edward that there were men whose swords were hired — they were not fighting for God, they were fighting for money. I thought Edward's depiction was fabulous. I really enjoyed reading about him.

My favourite character in this book is, without a doubt, Thomas Devin. Thomas is a profoundly pious young man who Edward calls a Holy Fool, because of his endless charity. Thomas would willingly starve to death if he could help someone else to live. He is a lamb amongst ravenous wolves, and I did fear for his safety on more than one occasion. However, like all lambs, there is a thread of a lion inside of Thomas, which is waiting to burst free and show the world what kind of man he truly is. I adored everything about Thomas, he makes solemn promises not only to God, but to his fellow man, and he will not break those promises, no matter what. He is a man that is fit to bursting with integrity, and I think this is what made him particularly appealing. Siege, is a story of desperate men, and an equally frantic battle to take control of the city. Thomas is a breath of fresh air in a world torn asunder by war.

As with any campaign during this era, and indeed, right up to very modern warfare, it was common for the army to have followers, be that the wives of the men, or prostitutes hoping to make some money from soldiers so far away from home. Foreman has given us the latter in Emma. Emma's war is not like her lover, Edward's, and nor is it like Thomas'. But I think it was a genius move by Foreman to add Emma into this story of war and ambition, for his readers get to witness the Siege of Antioch from a completely different perspective of that of a soldier or a knight. Emma's position is precarious — if the Crusaders lose, then she could end up dead or perhaps worse, a slave. This insight, I thought made this book scrumptiously balanced and gave an excellent depiction of what life may have been like for those who followed the army.

Siege (The First Crusade, Book 1) by Richard Foreman is a monumental work of scholarship. This book is bold, brutal and brilliant. I cannot wait to read Book 2 of what promises to be an irresistible series.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of

Richard Foreman

Richard Foreman is the bestselling author of numerous historical series set during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, including the Augustus Caesar books, Sword of Empire and Sword of Rome. He is also the author Warsaw, Raffles: The Complete Innings and Band of Brothers, a series charting the story of Henry V and the Agincourt campaign. Richard writes modern thrillers too, under the pseudonym of Thomas Waugh. He is a judge for the HWA Crowns and the founder of the London History Festival. He lives in London.

Connect with Richard: Sharpe Books • Twitter • Goodreads.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

#BookReview — God’s in the Garden by Cory B. Scott #memoir #ChristianInspiration

God’s in the Garden
By Cory B. Scott

An exhilarating memoir about one man’s journey through physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse to find his inspiring personal awakening.

Shaken by the loss of his mother, drained by his pursuit of a doctoral degree, and conflicted over his experience with illegal and unethical activities in religious organizations, Dr. Scott found himself questioning everything he had been raised to believe.  This questioning sends him spiralling down a dark rabbit hole into a new world he never knew existed.

Through original artwork, creative writing, and rigorously honest introspection. Dr. Scott take us all on a journey into the dark places that separate us from unfiltered truth.

"Love is the truth, religion is the lie, the great misdirect. It takes the truth and molds it to self- serving principles, doctrines, and rules. They threaten you with hell as if a God made of love would allow his loved to burn." 

There are many passages I could have taken from God is in the Garden by Cory B. Scott, but having spent my own childhood fearing I would somehow displease God because of my very human fallibilities, this is a passage that really struck a chord. How can a benevolent, omnipotent God, hang the torment of eternity in Hell, and yet still be called all-loving? It is a paradox and one that Scott explores in this frank, honest, and remarkable book.

Scott takes his readers on a very personal journey, where he explores his beginnings, and the abuse he endured by those who hid their true selves in the darkest shadows of institutional religion. Scott is unfailingly honest, which at times can make this book an emotional rollercoaster, and it did leave me in tears on more than one occasion. The doubts, the confusion that Scott talks about as he looks back on his life is a familiar story which most of us, unfortunately, would recognise. Scott does not shy away from who he is, and where he has been, and what he has done, which makes this book all the more hard-hitting. At the same time, however, Scott gives his readers hope. Hope that they too can find their way back to God and his Garden.

Scott's message is clear and concise, and easy to understand because of his use of stories, parables if you will. His story about a child at Sunday School whose curiosity and questions were squashed by an adult who was not qualified, as no one really is, to interpret how we should praise God was very moving. I think Scott made his point admirably when he stated:

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." With that in mind, maybe the children should be teaching Sunday school to the adults.

Would God really set his people up to fail? Scott asks. When you come away from the religious doctrine, then questions such as this one makes one pause and consider. However, as Scott stated, it is incredibly challenging to let go of the concepts and the "truths" that have been drummed into our minds so very early on in our lives, and not always done positively — especially when the threat of Hell is used to force obedience. No wonder the relationship many people have with God is corrupted, no wonder so many turn their backs on him — but what we forget, as Scott reminds us, is that God isn't the problem. Scott urges us to think for ourselves and to connect with God in our own way. Is it right for good people to fear that they will go to Hell because they have stumbled in life — made a mistake, made a wrong choice? How is this right? Scott says it is not. Another question that Scott asks is, can we only find God in the Bible? And then he reminds us that this book's contents were agreed upon not by God, but by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. It is a sobering thought, indeed. Society has come along way since that first Council of Nicaea. Still, religion it seems has not kept pace as it drags its feet with regards to equality and tolerance, and let's not forget empathy.

Scott dares to argue that God cannot be all-loving and all-hating at the same time. Scott also dares to suggest that the Bible is not the word of God, it is written by man, and we must never forget that. Scott does not, however, dismiss God in a way shape or form, he is steadfast in his beliefs of this mighty celestial being, but what he questions is how religion is used as a tool to control minds and assure obedience. We are the sheep, and the shepherds (the religious leaders) are not really shepherds at all, and some of them are the wolves, or the serpent, sent to lead us away from God. There was, after all, only one Good Shephard — anything else is a poor and sometimes very dangerous imitation.

Some times self-help, self-enlightening books, can be rather dry and somewhat heavy in the delivery, but this is not so in Scott's book. What is also different about God's in the Garden, is that Scott does not pretend to have all the answers, but he wants his readers to awaken, to realise that there is a way back to the God they knew as a young child before religion got a hold of them. 

Some who read this book will take offence at the arguments Scott puts forwards, which is totally understandable, and nothing can be done about their displeasure. But, if you read this book with an open mind, then you can take a lot away from it. This is the kind of book I wish I had read twenty years ago.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
God’s in the Garden

Cory B. Scott

Dr. Cory B. Scott has had an adventurous career that has afforded him the honor of such titles as, Doctor, Deputy, Lieutenant, Director, Executive, Reverend, and finally, his true passion, Professor. But those were just titles; He is really just, Daddy, Husband, Brother, Friend, Uncle, Mentor, writer, and finally, in 2019, he was awarded his true love, Grandpa. Cory has survived some devastating and tragic events along his path as well as some personal failures. These experiences have given him deep insight and a desire to help others overcome personal obstacles and transform their tragedies into strength and hope.

Cory weaves original artwork, poetry, and stories in an incredible memoir titled, "God's in the Garden." This book captures the essence of a survivor's journey through abuse, pain, loss, betrayal, and enlightenment. Cory is the author of the "Inspiring, Metaphoric, and Psychedelic Stories of Oopy Loopy Provenance." A series of stand-alone stories set in the murky provenances of the heart and the human condition. These adventures explore the depths of our humanity. These crafty works are designed to inspire and help the reader use the power of metaphor to identify and overcome common hang-ups that hold us back from enjoying this life and reaching our full potential.

Connect with Cory: Website • Twitter.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

#BookReview — Heir to a Prophecy by Mercedes Rochelle #HistoricalFiction #Macbeth

Heir to a Prophecy
By Mercedes Rochelle

Shakespeare's Witches tell Banquo, "Thou Shalt 'Get Kings Though Thou Be None". Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings?

The road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, passing the Witches' prophecy to his son Walter. Born on the wrong side of the blanket and raised in disgrace, Walter was caught inside of a destiny he barely understood. In an effort to untangle Banquo's murder and honor his lineage, Walter moved through events that shaped the course of England and Scotland. His relationships with the great men of his time drove his destiny: Harold Godwineson, Alain of Brittany and finally Malcolm III. After a long and treacherous journey through Wales, England, and France, Walter fulfilled the witches’ prophecy as the first Steward of Scotland and ancestor of James I—for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.

"I've come to help avenge Banquo's death."
Malcolm smiled sadly. "Then you shall not leave my side until it is done."

Walter knew nothing of his ancestry, only that he was illegitimate and his grandfather, Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, had cast out his daughter, Walter's mother, Nesta, and murdered Fleance, Walter's father. Walter knew nothing of his father's past until he was visited by three mysterious old women, who spoke of prophecy and destinies and other such dangerous things.

Walter has two choices. He could ignore the old hags and live the life he wanted. Or, he could take heed of their warning and follow the path they laid out before him and become The First Stuart of Scotland.

From a desperate escape from assassins to the crowning of the rightful King of Scotland, Heir to a Prophecy by Mercedes Rochelle is the utterly compelling story of how Banquo's grandson paved the way for a generation of kings.

Those who have read Shakespeare's infamous Scottish play will be familiar with brave and valiant Banquo, who like Macbeth failed to understand the cost of the weird women's prophecy, nor was he prepared for the ugly realisation that if he were indeed the father of kings then Macbeth, his dearest friend, would become a dagger hidden in the shadows of the night. *"Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly," Banquo cried if you recall, for the instruments of darkness so often tell the truth, and thus Banquo dies. Rochelle has picked up the story from that remarkable play and has taken her readers with good Fleance as he flees for his life. But how did Banquo's son go on to father the Stuart dynasty? In this remarkable work of Historical Fiction, Rochelle has presented her readers with a plausible answer but without losing the essence, the superstition and the mythical element that is so prevalent in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Rochelle has stuck with tradition and allowed the Three Witches to control the narrative and, of course, toy with the protagonists. By doing this, Rochelle has not only captured the very essence of Shakespeare's play, but she has given us a story that is rich and vibrant and utterly compelling from start to finish. Heir to a Prophecy is the type of book that one will forego sleep to finish, and it is also one that would be next to impossible to forget. 

Although Heir to a Prophecy opens with Banquo's death and Fleance's subsequent flight to Wales, it is Fleance's son, Walter, whose story this really is. Born a bastard, Walter is on first encounter, seemingly inconsequential. He comes from nothing. He is nobody. His mother, Princess Nesta, daughter of Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, had been thrown unceremoniously from Court and has been disowned by her family because of her love affair with Fleance. With a tremendous strength of spirit and a dogged determined to battle on, Nesta makes the best of a bad situation. I adored Nesta. She has such capacity for love and is yet used so cruelly by her father. His disappointment, his anger, leaves no room for reason. Lost and alone, without her lover, Nesta is determined to bring up her child the best way she can. How can you not admire such a character for that?

Walter is a troubled youth. He knows nothing of his father's heritage until the night he encounters the same three women who had visited his grandfather and King Macbeth in a heath near Forres. Unlike, Macbeth, Walter does not want to hear the weird women's prophecy, nor does he want to heed it, although he has sense enough to fear it. We, lucky readers, witness Walter's struggle with who he is and what he has seen. We watch him become a temperamental youth to a knight of honour. We follow him in battle and love. We watch him become the man he was destined to be. I thought Rochelle really nailed Walter's characterisation. He isn't this elevated man of goodness who his grandfather is portrayed as being. Walter makes terrible mistakes and conscientious decisions which have consequences — consequences that he is willing to answer. Walter is an incredibly complex character who has many layers which makes him endlessly fascinating. He is a fantastic protagonist who drives this story forward. It was an absolute pleasure, nay privilege, to read his story.

As one would expect from this time, there are, along with Walter, a host of historical characters. From Malcolm III Canmore: King of Scotland to the bastard Norman, William the Conqueror. All of these historical characters bring something unique to the narrative. Malcolm was a character who I liked very much, whereas William — he certainly knew how to plan a battle. Rochelle pens historical figures such as Harold Godwinson with an elegant sweep of her quill. Rochelle has breathed life into this vast cast of historical figures, and she has portrayed them in a remarkably realistic way — paying close attention, of course, to the historical sources from this time. I thought the portrayal of all the characters I encountered in this novel was brilliantly executed.  

The historical scope of this book is vast. This was a time of warriors and kings, where the fate of a nation was decided upon a battlefield, as was petty grievances. Heir to a Prophecy is at times incredibly violent as war plays out between the pages. When it comes to battle scenes they can either make or break a book — Rochelle has captured the desperation, the fear, the sights, the smells, the abject terror and the anticlimactic relief when it was all over. The battle scenes are brilliantly portrayed in this novel. Rochelle has painted a very vivid picture of war and what it was like during the 11th Century. Kudos Ms Rochelle. Kudos indeed.

With a nod to Shakespeare, and with a keen sense of the era and the people that dominated it, Rochelle has presented her readers with a book that is immensely readable and thoroughly entertaining. Reading Heir to a Prophecy is like taking a spontaneous trip through time to a dark and dangerous past where heroes were born, and legends were made.

If you are looking for your next great Historical Fiction read, then look no further than Heir to a Prophecy by Mercedes Rochelle, for within the pages of this book you will witness exiled friends fight for the right to return home. And you will stand shoulder to shoulder, and you will finally cry *"Hail, King of Scotland!"

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

* Shakespeare,William — Macbeth Act 3, Scene 3 (Wordsworth Limited Edition 1996)
* Shakespare, William — Macbeth Act 5, Scene 8 (Wordsworth Limited Edition 1996)

Pick up your copy of
Heir to a Prophecy

Mercedes Rochelle

Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.

Connect with Mercedes: Website • Blog • Facebook • Twitter

#BookReview — Oath of Allegiance (Allegiance, Book 2) by Jana Petken #HistoricalFiction #WW1 #Ireland

Oath of Allegiance (Allegiance, Book 2) By Jana Petken As the Great War enters its most deadly phase, Patrick, Jenny, and...