Book Review: British Forts in the Age of Arthur by Angus Konstam (Three Stars)

5539769

Book Review: British Forts in the Age of Arthur by Angus Konstam

(Three Stars)

In his History of the English Speaking Peoples, Winston Churchill described this period as night falling on Britain, followed by hundreds of years of darkness, then dawn rising on England with everything changed. Konstam’s survey of recent archology and study of fortifications built or renewed during that obscure time casts a bit of light into the gloom.

This book is part of a series by Osprey Publishing related to ancient and medieval warfare. Some overlap to previous Konstam/Osprey volumes.

Excellent illustrations by Peter Dennis. I have visited several of these sites. Both the photographs and illustrations bring out the nature of the “Age of Arthur” efforts better than seeing them. That said, if you have the chance, do visit them.

Advertisements

Book Review: Roma Mater by Poul and Karen Anderson (Three Stars)

24184956

Book Review: Roma Mater (King of Ys #1) by Poul and Karen Anderson

Three Stars

“God’s hand touches a man and that man turns into one whom others will follow though it be past the gates of Hell.”

Excellent old-fashioned historical fiction/fantasy. Well-researched fourth century setting. Draws the reader into many aspects life. Invented a religion out of whole cloth, but used it to compare and contrast with existing ones.

“Despair was for afterwards. He still had work to do.”

Punctuation irregularities and errors, perhaps optical scanning glitches.

“Magic is ever a two-edged sword, oft times wounding the wielder.”

Why there’s a Spartan on the cover of the ebook edition is anyone’s guess.

“Had he wandered so far, into such foreignness? Had the God of his fathers no longer heard him?”

Broke oft abruptly. Cost them a star. Won’t try the follow-on volumes.

“Wisdom lies in nobody’s gift. We must each forge it for ourselves, alone. As best we can.”

Book Review: Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence, 1755-1783 by Richard H. Brown and Paul E Cohen (Five Stars)

Book Review: Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence, 1755-1783 by Richard H. Brown and Paul E Cohen

Five Stars

The authors noted that successful generals “covet” maps. Students of history likewise. This is a book of maps to be coveted. Better yet, purchased.

Normally, I interleave quotes from books in my reviews; if I could I’d insert maps. But I can’t. If you are at all interested in maps or the American Revolution, find this book. The maps featured not only recorded but, in a few cases, helped make history. Several are newly discovered. “Many had never been reproduced before.” All are beautifully duplicated in this full-color 12 x 13 volume.

The “making history” claim is based on maps which were used contemporaneously by participants in the struggle. Some mislead combatants into blunders that better maps would have identified.

Finally, the volume includes the famous 1782 “red-lined map” by which Continue reading

Book Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (4 stars)

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

(4 out of 5 stars)

“Expectation is not just about what people expected of you. It was about what you expected of yourself.”
Much better than The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), but still not quite a five. This is a coherent story, for one thing. Still a large, rambling cast–many with a full array of foibles and strengths. Everyone is flawed; some fatally so. Way too much back story on Shallan. (All the better to hide a plot reversal in.)

But with this book Continue reading