Sudetenland: Excerpt From George Chronis’ New Book

 

Today I am proud to have an excerpt of George Chronis’ new novel Sudetenland. This exciting snippet is just a taste of this historical novel set around the Munich Conference in 1938. Now, enjoy! 

Excerpt: 

“The Germans are very keen to have news of the conference broadcast live across the world. They are very confident of the outcome. Godesberg is a great victory for them,” Shirer felt a tad uncomfortable at helping them promote their success.

“Yeah, that’s what I have been reading in the local rags,” Endicott found the towing of the government’s pitch lines to be remarkably uniform.

“Don’t be too hard on us, my friend,” an overly cheery German broke into the conversation to sit down at the table without waiting for an invitation. “Godesberg is one of those rare occasions where everything we print is actually true.”

Shirer laughed and slapped the tabletop. “Eavesdropping again, Manfred?”

“Of course! And so do you. I am just better at snooping than you are,” the German boasted, although he ranked Shirer’s attention to detail as amazingly high.

“Charles,” Shirer turned to Endicott. “Meet Herr Culemann, one of Germany’s leading editors.”

“Pleased to meet you. Charles Endicott, Hearst International News Service,” Endicott reached over the table to offer his hand.

“I just read your story. Great work there: Kidnapped By the Sudeten Freikorps. I am glad you survived unscathed. Many of their number are severely undisciplined,” Culemann was sincerely pleased no harm had come to the American.

“Thanks on both counts. Sometimes I get lucky,” Endicott hoped the roll lasted for a while longer. “Say, you look like a man in the know. When does Herr Hitler arrive?”

“Oh, the chancellor is already in Godesberg… upstairs as we speak,” Culemann informed them.

“Now you’re talking,” Endicott perked up. “When do you think we will get a chance to see him?”

“Any time really. One never knows. He could stroll through the lobby in five minutes on the way to his river yacht. The vessel is tied up at the water’s edge,” Culemann located the vessel through the window and showed them.

“Somehow I expected something more formal,” Endicott sounded let down.

“Do not despair, the Teppichfresser will not disappoint,” Culemann lowered his voice as he teased the Americans.

“The what?” Endicott did not understand the term.

“Carpet eater?” Shirer’s translation did little to ease his own confusion.

“You two have obviously not been paying attention to the discussion at the next table,” Culemann nodded in the direction of two party hacks nearby.

“I imagine not,” Shirer had been ignoring their boorish neighbors on purpose.

“Perhaps you have heard… the chancellor often has strong reactions to bad news,” Culemann continued in a whisper. “Chamberlain promised him that he could deliver the Sudetenland on a platter and all of the news from Prague says Beneš is obstinately refusing to go along. Those two over there were just mentioning how this continued stubbornness by the Czech president has brought on one of Hitler’s rages causing the leader of the great German Empire to fling himself on the floor where he chews on the edge of the carpet.”

“You have to be kidding,” Endicott found such a tale difficult to believe.

“Trust me, on such matters, I never kid,” Culemann wagged his forefinger at the Americans.


***


  

Hashtags : #SudetenlandBlogTour #HistoricalFiction

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt 

  

Sudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major European capitals such as Prague, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and London as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

Praise for Sudetenland

“Chronis impresses with such a challenging and intriguing debut effort, well written, impeccably researched.” — Melinda, Unshelfish

“Anyone that is looking for a thorough and rewarding read will enjoy Sudetenland.” — Diana, BookNerd

“The plot moves quickly along keeping you intrigued with well defined characters and great imagery to help immerse yourself in the story… I adored the way George managed to weave together the tragedy of war, depression and politics with romance, love and hope.” — Jennifer, pirategrl1014

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

About the Author

  

After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

For more information please visit the Sudetenland website or George T. Chronis’s website, or follow him on Tumblr. Subscribe to George T. Chronis’s newsletter.

Sudetenland Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, March 23
Spotlight & Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, March 24
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, March 26
Spotlight at Mythical Books
Spotlight & Excerpt at Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, March 26
Review at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus
Spotlight & Excerpt at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Friday, March 27
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight & Excerpt at A Book Geek.                                          Spotlight & Excerpt at Seize The Moment


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Shadow Ritual Is An Exciting Thriller With A Powerful Message; Review + Giveaway

Review: 

The genre of thriller in literature is very broad. The majority of thrillers in modern times have plenty of action, plenty of conflict, etc. The problem is not that these books aren’t well-written, but they lack a message. My favorite thriller/espionage writer, the indomitable John Le Carré, wrote with a message in each of his books, and still at the age of 83 hopes his life’s work has not been for nothing.

I mention Le Carré because I believe that the authors of Shadow Ritual, Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne, are the closest anyone has come to reaching Le Carré’s caliber in both writing thrillers to entertain and to convey a message.

Shadow Ritual, published for the first time in English, follows the investigation by Inspector Antoine Marcas into 2 murders, one in Rome and one in Jerusalem. Marcas soon finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy that stretches the entire continent of Europe. Paired with the resolute Jade Zewinski, who has a personal connection to one of the victims, they must decipher a mystery centuries in the making before it is too late.

Shadow Ritual is unique because of its balance. Inspector Marcas is a Freemason, but is fairly portrayed not in the corrupt manner the world thinks Freemasons are but as simply a part of his life. Freemasonry plays a large part in the conspiracy Marcas and Zewinski must unravel, but the authors, though divided in their views of Freemasons, find a moderate position that Marcas can hold firm to.

The historical influence on the events in the novel work well together and despite seeming disconnected at first the authors do an impeccable job of showing the connections they share with each other and the present. The research the authors conducted really shines through and gives the novel another dimension.

The 2 lead characters in Shadow Ritual, Antoine Marcas and Jade Zewinski, bring this novel into a high caliber of literary accomplishment. The characters are so realistic, unusual for thrillers, and we see them as the lead point for the novel, not the action. We understand Marcas as a man involved in things bigger than himself but puts justice above all else, which sometimes distracts him from smaller details. I see Zewinski as a truly powerful woman, often being more stubborn than Marcas but always dedicated to getting the job done well. This team work so well, and give each other such a fair amount of give and take that real-world detectives should look at this pair as a great example of an inspector duo.

Finally, Shadow Ritual has a message that truly needs to be heard. The novel shows how corrupt ultranationalism and extremism is, and how we must counteract the rising extremism with true understanding and justice. We must all join together to say “never again.”

Shadow Ritual puts Giacometti and Ravenne into the top tier of writers that effectively pair entertainment and meaning into their work. The times call for more writing like this, and I look forward to reading more of this author team’s work.

Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne: 
 

Jacques Ravenne is a literary scholar
who has also written a biography of the Marquis de Sade and edited his letters. He loves to explore the hidden side of major historical events.

Eric Giacometti was an investigative reporter for a major French newspaper. He has covered a number of high-profile scandals
and has done exhaustive research in the area of freemasonry.

About The Translator: 

Anne Trager loves France so much she has lived there for 27 years and just can’t seem to leave. What keeps her there is a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels.

Follow Le French Book on Twitter  | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book | on Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Indiebound  | upcoming on Apple + Kobo


Giveaway:

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour and tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!

[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

8 winners

3 print copies for US residents

5 digital copies for US or other residents

The Demon Who Peddled Longing By Khanh Ha is A Literary Epic Of The Human Condition

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Khanh Ha is a different type of author. While some authors focus on sales, others, like Ha, write to break old boundaries and push forward literary achievement. Ha made great literary progress with his first novel, Flesh, but now, instead of falling into a ‘sophomore slump’, he has written something unprecedented.

The Demon Who Peddled Longing is set in post-war Vietnam, a nation overrun by Khmer pirates, thieves, and other malevolent beings. It follows the story of 19-year-old Nam, a young fisherman who embarks on a path of vengeance on 2 drifters who violently raped and killed his cousin, who he also shared romantic feelings with. The story begins with Nam in the Plain of Reeds, where he is stumbled upon by an abnormal fisherwoman. While assisting her and earning money Nam plans his next steps in pursuit of the drifters. When the partnership ends badly, Nam runs away from the fisherwoman and on to the South.

On the journey to Southern Vietnam, Nam meets many people, good people who have had their hearts turned black due to the longings their soul carries. This is where also we see the devastation a corrupt and violent government (Communists) and outlaws can inflict upon innocent lives. Nam’s presence in each of these lives both alleviates the darkness in their hearts but also further escalates some already tense situations.

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Credit Here.

Whether it be through the colorful markets of cities or the remote fishing villages on the coasts, Nam is always on the lookout for his cousin’s killers. When the boy uncovers the truth of his cousin’s death, he becomes a man with his own compass to guide the direction of his life. This independence lasts until the pain of further longing and oppression reveals to us all that none of us are truly in complete control and often fate isn’t black in white, but grey, in its outcome.

The Demon Who Peddled Longing is truly a literary masterpiece. Utilizing very immersive visuals and the imprint the senses leaves on each of us, the novel delivers an unconventional epic of vengeance, longing, and compassion. The dialogue, which at first may confuse a reader, emerges to enhance the writing to make it a very organic and rhythmic read.

Khanh Ha is masterful and unmatched in his ability to show how violence can lead to atonement and how, like a lotus flower, beauty can arise from the deepest depths of darkness. His writing style and structure is something unseen before, giving the reader a more realistic story of how no one is in complete control of their life’s path and how compassion and redemption can still arise out of the darkness of longing and oppression.

Khanh Ha: Author Bio

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Khanh Ha studied Journalism at Ohio University and learned the craft of writing under Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon) and Walter Tevis (The Man Who Fell to Earth). He is the author of Flesh (2012, Black Heron Press) and The Demon Who Peddled Longing (2014, Underground Voices). Khanh Ha is a five-time Pushcart nominee, a Best Indie Lit New England nominee, and the recipient of Greensboro Review’s 2014 ROBERT WATSON LITERARY PRIZE IN FICTION. His work, The Demon Who Peddled Longing, was honored by Shelf Unbound as a NOTABLE INDIE BOOK.

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton Revolutionizes The Mongols’ Place In History

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Images of Genghis Khan riding across the steppes of Asia, making the Mongol name one to fear and of Marco Polo’s voyage to the court of Kublai Khan are what come to mind when the Mongol Empire is discussed. This one-dimensional, patriarchal vision of this part of history is shattered by Stephanie Thornton’s The Tiger Queens.

Thornton is the author of the acclaimed novels The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods, which center around Empress Theodora and Pharaoh Hatshepsut, respectively.

In The Tiger Queens, we see the lives of 4 women who changed the face of the Mongols, and the world.

First, we meet Borte, who triumphs over great tragedies done unto her to become the first Great Khatun of the Mongols.

Next, we get to know Alaqai, a strong woman who can shoot an arrow much better than even most of the men in the Mongol Army. She makes great personal sacrifices, ones of love, safety, and family to strengthen the People of the Felt.

Third, we become accustomed with Fatima, a Persian captive who loses the love of her life to Mongol invasion. Her yearning for revenge is transformed into compassion when she finds new love in the form of family.

Finally, we end with Sorkhorkhtani. Underestimated from birth, her contributions to the Mongols is only bested by Genghis Khan himself.

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Credit Here.

I really appreciate how each of the women are an aspects of women’s spirits. Borte is the part that can triumph over the odds, Alaqai shows the sacrifices women make, Fatima portrays the compassion women have, and Sorkhorkhtani shows the leadership and patience women can wield.

The Tiger Queens shows the evolution of Thornton’s writing like nothing else could. Starting out as an excellent writer, she is making great strides in its development, and is becoming one of the best historical fiction writers of our generation.

The visuals and spiritualness displayed throughout this novel are unrivaled. Thornton does not shy away from the blood and gore on the battlefields, but balances this with the love by the women for their husbands, children, and people to show the Mongols in a fair light.

Overall, The Tiger Queens is an achievement. It shows us how powerful the Mongol women truly were, and the impact they still have on our world. It puts to rest the tip of the iceberg knowledge that is commonly known of the Mongols to show a history full of gore and tolerance, revenge and compassion. It revolutionizes the way we see the People of the Felt, and for the better.

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Stephanie Thornton- Author Bio:

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora and Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt are available from NAL/Penguin.

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan hit the shelves November 4, 2014, and The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great will be available in November 2015.

Praise for The Tiger Queens-

“A gripping epic of sacrifice, revenge, and conquest…kept me riveted from beginning to end!”

–Michelle Moran, bestselling author of The Second Empress

“From under the felted ger tents of Genghis Kahn emerge four powerful women. It is a testament to Thornton’s writing prowess that she can so intricately whittle heroines that are both compassionate and ruthless from the bones of our ancestors…a stunning achievement!”

— Barbara Wood, New York Times bestselling author of The Serpent and the Staff and Rainbows on the Moon

“A vivid depiction of warrior women tough as the harsh, windswept steppes which nurtured them and who, as the warring Mongol clans battle for supremacy, survive… to ensure their men emerge the victors. Gripping stuff!”

–Alex Rutherford, author of the Empire of the Moghul series

Buy The Tiger Queens:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Hand Of Fire By Judith Starkston Finally Places Achilles’ Love Briseis In Her Place In History

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“Patroklos, far most pleasing to my heart in its sorrows, I left you here alive when I went away from the shelter, but now I come back, lord of the people, to find you have fallen. So evil in my life takes over from evil forever. The husband on whom my father and honored mother bestowed me I saw before my city lying torn with the sharp bronze, and my three brothers, whom a single mother bore with me and who were close to me, all went on one day to destruction. And yet you would not let me, when swift Achilles had cut down my husband, and sacked the city of godlike Mynes, you would not let me sorrow, but said you would make me godlike Achilles’ wedded lawful wife, that you would take me back in the ships to Pythia, and formalize my marriage among the Myrmidons. Therefore I weep your death without ceasing. You were kind always.”

In Homer’s The Iliad, these are the only lines spoken by Briseis, Achilles’ love, and considered his wife. As you can clearly see, Homer left out a lot about a woman who changed the course of human civilization. Judith Starkston has corrected that mistake.

With the publication of Hand of Fire, Starkston has finally placed Briseis in her rightful place in history. Beginning as a healing priestess, our heroine soon finds herself in peril when she is taken captive after her family is killed in an attack. A woman who should have every reason to hate Achilles finds a way to love him, and those feelings become mutual.

We see Achilles and Patroklos’ close friendship, and how Patroklos was the only one who truly knew Achilles for who he truly was. When Patroklos was killed in battle, Achilles is inconsolable. This is the point when Briseis and Achilles begin to love each other, and she is able to peek through the veil of the immortal hero to see how human Achilles really is.

Throughout Hand of Fire, we see the progression of the romance between our heroes. The conclusion of the novel hits the reader very hard, when Achilles comes to realize that his fate is sealed and he is taken from this world so devastatingly. By this point, they consider each other spouses, and their love is cut down at its apex.

Hand of Fire is a truly amazing novel. Starkston executes the romance between Briseis and Achilles without letting it get too sappy or lose real, human emotion. Starkston interprets the Iliad the same way I do, with Achilles being a truly kind man with human emotions and flaws, rather than being a selfish, violent man like some believe. No matter what, though, Starkston has created two protagonists that all readers can relate to, with cares and emotions, love and betrayal. These two characters are shown so human-like, it allows us to peer behind the curtain of heroism to see how they really were, just like Briseis did when she found love with Achilles.

Judith Starkston has created a world full of historical accuracy to rival any other, and has crafted characters that we can all find similar to ourselves. I consider Hand of Fire to be one of the most powerful and well-written tales set in the Late Bronze-Age, and one of the best books of 2014. I look forward with great fervor to future works by Judith Starkston, which, if written on the caliber of Hand of Fire, will become classics themselves.

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Judith Starkston: Author Biography~

Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.

Praise For Hand of Fire

“In Hand of Fire, Starkston’s careful research brings ancient Greece and Troy to life with passion and grace. This haunting and insightful novel makes you ache for a mortal woman, Briseis, in love with a half-god, Achilles, as she fights to make her own destiny in a world of capricious gods and warriors. I devoured this page-turning escape from the modern world!” — Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

“Suspenseful, tragic, surprising and sexy” –Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown and The Chalice

“In Hand of Fire, Judith Starkston frees Briseis from the actions of Achilles and Agamemnon and gives her the power to become the heroine of her own story. … Starkston does a lovely job of bringing the characters to life, and her descriptions of the religious rites, the scenery of Mount Ida, and life as a woman of privilege in the ancient world put me firmly in the story. The love story between Briseis and Achilles is well-rendered, as are Briseis’ relationships with her father and brothers, her nurse, and the other women in the city and in the camp. A wonderful new take on a timeless story.” –Historical Novels Review

“Briseis steps out from the handful of lines she gets in Homer’s epic, and fearlessly tells her own story as healer, war prize, and partner to the famous Achilles–here a godlike hero who manages to be all too human. Recommended!”–Kate Quinn, author of Empress of the Seven Hills

“In her portrayal of Briseis, Judith Starkston has cast a bright light on one of the Iliad’s most intriguing sub-plots. With her fast-paced story, three-dimensional characters, and fascinating cultural details, Starkston has given historical fiction fans a tale to remember.” –Priscilla Royal, author of Covenant with Hell and 9 other Prioress Eleanor mysteries

“Starkston breathes new life into an age-old tale in this masterful retelling of the Iliad. The reader experiences the terror, bravery and heartbreak of Briseis who now takes center stage in one of the most famous love triangles of all time.” Elisabeth Storrs, author of The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice

“Absolutely loved the book. Couldn’t put it down. Wonderful writing. And, I see no errors whatsoever as regards the history.” –Professor Eric Cline, Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, George Washington University

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Please Follow The Virtual Tour For Hand of Fire here.

Purchase Hand Of Fire At:

Amazon

Nook

Talon Series: Assassination in Al Qahirah Is A Riveting Adventure In Crusade-era Egypt

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This is my fourth post in the “Talon Series”. To read my other posts so far, more information on the other books, and upcoming posts in the series, please visit my “James Boschert’s Talon Series” page at the top.

James Boschert’s first novel, Assassins Of Alamut, takes place in the 12th Century. Set in the time of the Crusades, it is the story of Talon, a young Frank who is captured by the Ismaili Muslims, themselves hunted by the Sunni and Shi’a. He is raised as a Ismaili, and trains to become a Hashshashin (Assassin), the protectors of the Ismaili.

In the second book in the series, Knight Assassin, Talon, with the help of his uncle Phillip, makes the trek back to his birthplace (and true home): France. When Talon returns, his homecoming is celebrated, but a dark threat looms over the reunion of the de Gilles family. Greed and treachery plague the French countryside, as claims to inheritance are fought for to the death.

Now, in the third installment of the series, Assassination in Al Qahirah, Talon is finally able to return to the Holy Land. In pursuit of the friends he lost in the first book, Talon is especially diligent in his hopes to be reunited with his love, Rav’an. As much as he tries, however, Fate has a different path prepared for him.

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Al Fayoum: Where Desert Meets Oasis. Credit Here.

Upon rescuing Lady Khalidah and her children from a band of masked bandits, Talon, along with sidekick Max, find themselves being incorporated into life in Egypt. Al Fayoum, a city on an oasis 60 miles south of Giza, is where they make their home until they are able to trek to the Holy Land. While in Al Fayoum, they are the company of Lady Khalidah and her husband, Emir Abbas Faisal, where Talon instructs their children on mathematics, foreign languages, and cultures. He also advices the Emir on how to better the security on the walls of the family compound, all while following the trail of why Lady Khalidah and her children were attacked in the first place. Is the Emir also a target? Why them?

As the Nile River flows along, water rushing, so does blood. Can Talon stop it in time before it reaches its true target? Using the dual skills of a knight and an assassin, stealth and devastating combat, Talon is the only one to solve the mystery and root out the conspirators.

Assassination in al Qahirah is, like the first 2 Talon books, a true tale of adventure and bravery. Talon’s sense of fighting for good makes readers love him as a hero, and Boschert never writes a book without an intelligent, engrossing plot. The setting of Egypt was well-received with me, as I both love reading about it and a portion of me is ethnically Egyptian. The action is enough to make for an exciting adventure, but not enough that it becomes numb.

Overall, Assassination in Al Qahirah is an achievement, combining a historical conspiracy in Egypt with an adventure that never lets up. The characters are crafted with careful precision, making for a truly one-of-a-kind novel series.

Next will come my review of Greek Fire by James Boschert.

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James Boschert~ Author Bio:

James Boschert grew up in the then colony of Malaya between the ages of four and eleven. The Chinese communists were active in the jungles at the time threatening the entire country with a cruel insurgency. His school was burned down and the family survived the ambush of a food convoy, saved by a patrol of Gurkha soldiers. He joined the British army as a boy soldier and later served in remote places like Borneo, Oman and other countries of the Middle East, eventually spending several years in Iran. While there he explored the castles of the infamous sect known as the Ismaili or Hashashini. It sometimes took a few days hard walking or driving to find these remote deserted fortresses high in the mountains of the Alborz in northern Iran. They eventually became the subject matter for his first book “The Assassins of Alamut” Escaping from the turmoil of Iran during the revolution he went to college and now lives in the USA.

He has developed a fascination for medieval history in general but in particular the history of the Middle East, Andalusia, Egypt and all the way to India. His books are historical novels about the medieval history of the same region but seen from both perspectives, that of the Crusaders and the Muslim world. “I believe that in order to put some depth to the Crusades one needs to look at what was going on all around them at the same time. I find the world at that time incredibly rich in every aspect.”

“The four legs of civilization as we have recorded it, Andalusia, Europe, Byzantium and the old empires of Persia and the Islamic world of Syria and Egypt make a rich backdrop for any novel.”

“The politics and under currents of the Middle East continue to hold my attention as they are always in flux and are never still.”

Talon Series #3: Knight Assassin Continues The Series With A Unification Of French And Assassin Skills

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This is my second post in the “James Boschert’s Talon Series”. To read my other posts so far, more information on the other books, and upcoming posts in the series, please visit my “James Boschert’s Talon Series” page at the top.

James Boschert’s first novel, Assassins Of Alamut, takes place in the 12th Century. Set in the time of the Crusades, it is the story of Talon, a young Frank who is captured by the Ismaili Muslims, themselves hunted by the Sunni and Shi’a. He is raised as a Ismaili, and trains to become a Hashshashin (Assassin), the protectors of the Ismaili.

In the second book in the series, Knight Assassin, Talon, with the help of his uncle Phillip, makes the trek back to his birthplace (and true home): France. When Talon returns, his homecoming is celebrated, but a dark threat looms over the reunion of the de Gilles family. Greed and treachery plague the French countryside, as claims to inheritance are fought for to the death.

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A Knight’s Suit of Armor

Talon will rely on the help of some Welsh archers he meets at sea, along with his uncle’s sergeant Max. Most importantly, however, Talon must do what he never wanted to do again: become an assassin. He must meld the tactical skills of a French knight with the blade-in-the-crowd ability of the assassins if he is to save his family.

Knight Assassin is another magnificent continuation of Talon’s story. The feudal era of France is represented with great study, but also not dry history. The people of the novel are multi-dimensional, and are much more than what you are used to finding in similar novels. But for all this, the focus truly is on Talon. This allows the book to show the growth of the young man who has already been through enough bloodshed, enough loss, for one life. Talon himself is shown in a way that makes it seem like he was an actual living person, and I especially commend James Boschert on not having Talon take a turn for the darkness that consumed so many of the other characters in Knight Assassin.

Just as Talon has to take the best from both knight and assassin skills and hone them, Boschert does the same, taking the greatest parts from historical fiction, action, and military novels and melds them into the landmark “Talon Series” installments.

Next in the blog series will be my review of James Boschert’s Assassination in al-Qahirah.

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James Boschert~ Author Bio:

James Boschert grew up in the then colony of Malaya between the ages of four and eleven. The Chinese communists were active in the jungles at the time threatening the entire country with a cruel insurgency. His school was burned down and the family survived the ambush of a food convoy, saved by a patrol of Gurkha soldiers. He joined the British army as a boy soldier and later served in remote places like Borneo, Oman and other countries of the Middle East, eventually spending several years in Iran. While there he explored the castles of the infamous sect known as the Ismaili or Hashashini. It sometimes took a few days hard walking or driving to find these remote deserted fortresses high in the mountains of the Alborz in northern Iran. They eventually became the subject matter for his first book “The Assassins of Alamut” Escaping from the turmoil of Iran during the revolution he went to college and now lives in the USA.

He has developed a fascination for medieval history in general but in particular the history of the Middle East, Andalusia, Egypt and all the way to India. His books are historical novels about the medieval history of the same region but seen from both perspectives, that of the Crusaders and the Muslim world. “I believe that in order to put some depth to the Crusades one needs to look at what was going on all around them at the same time. I find the world at that time incredibly rich in every aspect.”

“The four legs of civilization as we have recorded it, Andalusia, Europe, Byzantium and the old empires of Persia and the Islamic world of Syria and Egypt make a rich backdrop for any novel.”

“The politics and under currents of the Middle East continue to hold my attention as they are always in flux and are never still.”