A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus by Various authors

A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Russell Whitfield

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters–no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.

A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.

An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.

A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.

A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.

A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.

I haven’t read anything by Homer and while I know the basics of Odyssey and his journey, there is much to learn. Mostly I know Circe, Calypso etc by name but that’s about it. In a way, it’s a good thing since I don’t have anything to compare these characters to.

My favorite chapters were with Penelope. I loved seeing how she manages to keep the throne during all those years her husband was away. She had to be clever to do that since the majority of Ithaca’s men were gone to war or died on the journey. And she was realistic enough to wonder how he would explain his absence during all those years away.

Another awesome collaboration from the authors. David Blixt, Scott Oden, and Amalia Carosella were new authors for me. Another great book by The H Team and I’ve really come to look forward to these books.

4/5

Published: Knight Media, LLC (October 17, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Authors

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia’s novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen’s Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.

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David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

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Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie’s recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

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Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

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Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.

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Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA’S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

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Feature at View From the Birdhouse

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Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 23
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Review at A Bookish Affair

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Review at What Cathy Read Next

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Review at Creating Herstory

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Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

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Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

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Review at A Book Geek
Review at The True Book Addict

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune 3) by M.J. Rose

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open. (publisher)

Delphine Duplessi is an artist who paints “shadow” portraits while blindfolded showing her subjects darkest secrets. After an accident involving one of her portraits, Delphine returns home to France vowing to never paint shadow portraits again. Her twin brother and manager Sebastian tries to get her into painting again and manages to cajole her into accepting a commission to search for a book about alchemy hidden in a mysterious château.

It’s been too long since I read the previous books since I’ve forgotten so much about those. In this book were many characters that I just know we’ve encountered before but have no recollection where or how.

I liked Delphine but at times I wished she would stand up to her brother who was so manipulative. They’re twins so of course she sees only the good in him, especially since Sebastian saved her life when they were children, but I thought he was just selfish.

I thought the ending was bit abrupt leaving more questions than answers. We see Mathieu mostly through diary of a kind and I would have liked to see him more in the present. I felt I didn’t really know him and that he forgave Delphine way too easily for leaving him.

This was a really quick read and I wanted to know what happens next. I really hope there will be a book about the 3rd Duplessi sister!

4/5

Published: Atria Books (July 18, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

Raven’s Feast by Eric Schumacher

Raven’s Feast (Hakon’s Saga 2) by Eric Schumacher

It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it.

The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people – a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist.

As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer. (Goodreads)

Hakon won the battle against his brother Erik Bloodaxe and the High Seat of the North. But now he has to find the way to keep his seat against rebellious and ambitious jarls with changing alliances. Of course, there are people who are not that thrilled with their king’s religion, or his wish to convert his country to Christianity.

This was another action packed book, which was read rather quickly. Hakon is a likable character who undoubtedly makes mistakes, sometimes rather big and rash ones. He still seems at times little naïve and young but it will be interesting to see how he will turn like. Will he become more Viking like in his beliefs and make compromises? He seemed to become a bit more comfortable with killing and such. He is still a boy so it will be interesting to see what kind of man he will be.

3,5 stars

Published: Creativia (April 23, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Author

God’s Hammer by Eric Schumacher

God’s Hammer (Hakon’s Saga 1) by Eric Schumacher

It is 935 A.D. and the North is in turmoil. King Harald Fairhair has died, leaving the High Seat of the realm to his murderous son, Erik Bloodaxe. To solidify his claim, Erik ruthlessly disposes of all claimants to his throne, save one: his youngest brother Hakon.

Erik’s surviving enemies send a ship to Wessex, where the Christian court of King Athelstan is raising Hakon. Unable to avoid his fate, he returns to the Viking North to face his brother and claim his birthright, only to discover that victory will demand sacrifices beyond his wildest nightmares. (Goodreads)

When Hakon was a child he was sent to England into King Athelstan’s court where he was raised as a Christian. When his father Harald Fairhair dies, Hakon is sent back to home to capture the throne from his bloodthirsty brother Eric Bloodaxe. Being a Christian amidst the pagans, he was viewed with suspicion. He was horrified by the Viking practice of human sacrifice but knew he needed allies if he wanted the crown so he couldn’t protest too much.

There were battles, blood and action and the story moved quickly. At first, Hakon was young, naïve, arrogant and lost among the Vikings after living so long away. He needs to learn how to be a Viking again to get support. At times I got the feeling he would have wanted to stay in England.

It was very enjoyable to read and I can’t wait to learn how he manages to hold on to the crown.

3,5 stars

Published: Creativia (February 1, 2005)
Format: ebook
Source: Author

Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome by Faith L. Justice

Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome
by Faith L. Justice

 

Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable womanóGalla Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman princess, Gothic captive and queenóPlacidia does the unthinkableóshe rules the failing Western Roman Empireóa life of ambition, power and intrigue she doesnít seek, but canít refuse. Her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries.

A woman as well as an Empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her strength, tenacity and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun? Or will the Dark Ages creep closer and bring down the Empire?

Sister to a Western Roman Emperor, Placidia is taken captive by the Goths when they attack Rome. During her captivity, she learned much about their way of life and falls in love with their king Ataulf. When Placidia is forced to return to Rome she has learned enough about strength and ruling to survive the Roman political life.

I don’t know anything about Roman history in this era so this was really fascinating. Rome changed a lot during Placidia’s life and it has a great effect on her life. I liked Placidia and wanted to know what happens to her next. I liked how she was willing to learn the Gothic way of life during her life there. She managed to hold power for so long in a Roman political life which was a world of men, and that was admirable. Without her, Rome would have completely fallen apart much sooner.

There was enough action so there was no dull moment and I really enjoyed the book. It seems to be the start of a series and I can’t wait to read the next one.

3,5/5

Published: Raggedy Moon Books (May 12, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Faith L. Justice is a science geek and history junkie, which is reflected in her writing. Her short stories and poems have appeared in such publications as “The Copperfield Review”, “Beyond Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and the “Circles in the Hair” anthology. Faith has published in such venues as “Salon.com”, “Writerís Digest”, “The Writer”, and “Bygone Days”. Sheís an Associate Editor for “Space & Time Magazine”, a frequent contributor to “Strange Horizons”, and co-founded a writerís workshop more years ago than she cares to admit.

To contact Faith, read her essays and interviews, or get a sneak preview of her historical novels, visit her website at www.faithljustice.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

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Review at Book Drunkard

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Review at Book Nerd

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Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

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Feature at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review & Giveaway at What Cathy Read Next

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Review at Bookramblings
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Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

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Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

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Review at A Bookish Affair