Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention.
Each month I will be choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish.
And the not so small print: the judge’s decision is final (that would be me!) and is highly subjective.
Please note this is a cover competition only and does not constitute a review of any of the books featured. It’s up to you to explore. Happy Reading!
My August winner is:
Alvar the Kingmaker by Annie Whitehead
Ok – I have to admit to being a bit of a fan of Annie’s books. To Be a Queen was my introduction (and it had a lovely cover, by the way), so I wasn’t too surprised to see this great cover from Annie. It evokes the period beautifully.
The story, based on true events, begins when the king is caught in bed with his wife and her mother, and ends with the murder of another king, a crime attributed to his stepmother, the queen. Central to the story is Alvar, earl of Mercia. Having helped King Edgar to secure the throne, amid great unrest he must fight to clear the queen’s name, bring the country back from the brink of civil war, and stabilise the monarchy for Edgar’s son, Æthelred the Unready. He does this at great personal cost, and his enemies will stop at little: Abbot Dunstan, banished, recalled, and in no mood to forgive. Bishop Oswald, the ambitious foreigner who will let nothing stand in his way. They must not discover Alvar’s secret love for the wife of his deputy, whilst Alvar must keep her safe, and serve and protect the queen, who is in love with him and who harbours a dark secret of her own…
As ever, there was stiff competition this month for the top spot. Here are the runners up in no particular order.
*This is a cracking read by the way and first in a series on Roman emperors which I am galloping through with gusto.*
Debauchery. Depravity. Decadence. Just everyday life at the imperial palace. Whilst Emperor Nero plays with his new water organ and a cross-dressing eunuch, his wily secretary Epaphroditus manages affairs of state. But dissent and rebellion are growing across the empire, and Nero is soon to discover playtime is over.Praetorian prefect Nymphidius Sabinus, disgusted by the moral degeneracy, secretly plots the overthrow of Nero’s court. Motivated by the traditional Roman values of valour and nobility, yet blinded by his own righteousness, Sabinus is ignorant of what he has unleashed – The Year of the Four Emperors.Palatine is the first in an enthralling four-book series about the tumultuous ‘Year of the Four Emperors’ which will appeal to fans of Lindsey Davis and George R. R. Martin.
The Boschloper Saga, Book 2
In 1687, the English Colony of New York is in dire financial straits. The flow of beaver pelts, the life’s blood of the colony, has slowed to a trickle. In response, New York’s governor grants licenses to Albany traders to enter French territory and divert the furs of the Far Indians from Montreal to Albany. Although only recently married to Laurentje, Sean O’Cathail joins the small group of adventurers who have the courage to face the savage wilderness. However, the governor of New France learns of their plans, and the traders must avoid capture by the French and their savage allies. Optimistic that they can avoid detection, Sean and his fellow boschlopers begin to cross the Great Lakes. But, when they are surrounded and captured, Sean finds that his adventure is only just beginning. He will need all his wits and the help of Kai, the beautiful Mohawk woman who was once his lover, to survive and return home.
War, political intrigue and passion… heroes… friends and lovers… and the seeds for a new Robin Hood legend await you…
Two young knights’ journey to war at Richard the Lionheart’s side sweeps them from England to the Holy Land in this historical adventure set against the backdrop of the Third Crusade.
Henry de Grey leaves Southampton in high spirits, strong in his faith and passionate about the mission to take Jerusalem back from Saladin’s army. Stephan l’Aigle’s prowess on the battlefield is well known, as are his exploits in the arms of other men. He prizes duty, honour and loyalty to his king above all else. But God and the Church? Stephan has little use for either.
Henry’s convictions are challenged by loss and the harsh realities of bloody battles, unforgiving marches, and the politics of the day. Man against man. Man against the elements. Man against his own heart. Survival will depend on more than a strong sword arm.