Posideon’s Gold by Lindsey Davis

There are two ways to rereading a series of old favourites. There’s getting really obsessed with the nitty-gritty of how it all hangs together, often to its detriment. And there’s just relaxing into it like it’s a bath of hot chocolate. I’ve done the former a bit too often with Lindsey Davis’ Falco series, but […]

Niccolò Rising by Dorothy Dunnett

(Moderate Spoilers) I forget where I first heard of Dorothy Dunnett, but I suspect it was either Guy Gavriel Kay or Sherwood Smith talking about her. Names whose taste I respect. Then the most excellent commander of cursed, Para, read it, and as a result it ended up on the mental shortlist. And now I […]

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

(moderate spoilers) Imagine, if you will, a flat dusty road that seems to go on forever. Imagine two men walking along it; hard, tired men, with worn clothes, sharp weapons, and curious eyes. It’s an image that could have come from any number of stories, and in Gentlemen of the Road, Chabon channeled that sense […]

Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff

(mild spoilers) Imagine, if you will, the South Downs of Bronze Age England; chalk hills covered with bright green grass and thick forest, a land of small farms and sheep and hungry wolves in the dawn. That’s the home of Drem, a boy of the Bronze People who dreams of joining the Spear Brotherhood and […]

The Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis

(Mild Spoilers) Wanted: One Private Eye to traipse around parts of the Roman Empire, solving local problems while taking on the Emperor’s worst missions. Duties involve pointing out interesting historical and local details for readers, acting tough while being a soft touch, general wittiness, and having a ‘lively’ romance with the glamourous and competent leading […]

Sharpe’s Company by Bernard Cornwell

(mild spoilers) What makes a good villain? A capacity for destruction, surely. But should they be malevolent or unwitting? Coldly amoral or black knights? Sympathetic or strangely repellent? There’s so many possible attributes to pick but, in the certainty column, I would add that they have to mean something more to the character than all […]

Sharpe’s Gold by Bernard Cornwell

(moderate spoilers) As I talked about in my Sharpe’s Eagle review, the character of Richard Sharpe lives a life of glamouous masculine adventure with just enough filth and grit to keep it balanced. And in Sharpe’s Gold, the second book of the series, Bernard Cornwell shows just how true that is. Take the set up. […]

Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwell

(mild spoilers) For those of us of a certain generation and mindset, Richard Sharpe and his various adventures were the dog’s danglies. He even had their own TV show, featuring Sean Bean in the one role in his life where you knew he probably wasn’t going to die. There was lots of fighting, impassioned denunciations, […]