William is from Sussex, UK.
He has a passion for literature and enjoys reading all sorts of books. His hobbies are numerous and consist of medieval/viking reenactment, writing, karate and of course reading.
"Your gold buys my service, pleasure of seeing Spartans in battle. It is a rare gift and worth more than mere coins. After all, most men see it only once and never again."
I have finished The Falcon of Sparta and am very satisfied as I close the book in front of me.
It was a great novel with an interesting historical retelling of a great adventure set around 400BC. It is based in the heart of the Persian Empire, with the reign of the old ruler drawing to a close and a new era starting, although it is not clear who will emerge victorious and on the throne...
Every aspect of this novel was well executed. The characters had a great depth, the plot was interesting, and the concepts and main themes were fascinating! Especially the Spartans who Iggulden portrayed so brilliantly. They were epic! But the magical touch that turns a book into a magical read and 5-stars sadly wasn't there. I cannot put my finger on what was slightly lacking, as there was no weakness or part that was specifically lacking. But it was still a great and fun read that was written with Iggulden's usual smooth prose, and filled to the brim with wonderful bits of historical knowledge that brought the story to life and made the world flourish.
The battles varied from minuscule skirmishes to huge battle conflicts involving over 1-million combatants. So a lot of diversity. But each one was written brilliantly and vividly, creating some of the best scenes of the book. They were both simple enough for a reader to understand, and still chaotic as battles truly are and were.
I would recommend this to any who enjoys historical fiction or those who have read and enjoyed previous work by this author. Also if you have an interest in Persian or Ancient Greek history, this is a novel for your consumption. If you have read this and enjoyed Conn Iggulden's style, I would highly recommend his Conqueror secures, which is utterly brilliant! About Genghis Khan. Definitely try it!
Empire of Sand is a wonderfully unique story with an immersive world and relatable characters that carries you on a rollercoaster of emotions!
Empire of Sand was a great debut by Tasha Sure that I thoroughly enjoyed. It has definitely ensured that I will read its sequel, Realm of Ash, and I am glad I gave it a try despite it not residing within my usual reading material.
The world building was efficiently depicted, and something I easily understood although I have not read many books with the influence of Indian culture. This was pleasantly surprising as it overcame what I thought would be a barrier to me and became one of my favourite aspects of the story.
The main character was someone who I really enjoyed following as a PoV because they were believable and had such an intriguing plot-line that intertwined with the other aspects of the story excellently. Within this, the main character battled contemporary issues such as social class, race divides, gender expectations and persecution. Mehr was a likeable person with faults that made her 3-dimensional and allowed me to empathise with her, furthering the bond constructed. The villains were also cleverly portrayed and rich in nature as so much was revealed about them in every encounter and interaction without it being wooden or annoyingly obvious
The plot-line was unguessable so I never had a clue what would happen in the next chapter. To such an extent I sometimes paused a moment to comprehend what just happened, as it completely defied my expectations. This was very refreshing as it can be easy to discern the plot in many novels.
The only thing I wanted more of was action. While there were always events unfolding and twists occurring, it felt a bit repetitive in the middle with the political aspect, but that was only for a small portion of the story. So while there was not as much action as I am used to, I still really enjoyed it, and that testifies how good this book was.
So Empire of Sand was very unique for me as it varied from any read of mine prior to this. It focuses on character building and has an interesting world. I am certainly looking forward to reading Realm of Ash that is published in a few months, and will purchase it when the opportunity arises.
"How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?"
No Country for Old Men is a masterfully told standalone novel by Cormac McCarthy that is rife with symbolism and contemporary issues. Greed, government law, and morals are depicted differently by each character according to their perspective and as such allows the reader to reach their own conclusion.
The characters are brilliant, one of my favourite aspects of this book. Each is unique and the three PoV’s each bring unique aspects to the book. Sheriff Bell represents an older generation that is grappling to come to terms with modern culture. He was the character I liked most, as he was genuinely unselfish, and consistently placed his morals and duty in front of his life. Another is Moss. With him, the saying “Live by the sword, die by the sword” comes to mind. He enters a criminal world after an act of greed and has to face the consequences, while attempting to survive along the way. The last PoV was Chigurh, an amoral murderer tasked with catching Moss. He has no qualms about murdering innocents, fore he cares about no one. A truly terrifying villain.
“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don't deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things”
The prose was brilliant, with the writing of McCarthy being so unique and phrased realistically, carrying on in a style relatable to that of the trail of thought. It was some of my favourite prose that I have ever had the pleasure to read, but is hard to describe to those who have not yet encountered his style.
The actual storyline adopted a quick pace as well, with some extremely tense interactions and events between characters. This author toys with your expectations and flips them over so it appears as a realistic story, not as a romanticised novel where the good guys will all win, and order will be restored. That was so interesting as a reader and I hope to see more of it in the future.
“It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”
No Country for Old Men has made me a fan of this author, so I will definitely be going onto The Road when I have a chance. It is a five star rating, because of the lack of a weakness, and brilliance in every aspect. It was symbolic, but not to the extent that it took away from the story, so I will be contemplating the events that took place in these pages for a long while to come.