by September on Jun 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Historical Reading Challenge 2013!
Transworld are delighted to announce that the Historical Reading Challenge 2013 is now open to entrants!
Last year so many of you signed up to read some of the super historical fiction we had to offer so we would like to do it all again this year but this time with a bit of non-fiction in there too.
Here are your choices…
Brothers’ Fury by Giles Kristian
Rome: The Art of War by Manda Scott
Cruel Crossing by Edward Stourton
Working Lives by David Hall
The Sword and the Throne by Henry Venmore-Rowland
The Road Between Us by Nigel Farndale
Hereward: End of Days by James Wilde
The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard
The King’s Exile by Andrew Swanston
Sword of Rome by Doug Jackson
1914: Fight the Good Fight by Allan Mallinson
How do I sign up?
To sign up to the reading challenge, contact Elizabeth Masters either via twitter or email.
email@example.com / @LizzieMastersUK
In your email please write your:
- Blog URL
- Postal Address
You can pick THREE titles to read, the first of which will be sent out to you to review upon receipt of your application. Once you have emailed your review back to Elizabeth, the next book will be sent out to you to review and so on…
Closing date for entries into the competition is Friday 19th July at midday
There is no deadline for when you have to have your titles read and reviewed by, just as soon as possible please
You must have a blog or website to enter
Entrants do not have to send their books back, they are yours to keep or pass on
More about the Books…
BROTHERS’ FURY BY GILES KRISTIAN
In the footsteps of Bernard Cornwell, Giles Kristian continues his thrilling and acclaimed story of the Rivers family, whose lives are turned upside down by that most brutal and tragic of wars – the English Civil War.
Rebel Cast out from his home, rejected by his family, Tom Rivers returns to his regiment. But his commander believes the young hothead’s recklessness and contempt for authority has no place in his troop. But to a spymaster like Captain Crafte, Tom’s dark and fearless nature is in itself a weapon to be turned upon the hated Cavaliers – who else would dare to infiltrate Oxford, now the Royalist capital, to destroy the King’s printing press and strike a blow at the very heart of the enemy?
Renegade Raw with grief at the death of his father, Edmund Rivers rejects the peace talks between Parliament and the King. He chooses instead to lead a hardened band of marauders across the moors, appearing out of the frozen world to fall on unsuspecting rebel columns like wolves. But Prince Rupert – recognising in Mun a fellow child of war – has other plans for him, from stealing a colossal gun, to tunneling beneath the walls of Lichfield. The only peace the enemy will get from Mun Rivers is that of the grave.
Huntress Her heart broken following the deaths of her beloved Emmanuel and her father, Bess Rivers takes the hardest decision of her life: to leave her new-born son and depart Sheer House in search of tghe one person who might help her re-unite what is left of her broken family. Risking her own life on the road, Bess will do whatever it takes to find her brother Tom and secure his Royal pardon, but can she douse the flames of her brothers’ fury and see them reconciled?
ROME: THE ART OF WAR BY MANDA SCOTT
The stunning new Roman novel featuring Sebastos Pantera, set during the year of the Four Emperors.
Rome: AD69, The Year of the Four Emperors.Three Emperors have ruled in Rome this year and a fourth, Vespasian, has been named in the East.
As the legions march toward civil war, Sebastos Pantera, the spy whose name means leopard, returns to Rome intent on bribery, blackmail and persuasion: whatever it takes to bring the commanders and their men to Vespasian’s side.
But in Rome, as he uses every skill he has ever learned of subterfuge, codes and camouflage, it becomes clear that one of those closest to him is a traitor, who will let Rome fall to destroy him.
Together the two spies spin a web of deceit with Rome as the prize and death the only escape.
CRUEL CROSSING: ESCAPING HITLER ACROSS THE PYRENEES BY EDWARD STOURTON
The secret history of the WW2 escape routes through the Pyrenees from France to Spain: personal stories of endurance, betrayal and remarkable bravery.
The mountain paths are as treacherous as they are steep – the more so in the dark and in winter. Even for the fit the journey is a formidable challenge. Hundreds of those who climbed through the Pyrenees during the Second World War were malnourished and exhausted after weeks on the run hiding in barns and attics. Many never even reached the Spanish border.
Today their bravery and endurance is commemorated each July by a trek along the Chemin de la Liberté – the toughest and most dangerous of wartime routes. From his fellow pilgrims Edward Stourton uncovers stories of midnight scrambles across rooftops and drops from speeding trains; burning Lancasters, doomed love affairs, horrific murder and astonishing heroism.
The lives of the men, women and children who were drawn by the war to the Pyrenees often read as breathtakingly exciting adventure, but they were led against a background of intense fear, mounting persecution and appalling risk. Drawing on interviews with the few remaining survivors and the families of those who were there, Edward Stourton’s vivid history of this little-known aspect of the Second World War is shocking, dramatic and intensely moving.
WORKING LIVES BY DAVID HALL
A fascinating oral history of working lives in post-war industrial Britain.
In the early 1950s Britain was still the most urbanized and industrialized nation in the world, a global power in shipbuilding and the leading European producer of coal, steel, cars and textiles. For the many millions of men and women hard at work during that time, an infernal landscape of smoke-blackened factories, towering slag heaps and fiery furnaces dominated their lives. From the deep docks and towering cranes of the Tyneside shipyards to the mills and chimneys of Lancashire and beyond, Working Lives takes us right to the heart of those industrial centres through the words of those who were there.
Drawn together from hundreds of hours of first-hand interviews, Working Lives is a unique collection of oral testimonies from workers whose stories might not otherwise have been told: mill girls who risked life and limb in dusty, noisy weaving sheds; steel workers who wrestled sheets of white-hot metal in the blistering heat of the foundries; and miners who hewed coal by hand on filthy, cramped, claustrophobic coalfaces.
Local industries shaped these workers’ entire lives but also gave them a sense of pride, identity and belonging. As they look back on the dangers and hardships of their jobs, and the place of industry in their close-knit communities, these fascinating voices paint a vivid and moving portrait of working life in Britain not to be forgotten.
THE SWORD AND THE THRONE BY HENRY VENMORE-ROWLAND
In the tradition of Robert Harris and Conn Iggulden and set during one of the Roman Empire’s most turbulent eras, the dramatic sequel to this acclaimed young novelist’s debut historical novel, The Last Caesar…
AD 69. Aulus Caecina Severus has thrown in his lot with the hedonistic Vitellius and prepares his legions for a gruelling march over the Alps.
Driven by the desire to repay the treachery of his former patron, the Emperor Galba, and to keep his rival Valens in check, Severus leads his army against barbarian rebellions and against the mountains themselves in his race to reach Italy first. With the vast Po valley almost in sight, news reaches the army that Galba has been killed in a coup, and that Otho has been declared Emperor by the Praetorians who he had bribed to murder their own emperor.
But there is no turning back for Severus, even if he wanted to. The Rhine legions want their man on the throne, and they won’t stop until they reach Rome itself. Even once Otho is defeated, the battle for supremacy between Severus and Valens is far from over. The politics of the court and the mob is the new battleground, and Severus needs the help of his wife Salonina and his freedman Totavalas in this constant game of thrones. When stories spread of a new power in the east, Severus has to decide where his real loyalty lies: to his Emperor, to his city or to himself?
THE ROAD BETWEEN US BY NIGEL FARNDALE
From the author of the acclaimed The Blasphemer, a stunning new novel ranging from forbidden love in World War Two to the painful return of a man kept hostage in today’s Afghanistan.
1939: In a hotel room overlooking Piccadilly Circus, two young men are arrested. Charles is court-martialled for ‘conduct unbecoming’; Anselm is deported home to Germany for ‘re-education’ in a brutal labour camp. Separated by the outbreak of war, and a social order that rejects their love, they must each make a difficult choice, and then live with the consequences.
2012: Edward, a diplomat held hostage for eleven years in an Afghan cave, returns to London to find his wife is dead, and in her place is an unnerving double – his daughter, now grown up. Numb with grief, he attempts to re-build his life and answer the questions that are troubling him. Was his wife’s death an accident? Who paid his ransom? And how was his release linked to Charles, his father?
As dark and nuanced as it is powerful and moving, The Road Between Us is a novel about survival, redemption and forbidden love. Its moral complexities will haunt the reader for days after the final page has been turned.
HEREWARD: END OF DAYS BY JAMES WILDE
James Wilde’s retelling of the story of England’s forgotten hero – Hereward the Wake – continues in this new brutal and bloodily exciting novel – a must-read for historical fiction fans!
England, 1071. Five years have passed since the crushing Norman victory at the Battle of Hastings. The country reels under the savage rule of the new king, the one they call ‘the Bastard’. The North has been left a wasteland – villages razed, innocents put to the sword, land stolen. It seems no atrocity is too great to ensure William’s grip upon the crown. Rats feed upon fields of the dead
And now he turns his cold gaze east, towards the last stronghold of the English resistance. After years of struggle, he will brook no further challenge to his power: his vast army masses and his siege machines are readied.
In their fortress on the Isle of Ely, the English have put their faith in the only man who might defeat the murderous invaders. He is called Hereward. He is a warrior and a master tactician – as adept at slaughter as his enemy and plans have been been set in motion for a bloody uprising that will sweep the Norman king off the throne once and for all.
But Hereward is missing. With their hopes of victory dwindling, can the English rebels find the leader who seems to have abandoned them before William the Bastard begins his final, devastating assault that will truly be the end of days…
Here is a tale of heroism and treachery – and the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known…
THE WAYS OF THE WORLD BY ROBERT GODDARD
A thrilling espionage story set in Paris after the First World War, full of classic Goddard double crosses and triple twists.
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world’s nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War. A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress’s apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.
But Sir Henry’s son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James ‘Max’ Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died – even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe. And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.
THE KING’S EXILE BY ANDREW SWANSTON
A plot to murder, a nation at war. Nowhere is safe.
When Thomas Hill, a bookseller living in rural Hampshire, publishes a political pamphlet he has little idea of the trouble that will follow. He is quickly arrested, forced on a boat to Barbados and condemned to life as a slave to two of the island’s most notoriously violent brothers.
In England war has erupted again, with London under threat of attack. When news of the king’s execution reaches the island, political stability is threatened and a fleet commanded by Sir George Ayscue arrives to take control of the island for Cromwell. The threat of violence increases. Thomas finds himself witness to abuse, poison, rape and savage brutality.
When a coded message from Ayscue to a sympathiser on the island is intercepted, Thomas is asked to decipher it. A disastrous battle seems inevitable.
But nothing turns out as planned. And as the death toll mounts, the escape Thomas has been relying on seems ever more unlikely…
SWORD OF ROME BY DOUG JACKSON
Nero’s turbulent reign draws to a close and Gaius Valerius Varens returns in his fourth brutal and bloody adventure. He’s been Rome’s hero, its defender and its avenger, and now he is the Empire’s sword…
‘The story I now commence is rich in vicissitudes, grim with warfare, torn by civil strife, a tale of horror even during times of peace.’ Tacitus, The Histories
AD 68. The Emperor Nero’s erratic and bloody reign is in its death throes when Gaius Valerius Verrens is dispatched to Rome on a mission that will bring it to a close. With Nero dead, the city holds its breath and awaits the arrival his successor, Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania. The Empire prays for peace, but it prays in vain. Galba promises stability and prosperity, but his rule begins with a massacre and ends only months later in chaos and carnage. This will become known as the Year of the Four Emperors, a time of civil war which will tear Rome apart and test Valerius’s skills and loyalties to their very limit. Fortunate to survive Galba’s fall, Valerius is sent on a mission by Rome’s new Emperor, Otho, to his old friend Vitellius, commander of the armies of the north. Vitellius’s legions are on the march, and only Valerius can persuade him to halt them before the inevitable confrontation. In an epic adventure that will take him the length and breadth of a divided land, the one-armed Roman fights to stay alive and stave off a bloodbath as he is stalked by the most implacable enemy he has ever faced.
1914: FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT: BRITAIN, THE ARMY AND THE COMING OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR BY ALLAN MALLINSON
In the run up to the centenary of the First World War comes a fascinating and revelatory new history of the origins of the war, of those first few crucial weeks of fighting, and of how Britain and its army fared.
‘No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening’, wrote Churchill. ‘The measured, silent drawing together of gigantic forces, the uncertainty of their movements and positions, the number of unknown and unknowable facts made the first collision a drama never surpassed…in fact the War was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devastating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of fate.’
In this major new history, one of Britain’s foremost military historians and defence experts tackles the origins – and the opening first few weeks of fighting – of what would become known as ‘the war to end all wars’. Intensely researched and convincingly argued, Allan Mallinson explores and explains the grand strategic shift that occurred in the century before the war, the British Army’s regeneration after its drubbings in its fight against the Boer in South Africa, its almost calamitous experience of the first twenty days’ fighting in Flanders to the point at which the British Expeditionary Force – the ‘Old Contemptibles’ – took up the pick and the spade in the middle of September 1914. For it was then that the war changed from one of rapid and brutal movement into the now familiar image of the trenches and the coming of the Territorials, Kitchener’s ‘Pals’, and ultimately the conscripts – and of course the poets. And with them, that terrible sense of the pity and of the futility.
Mallinson brings his experience as a professional soldier to bear on the individuals, circumstances and events and the result is a vivid, compelling new history of the beginnings of the Great War that speculates – tantalizingly – on what might have been…
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