Archives for category: Nicholas Bowling

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Published by Chicken House

I am so excited by this book and I have only reached page 36 out of some 376 of my proof.

I received it a little while ago – and brought it home. Did my usual thing of dropping new proofs on the piles on the stairs, when I noticed the author – Nicholas Bowling and knew there was a good one in the stack. He wrote Witchborn some time ago – also reviewed on this blog.

Last night I threw away a book which wasn’t up to scratch and grabbed the next by my bed and I can tell you, this is a good one. It already has the smell, the tantalisation of a good story well told.

You won’t be able to buy it yet – comes out at the beginning of May – but already there’s mystery and intrigue…it is set in the times of Nero (54 A.D.) and the main character seems to be a young educated slave boy…a rare circumstance in ancient Rome.

It’s going to be a good one. I’m supposed to be doing jobs – the house is a tip – but all I want to do is read…I love books like this.

I have no doubt I will add to this when completed…but for now – this will have to do…

Related imageI have now finished this – so, to continue:

Jason and the Argonauts…that golden fleece…Nero…and the burning of Roman. A book for those who enjoy the Classics – and a book for those who have little or no knowledge. A brilliant adventure set in ancient Rome – stupendous. I loved it – particularly the relationship between an ancient Britain and a small dormouse. I hope and trust that this is the start of a series. Cadmus and Tog are superb characters – there is definite potential for this to be developed… it’s brilliant.

One of the lesser ‘highlights’ of my school career was to receive the extraordinary result of 11% for a Latin exam. On reflection, I feel that this was more of a failure of the teacher concerned (she was to be honest, quite terrifying), however, that said I regret it. Not least as I now have to look up the odd Latin quote – which halts the flow of the odd book in which I find them. I always like to have notes, preferably at the bottom of the page with a translation. Sadly the proof I read of this does not include these – and it would have been good to have had them. I read it on the train – and didn’t have resource to a dictionary. Further to look up a phrase would have broken the line of the story. Perhaps, though Chicken House will provide…you can never tell when reading a proof.

Buy this – check for the notes and if not there at the bottom of the page, buy a small Latin dictionary at the same time… It is certainly worth the trouble…and small expense.

 

 

 

 

Published by Chicken House

I have been lying in bed this morning (04.30) reading this and have become immersed in a Tudor England that never was. Well, probably wasn’t. The book is like one of those chocolates I used to ask to try when I was small. Adult chocolates that looked so inviting after an evening meal. Dark and glossy in the box. Invariably I would take a bite and find myself wishing I hadn’t, but Dad would always do the honourable thing and eat the rest for me. This is a dark chocolate book, rich and powerful, with adult flavours. A chocolate none the less, but perhaps not for those younger readers.  I am loving it.

The proof came with a detached cover/cardboard sleeve. Many proofs come with a standard proof cover – one that is used for all proofs from a particular publishing house. The title and author being the only things that change. Sometimes these come with a separate card with the proposed cover printed on it, as this one has. Sadly they are often damaged; they are a nice addition to the parcel. I am pleased to say the one that came with this book is not only in mint condition, but is stunning – and reflects the rich tones of this wonderful volume. The illustration above doesn’t indicate the beauty that will be the final version. My cardboard sleeve has gilt letting. I trust this will be the case on the finished book.

This is glorious mix of Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, (both of whom display extraordinarily different dimensions to their lives than that are currently recorded as accepted history), John Dee, (similarly), witchcraft, witch-finders,  an acting troop,  and a young gentleman called Walter Raleigh. Within the story is a personal tale of growing love…but how that develops, I can’t say – I haven’t finished this one yet.

For those who know a little of Tudor England and the players within that chapter of our history, this is a joy. For those who know a little less, this will be a joy of another flavour all together, but a joy none the less. A little like the difference between good Madagascan chocolate with all the berry flavours and strength and those Belgium chocolates that Mum’s friend Mark Severin used to buy my mother. Both glorious, but very different.

 

I am not quite sure what is happening, but several books recently have had the theme of witches and witchcraft – this is the most intricate and in some ways, most fun, so far. Then again, each has its own value and this certainly isn’t for younger readers… Each book is a different type of chocolate – and so can’t really be compared. The Tudor period was not a safe or happy one for many, and people who were different weren’t treated in the way they should. This is a wonderful twist to my favourite period of history.

This book has the depth, colour and flavour that one might expect from an experienced author, with many volumes ‘under their belt’. It is, however, Nicholas Bowling’s debut. This is an author to watch.

I forgot – the book isn’t out yet (I have a proof), it is due out in November as a paperback. This could so easily have been put in a hardback – it would have sold easily. Buy it. Definitely a book for the winter evenings.