Because if you have any aspirations to be a writer, you're going to need to read books, for inspiration, for a break from your own writing, or because you really like reading.
Basically, the gist of this thread is for people to submit their own reviews to books they have read. Hopefully, you will find something in here that you've not read before and you want to read. I'll put the standard form at the top, so that people can see what we want from a review - this makes things easier to read through and find something they're looking for:
Please provide a review for the piece and if possible, fix a picture to the bottom of the past, so that people can see what the cover of the book looks like - it's another mechanic for people to get drawn into your reviews. Try not to spoiler the plot and also to give hooks in there that might draw in potential readers.
Feel free to discuss people's reviews in the thread - we're all for discussion, particularly if it encourages other people to review works by the same author.
I'll get things started, I guess.
Title - Troy : Fall Of Kings
Author - David & Stella Gemmell
Genre - Historic Fantasy
Publication Date - August 2007
ISBN - 978-0593052259
The battle of Troy rages on and the forces of Agamemnon sweep forward in search of the mighty treasure of King Priam. Prophecies abound, but can the men of Troy stand against the advancing Mykene horde?
The battle of Troy was one of the most enthralling battles and indeed legends of the ancient Greeks, first told in Homer's Iliyad and Odessey, but the late, great David Gemmell has given a touch of Drenai Legend to the proceedings, with last stands, graphic battles and epic tales, worthy of the Fat King Odessyus himself.
The characters are lovingly formed, given life to and as a reader, you develop an affinity with them, getting to know them across three large volumes - Andromache's beauty is very evident, even as a "plain" girl being led from the temple to be betrothed to Hektor in book 1 (Lord of the Silver Bow), all the way to the end of her part of the tale. Her heart-wrenching choices are felt by the reader most and the path that she takes questioned keenly at every opportunity.
Poetic licence is used liberally and in particular the more modern take on the "Trojan Horse" ploy was one that I personally found delightful, despite the fact that there was no wooden horse used to conceal Achilles and the Myrmidon, the whole effect was left unspoiled. As we know, the battle of Troy was some 3,200 - 3,300 years ago, so the details are sketchy in places. This is where an author as great as Gemmell can step in and supplant his own versions of famous named characters over the top, leading to a much more dramatic telling of the tale.
Myth blends in well with biblical texts here, as there is more than just a polite nod to the bible and various figureheads from those tales, with prophets and so forth being called upon and no stone is left unturned with the tie-in between Greek, Egyptian and Roman mythology, which was tidied up well, towards the end. Neither Gemmell has openly stated names or anything, just left enough of a clue to ring a bell and at points, I found myself leaping up from the bed to research something on the computer, regarding names, dates, or something similar.
I like to think that there is more than just a little of David Gemmell in Odessyus, the Liar King - he tells an epic tale, his loyalties are often tested beyond breaking point (If a reader can get so emotional at the death of a character, how badly must the author be affected?) and of course, his love for the fair Penelope, queen of Ithaka. This leads me to the tragedy of the book's author:
Gemmell preferring to go to bed late, with his wife favouring an early start, on July 28, 2006 she was surprised to wake up to discover the bed empty. "I thought, 'Oh good, he must be working', and went to take him a cup of tea in his study." Finding him slumped over his desk, she "hoped he was asleep but I knew, really, that he was dead."
The death of Gemmell ultimately stopped the story, but with the bond that he shared with his wife Stella, she took up his notes and finished the tale. The transition was practically seamless, though there were passages that had me considering if this was actually David Gemmell's writing, or that of his journalistic wife. I am eternally grateful for her taking up this mantle, as it has presented me with a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that I would have been denied, had the work been allowed to die with him.
And now, David Gemmell can sit there in the halls of heroes, drinking wine alongside some of his own heroes - Druss the Legend, Hektor, Odessyus, Helikaon, Andromache, Banokles, Kalliades, Gershom, Waylander and Sigarni, to name but a few. He will sup wine with them and regail them all with tales of heroes, villains and battles of times past.