I have added to reviews I have written for excellent or exceptional novels. The following is the review for a very solid 5 star read:
THE SAFEGUARD: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA IN 1864 by Diana Wilder, Historical Novel (crossing into romance), 457 pages, ISBN: 978-0692548349
An Exceptional Slice of History:
For readers who enjoy exceptional historic fiction, Civil War fiction or romantic fiction, THE SAFEGUARD: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA IN 1864 is one novel I recommend as a must read.
When Union troops crossed through Northwest Georgia during Sherman’s march on Atlanta, the mistress of a plantation showed compassion for all wounded soldiers, and opened her home as a hospital where she took it upon herself to care for these men. So impressed by her actions, the Union commander avoided foraging of her plantation and the adjacent town. As the Union forces continued their march to Atlanta, the General left a Safeguard, a wounded Union soldier, to protect the plantation (the mistress and hospitalized soldiers) and the town. Once Union forces vacated, bands of outcasts pillaged, raped and murdered in the communities left unprotected behind Union lines. The Union Safeguard became entangled providing protection against overwhelming odds to a community sympathetic to the Confederacy but concerned for their safety.
The storytelling by the author is fantastic. All characters are well developed, and this reader quickly developed empathy for them…. Even actions of the antagonists found my understanding and sympathy. I found this story a better portrayal of this time in history than GONE WITH THE WIND.
Disclaimer: I have communicated with the author, Diana Wilder, for about two years on authors’ threads. I finally decided to place her novel on my reading list. I am very happy I did. Now that I’ve read this work, she has become one of my all-time favorite authors.
I have just added to my reviews of exceptional or excellent works by other authors. The review of OATH BREAKER by Erin Riley follows. Please see all of my reviews by selecting the Recommended Reads page of this site.
I DIDN’T WANT THE TRILOGY TO END:
When I reviewed the first book of this trilogy, I stated in my review, “As an author myself, I have read a substantial number of novels of many genres for over the last half century, and ODIN’S SHADOW definitely resonates as one of the best.” I wondered if the Author, Erin Riley, would be able to maintain the same quality for the two sequels. Now that I have read both of the sequels, the only problem I have with them is that I will not be able to enjoy a continuation of the story.
Ms. Riley has become one of my favorite authors. He story telling is fantastic. Her character development is superb revealing emotions allowing the reader to easily understand each character’s actions… even the antagonists. Descriptions of the settings are developed quite well without creating many paragraphs taking away from the flow of the story. Although the listed genre is historical romance, the books are quality literary fiction set in historically accurate times from hundreds of years ago. OATH BREAKER has placed the keystone on a remarkable set of books.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced review copy from the Author of OATH BREAKER. I came to know the author through writer threads on social media at the time she was looking for reviews for the first book in this series. Although I have never met her, I have found her to be a wonderful person to approach as I seek comments for my own writing. I look forward in anticipation for her next work.
As an author I try to read work by other authors of many different genres, and if the work is excellent or exceptional, I will post a review. I have just completed the read of IRVING TITANS by Jeff Dawson. The following is the review that was placed on Amazon and my site today:
SLEAZY BUT AN EXCELLENT READ:
In his novel, IRVING TITANS, author Jeff Dawson has achieved the impossible. He has written a story holding my interest without introducing a single character I could generate empathy for. The book is a fast-pace farce structured around a NFL team rebounding from years of mediocrity, and the pages are filled with despicable characters, blackmail, sleaze and humor. The plot is solid, and the story is well written…. These two elements made it possible for me to enjoy the read. Many readers may find this work worthy of five stars, but because of the sleaze filling nearly every page (appropriate for the story Mr. Dawson tells), I am only providing a four star rating.
ODIN’S SHADOW, one of the best novels I ever read. #GreatRead
Last May I had the pleasure to read a fantastic novel by then indie author Erin S. Riley titled ODIN’S SHADOW. I wrote and placed a review on both my site and on Amazon (a strong five star review). Last summer, the author was picked up by a publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, and this novel was no longer available to purchase through Amazon. I just found out that ODIN’S SHADOW is now scheduled for release by the publisher on April 2. It is well worth the read, and I am copying my review below, and I will repost it on Amazon upon publication.
Sensational… a nearly perfectly written novel crossing genres… encompasses Historic Literary Fiction and Thriller in addition to Romance
As an author myself, I have read a substantial number of novels of many genres for over the last half century, and ODIN’S SHADOW definitely resonates as one of the best. Examples of other works meeting my “best” list include ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand, TIME AND AGAIN by Jack Finney and THE CITADEL by A. J. Cronin.
Erin Riley focuses on the late ninth century and the savage and brutal invasions of Ireland by Viking raiders, and it follows these raiders back to their homeland in Norway. The raids result in enslavement of many Irish inhabitants, and for one young Irish girl a forced marriage to a War Lord. The civilizations of both Ireland and Norway of this time in the past are well researched and depicted…. As a reader my senses could feel the environment the characters experience while coping with emotional and physical conflict. The plot is well developed, but it leaves a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end…. Riley has left just enough to entice the reader to read her next book in a series, A FLAME PUT OUT.
This novel is for adult readers.
I stumbled upon an exceptional read while doing research for my next novel, TAINTED VALOR. This read is an autobiography written by a Marine Sniper about his experiences in Vietnam. It is the fifteenth book but first nonfiction work I have reviewed on the “Recommended Reads” page of my site and on Amazon. (Check out all fifteen reviews by clicking the “Recommended Reads” tab, above) I am copying my review for this autobiography below:
A powerful autobiography that reads like a novel:
While doing research for my next novel, I came across DEAR MOM: A SNIPER’S VIETNAM written by Joseph T. Ward. This autobiography about Mr. Ward’s experiences as a Marine sniper during the Vietnam War is an exceptionally good read. The book is told by copying the many letters he wrote to his mother as preambles to a fuller and detailed accounting of the events he experienced as a Marine both in training and in Vietnam. Although my interest in reading this book was to obtain information to help me develop parts of my work in progress (of which I did), I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I highly recommend DEAR MOM: A SNIPER’S VIETNAM that was first published almost twenty-four years ago.
On the “Recommended Reads” page of my site I have added another review (the thirteenth) of a work by another author. WHEN THE PERFECT COMES, a historical romance thriller by author Susan Ward is a read meeting my criteria as and excellent or exceptional work. Only about twenty to thirty percent of books I read achieve the quality to be included on my Recommended Reads list. I also post my reviews on Amazon.Com in addition to my Site.
On my site on the Recommended Reads page I provide reviews for only excellent or exceptional novels by other authors. Today I have started to repost these reviews on http://thenewbookreview.blogspot.com. The first of these is for Girl on the Half Shell by Susan Ward, a steamy romance novel.