Wednesday, 8 April 2015

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Imperial Fire - Robert Lyndon

Release Date: 05/02/15
Publisher:  Sphere/Little Brown


AD 1081: Vast empires struggle for dominance. From the Normans in the north to the Byzantines in the south, battles rage across Europe and around its fringes. But in the east, an empire still mightier stirs, wielding a weapon to rule the world: gunpowder. Seeking the destructive might of this 'fire drug', the mercenary Vallon is sent by the defeated Byzantine emperor on a near-impossible quest to the far-off land of Song Dynasty China. Leading a highly trained squadron, Vallon is accompanied by the physician Hero, Wayland the English hunter, and a young upstart named Lucas. All have their own reasons for going, all have secrets. It's a quest that leads them across treacherous seas and broiling deserts, and into the uncharted land of mountains and plains beyond the Silk Road. Many will die...but the rewards are unbelievable.


Having read and loved the authors debut title Hawk Quest last year, I really couldn’t wait to see what he’d hit back with, especially since you could see all the time he not only lavished on the titles creation but on research for it. Whilst many see book one as the beginning of something wonderful for any author, for me, it’s the second title that is the one that shows whether they’re a one hit wonder or have the ability to create writing to deadlines. Here, we not only get to return to his world but get to enjoy again the chance to spend time with the principle hero Vallon.

So what do you get in this title?

As with the original, the authors writing is something that is not only stunning but a sheer joy to sit back and savour. The prose is crisp, the overall arc gripping and when added to a whole set of characters that not only bring the world to life but give it a flesh that helps keep it in the readers mind all round generates a tale that is pure magic to read.

Back this up with a cracking set of dialogue and all round you’re in for a treat.

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