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WAR GOD: Nights of the Witch Kindle Edition
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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More About the Author
I share below the story of the journey that led me to these books
In the early 1980's, when I was East Africa correspondent of The Economist, writing about wars, politics, economics and aid programmes, I had no idea where fate was going to lead me or what strange seas of thought I would find myself sailing on. But in 1983 I made my first visit to Axum in northern Ethiopia, then in the midst of a war zone, and found myself in the presence of an ancient monk outside a little chapel in the grounds of the cathedral of Saint Mary of Zion. The monk told me that the chapel was the sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant and that he was the guardian of the Ark, the most sacred relic of the Bible, supposedly lost since Old Testament times. What he said seemed ludicrous but for some reason it intrigued me. I began to look into the Ethiopian claim and found much surprising and neglected evidence that supported it, not least the faint traces of a mission to Ethiopia undertaken by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century. I kept adding to that dossier of evidence while also continuing to pursue my current affairs interests (including Lords of Poverty, my controversial book about foreign aid, published in 1989), and finally, in 1992, I published The Sign and the Seal: A Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, my first full-fledged investigation of a historical mystery.
As well as to Ethiopia and to Israel, my research for The Sign and the Seal had taken me to Egypt and opened my eyes to the incredible enigma of the Great Pyramid of Giza, while the "technological" aspects of the Ark (shooting out bolts of fire, striking people dead, etc) had alerted me to the existence of out of place technologies in antiquity. The stage was now set for my next project - a worldwide investigation into the possibility of a lost, prehistoric civilisation that resulted, in 1995, in the publication of Fingerprints of the Gods, undoubtedly my best known book. The Message of the Sphinx (co-authored with Robert Bauval) followed in 1996, looking specifically into the mysteries of the Great Sphinx of Giza, and then in 1998 Heaven's Mirror, photographed by my wife Santha Faiia, which shows why many ancient sites in all parts of the globe replicate the patterns of constellations on the ground and are aligned to important celestial events such as the rising points of the sun on the equinoxes and the solstices. In 2002, I published Underworld, the result of five years of scuba diving across all the world's oceans to find ancient ruins submerged by rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age.
After Underworld, I decided to step away from lost civilisation mysteries for a while and my next non-fiction book, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, published in 2005, focussed on shamanism, altered states of consciousness and the astonishing universal themes that appear in rock and cave art from deepest antiquity right through to the paintings done by shamans in the Amazon rainforest today.
From my years as a journalist I've always distrusted armchair theorising and believed I have a responsibility to seek out direct personal, "boots on the ground" experience of what I'm writing about. That was why I did five years of often difficult and dangerous scuba diving for Underworld. And it's also why, as part of my research for Supernatural I travelled to the Amazon to drink the visionary brew Ayahuasca with shamans there. As well as better equipping me to write Supernatural, my experiences in the Amazon changed my life and brought out a new side of my own creativity. I've continued working with Ayahuasca ever since and in 2006, during a series of sessions in Brazil, in a ceremonial space overlooked by images of a blue goddess, my visions gave me the basic characters, dilemmas and plot of the book that would become my first novel, Entangled, published in 2010. Entangled tells the story of two young women, one living 24,000 years ago in the Stone Age, and the other in modern Los Angeles, who are brought together by a supernatural being to do battle with a demon who travels through time.
Since the publication of Entangled I have also written the first two volumes of a series of three epic novels about the Spanish conquest of Mexico - the War God trilogy. The first volume, War God: Nights of the Witch, was published in 2013, and the second volume, War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent, was published in 2014. The third volume, War God: Apocalypse, is already more than half written and will be completed in 2016 and in the meantime my new non-fiction book, Magicians of the Gods, was published on 10 November 2015. Magicians is the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods, and presents all the new evidence that has emerged since 1995 for a great lost civilisation of prehistoric antiquity and for the global cataclysm that destroyed that civilisation almost 13,000 years ago - a cataclysm on such a scale that it forced mankind, as Plato put it, "to begin again like children with no memory of what went before."
My ideas on prehistory and on the mysterious nature of reality have made me something of a controversial figure. In 1999, for example BBC Horizon made a documentary ("Atlantis Reborn") attacking my position on the lost civilisation. But part of that documentary was found by the UK's Broadcasting Standards Commission to be unfair - the first time ever that the flagship Horizon series had been judged guilty of unfairness. The BBC took the problem seriously enough to put out a revised re-edited version of the programme a year later. More recently, in 2013, my TED talk "The War on Consciousness" was deleted from the TED Youtube channel on grounds that TED itself later admitted to be spurious by striking out every one of the objections it had originally raised to my talk. TED, however, refused to restore the talk to its Youtube channel resulting in dozens of pirate uploads all over the internet that have now registered well over a million views.
I make mistakes like everyone else, but ever since my time with The Economist I've felt it is important to strive for rigour and accuracy, to check facts, to set out my sources clearly and openly for all to see and to admit my mistakes when I make them. As I continue to explore extraordinary ideas in my works of non-fiction, and in my novels, I'll also continue to do that.
Top Customer Reviews
Of course War God is not his first venture into fiction, his book Entangled was his first. As a teenager I read The Sign & the Seal followed by Fingerprints of the Gods which changed my entire worldview as I am sure it did for many. I can say without reservation that War God had me turning the pages as quickly as did any of Hancock's non fiction and any other novels that I have read from any author over the last half dozen years.
Hancock has an amazing writing style that enables the reader to literally feel like you are there, and this is part of the reason he has been so successful in his earlier works.
War God is fantastic. Both wonderful and in parts brutal, just like the period and the events described therein. War God deserves a chance and I am here to tell any reader that this book is worth every penny which will have you mesmerised as it did me. BUY IT NOW.
I especially liked the weaving of the known history with the Supernatural in a way that is totally in keeping with the cultures in question. It took me awhile to realize what was going on with "The" War God - and I won't say anymore and be a spoiler but lets just say once I did figure it out I think I understood things a lot better.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that I was a little overwhelmed by extremely detailed battle scenes which I'm sure my husband would love (we've both done a lot of historical re-enactment and he does fighting) but eventually just made me feel a bit lost and like I wanted my story back. I think this is a personal preference in reading styles, so those who like military fiction are likely to really enjoy these pages, but I just can't handle them after while (and I feel the same way about the long battle scenes that are sometimes in my husband's own novels).
I also felt just a tiny bit unconnected having so many point of view personages to follow, again I realize this is a popular modern style of writing and useful when you have multiple stories to tie together. But I couldn't help remember how gripped I felt reading the novel AZTEC years ago, which is done as an "autobiography" of the view point personage; and while I thought Mr. Jennings went way over the top in his descriptions of some of the darker stuff, I did feel very connected to his point of view Character; whereas in War God I felt most connected to Tozi the young "witch" girl and Pepito (a young boy of similar age).Read more ›
The characters are extremely well written and easy to relate to, the plot is very engaging and makes it difficult to put the book down. It is written in such a way that you actually feel sorry for some of the darker characters at times and makes you feel that there are positive and negative aspects on both sides of the conflict. There are no good guys and bad guys here, just many shades of red and gold.
I'm sure this book will one day find it's way into the national curriculum as one of the most accurate and in depth portrayals of a previously forgotton period of history.
This is a very important book for the way it captures a perfect snapshot of a brutal moment in america's history and also because it shows that Mr Hancock is set to become one of the heavy hitters in the world of fiction.
I patiently await the sequel to this and also entanglement which has some strong thematic connections to war god.
War God is a hefty book, but the story is exceptionally well written, and each chapter ends with a cliffhanger making you want to continue reading more.
When I initially opened the book I was a bit skeptical, and afraid that the story was going to densely overwritten with heavy handed amounts of unnecessary details and historical minutia. This was not at all the case. War God has a large cast of characters, but Graham proves himself to be a remarkable story-teller with a talent and understanding of how to write an epic historical novel without boring the reader.
The amount of historical research that must of went into the writing of War God is impressive, and Graham uses his knowledge of ancient Mexico to bring that era alive for the reader. War God pulls no punches when it comes to depicting the cruelty and violence of the historical setting, the battles and action sequences are brutal and fast-paced. There is also a fascinating thread of the supernatural and exotic magic woven throughout the story, which I'm sure those interested in the paranormal will no doubt enjoy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved the story line and character development. A Master story tellerPublished 3 days ago by Patrick A. Thomas
A bit gory, but the scholarship is top notch. Great characters and plotPublished 20 days ago by L. Blumenthal
WAR GOD was hard to put down. I enjoyed this piece of historical fiction. I could tell that the author spent a lot of time researching the subject matter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian Stokes
an action packed, adventure novel.I am familiar with Graham Hancock: archeologist, anthropologist, and many more. His knowledge is superior concerning the Mayan societies. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Geraldine Mcentegart
Like everything Graham does, absolutely brilliant. I was locked into this book like a bloodhound. I read the first two books of the trilogy within a week and can't wait for the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mike Glenn
loved this book, historical, awesome story, so exciting, i could hardly put it down, i am so glad for the new sequel, have preordered,Published 3 months ago by teri wynne
Graham Hancock's War God is a novel about Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, taking over Central America in the 16th century. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Graham Hancock is a master story teller. I loved his nonfiction so I was hesitant to give his fiction a shot but oh my, does he deliver! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer