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Anvil of God: Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles Hardcover – July 26, 2013
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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J. Boyce Gleason's stellar debut novel is meticulously researched, vividly imagined, and literally unputdownable: as good as anything written by literary giants such as Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwell, Philippa Gregory, and Stephen R. Lawhead.
A "must-read" for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. A rich and evocative writing style, profound character development, relentless pacing, powerful themes, and stunning cover art make this a reading experience that fans of historical fiction will not soon forget. A towering, breathtaking work of fiction.
ForeWord Reviews (Clarion Review)
Anvil of God moves at a swift pace, accentuated by its engaging characters and tension-filled plot. The cliffhanger at the end will have fans waiting impatiently for the next in the series. -- Aimee Jodoin
Historical Novel Society
Gleason's utterly confident novel is the first in a projected series about the 8th century Carolingian dynasty. Gleason's grasp of (his) characters is nothing short of marvelous; Anvil of God is full of fascinating characters, including the various prelates and military men who run Charles' kingdom and most especially Charles' wife Sunnichild, secret follower of old religions and behind-the-scenes power-broker. Gleason's dialogue is sharp throughout, and the book's obviously vast research is smoothly worked into the narrative. Highly recommended
From the Back Cover
"YOU HAVE MORE POWER THAN YOU KNOW," Sunni said. "When you are ready to harness that power, come to me. But you must promise me that you will speak of this to no one. Not your father. Not Boniface. Not Carloman or Pippin. They are men and do not understand our bodies or our needs. Helping you will put me in grave danger. But, I can see that your need is great, so I am willing."
"I can't take your advice," Trudi said. "But I came to you in confidence, so I will leave you in confidence."
Sunni walked Trudi to the door, hugged her and kissed both her cheeks.
"Consider who has been teaching you and ask yourself whose interest they are trying to protect. If you decide you want my help, come see me."
Trudi left more disturbed than when she had arrived.
Two days later, Trudi rounded a corner to find herself directly in front of Ansel. Her heart leapt at the sight of him. Her face blushed deeply as she took a tentative step toward him. "Ansel." She reached out her hand to touch his chest.
Ansel's face twisted into a grimace. "Temptress!" His eyes seemed to push out of his head. "Stay away from me! I must have nothing to do with you. Hear me, she-devil? Nothing!"
That night, she returned to Sunni's chambers, pausing again on the threshold. Sunni invited her in and closed the door behind her. "How can I help you?" Sunni asked.
"Tell me about power."
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Top customer reviews
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So, once the three brothers fall into a stalemate - Gripho inside a fortified city, Carloman without while Pippin tries to broker peace between them - the story focuses entirely toward the sister. And Gripho is uncontrollable, even by his own mother, so that kind of put me off as well.
The Battle of Tours, sometimes called the Battle of Poitiers (732AD) was a last-ditch effort, a last stand of Christian Europe against a Muslim invader, set to conquer the known world of the time. This books picks up 9 years after that fateful battle and we find the hero, Charles Martel (the Hammer) dying, while trying to sort out dynastic succession. A lot of these medieval historical fiction books make every attempt to recapture what that era must have been like, felt like - there are a few writers who have mastered that ability; Bernard Cornwell, Stephen Lawhead and Elizabeth Chadwick spring to mind when talking about such. This author is very good- one thing I always look for is the ability to get lost in the book- does it feel like that? Is that the way they did it? These are normally intangibles that aid or harm the immersive experience. A fine grasp on language is necessary and this author knows how to write. I look forward to successive books.
Gleason did his research. The story is unforgettable. Basically, Charles the Hammer dies and leaves his vast empire to his three sons. His has promised his daughter in marriage to a man she wouldn't chose as a husband. Trudi is her name, in my opinion, she was the best of The Hammer's four children. She was a sword yielding, fighting individual- don't mess with her.
The three sons, two Christian and one pagan, are fascinating characters. Pippin, is my favorite. Pippin and Trudi are two characters who will grab your heart. As a reader, I became emotionally involved in their lives.
In short, this book will just pull you into the plot. It is action packed from the beginning to the end. For those of you unfamiliar with Charles "The Hammer" Martel, he is the grandfather of Charlemagne. He started the Carolingian empire in what is now France.
I cannot wait for book two! I look forward to reading more about these characters.
For those of you who love reading period pieces, ie- The Tudors, The Borgias- you will love this series.!