We have murder, mayhem and mystery aplenty, oh my!
Emperor – The Blood Of Gods
Author: Conn Iggulden
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 420 pages, fiction
THIS is a retelling of one of ancient history’s most epic stories – the assassination of Roman leader Julius Caesar in 44 BC by his trusted ally Brutus and a team of conspiring senators. Author Conn Iggulden delves into the aftermath of Caesar’s death and subsequently, the kismet of his killers, none of whom, he writes, died a natural death.
The storyline develops with Caesar’s adopted son Octavian resolving to seek revenge for his father’s murder. He eventually rises to the title of Augustus Caesar, and together with rival Mark Antony, takes on Brutus, whose fate is sealed in the second bloody battle of Philippi.
Pages of historical notes added to the end explain the author’s minor alterations to the historical plot and the change in certain characters’ names, as well as a brief description of what happened to Octavian and Antony after the events in the book.
American Gun – A History Of The U.S. In Ten Firearms
Author: Chris Kyle, with William Doyle
Publisher: William Morrow,
302 pages, non-fiction
THE late Chris Kyle, a former US Navy SEAL and one of the nation’s supreme marksmen, provides readers insight into the world of guns and how the weaponry changed the course of history, specifically America’s.
This book is Kyle’s final gift to fans and friends, for he was tragically shot before completing it. His wife sought assistance from Jim DeFelice (Kyle’s co-author on his earlier book, American Sniper) and author William Doyle for completion of the final manuscript.
Kyle chronicles the story of the country he devotedly served for most of his life through tales of his extensive warfare knowledge, battlefield experiences and strategies deployed during stints abroad, by using the 10 different firearms he shortlisted for this book – these include, among others, the American long rifle, Colt .45 revolver, Thompson submachine gun and the M16 rifle.
Historical events are documented aplenty, such as the Revolutionary War, the Battle of the Alamo, the St Valentine’s Day massacre, and the Iraq conflict during which he meritoriously made his service. Adding a human element, he also shares stories of the real lives he crossed paths with, and the sacrifices made along the way.
The White Princess
Author: Philippa Gregory
528 pages, fiction
IT is 1485 and Henry Tudor lays claim to England’s throne after winning the Battle of Botsworth Field against the Duke of Gloucester and then King of England, Richard III. This also means Tudor has to marry the White Princess, Elizabeth of York from the opposing side, so as to bring together a nation tumultuously split by war.
Though Elizabeth still loves her dead uncle Richard III, she dutifully becomes the Tudor’s bride, and gives birth to the prince who will eventually become Henry VIII.
Meanwhile, Tudor remains fearful that there is a prince somewhere who wants to reclaim the crown. Sure enough, along comes a young man who leads an invasion into England, forcing Elizabeth – who was born a York but is married to a Tudor – to choose between her husband and the lad who claims to be her lost brother and rightful heir to the kingdom.
Author: Preston & Child
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 578 pages, fiction
FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast is a recluse following his wife’s tragic death in a kidnapping gone wrong.
When his friend, NYPD cop Lieutenant D’Agosta asks for help on a series of bizarre murders, Pendergast is intially reluctant, but soon realises that the killings are a message from his wife’s abductors. Figuring out what that message is, though, proves to be more complicated.
When the kidnappers once again target someone close to Pendergast, however, he sets out with a vengeance, intent on finding and destroying them. Little does he know that this will not only take him into the uncharted forests of South America, but ultimately, bring him face to face with an evil he never expected.