Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Review: The Wolves of Paris by Michael Wallace

I often complain that it is difficult to find good werewolf stories, especially among self-published titles, but sometimes you strike gold. Michael Wallace's The Wolves of Paris is based on a historical story of a pack of wolves that attacked people in and around Paris in 1450, but takes it into a new direction by turning it into a fantasy tale of werewolves and witchcraft.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Review: Honor Among Thieves by J.M. Aucoin

Honor Among Thieves is J.M. Aucoin's first novel in his self-published Hope & Steel series. It is set in 1609, before the time of the King's Musketeers and during the reign of Henry IV. Going by the author's own words, he lists his influences as "Alexandre Dumas, Rafael Sabatini, Arturo Perez-Reverte". Since these correspond with my favourite authors in swashbuckling fiction, there was no way I was going to miss this novel.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Review: The Man in the Iron Mask (1977)

The Man in the Iron Mask is a film adaptation of the story told by Alexandre Dumas in his d'Artagnan Romances. It takes portions of the story of King Louis XIV's love affair with Louise de la Vallière and combines it with a completely reworked plotline involving Louis' secret twin brother. Overall, I must say that the film manages to deliver a more interesting and involving story than the original novel did.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Review: Admiral (2015)

The Admiral (2015) tells a story of Michiel de Ruyter (1607-1676), a famous Dutch admiral who managed to put up a decent fight against the naval might of England during the Anglo-Dutch wars. Rather than telling the full story of his rise to fame in the Caribbean and elsewhere, the film focusses on the c. ten last years of de Ruyter's career when he was chosen to lead the confederate fleet. For me, this is a bit of an unknown topic - for some reason my knowledge of Dutch history and naval power has pretty much been limited to the powerful East India Company, so my commentary on historical accuracy is somewhat limited in this review.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Review: The Mountain of Gold by J.D. Davies

The Mountain of Gold is the second novel in the The Journals of Matthew Quinton series by J.D. Davies. It is historical naval fiction, but unlike most other novels set in the Age of Sail, Matthew Quinton lives in the 17th century, in post-Civil War era England where the king's power is still shaky and many wish that the Civil War had ended differently. The first novel was somewhat light on the naval adventure side, most action taking place on land, and the sequel has the same problem, if you wish to call it that. But, overall, it is rather a good read of the period.