Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

About Spartacus: Rebellion

Publication Date: May 14, 2013
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover; 464p
ISBN-10: 1250012775

Spartacus has already done the impossible—not only has he escaped from slavery, he and his seconds have created a mighty slave army that has challenged Rome and defeated the armies of three praetors, two consuls, and one proconsul. On the plain of the River Po, in modern Northern Italy, Spartacus has defeated Gaius Cassius Longinus, proconsul and general of an army of two legions. Now the road home lies before them—to Thrace for Spartacus, and to Gaul for his seconds-in-command, Castus and Gannicus.

But storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. One of Spartacus's most powerful generals has defected, taking his men with him. Back in Rome, the immensely rich Marcus Licinius Crassus is gathering an unheard-of Army. The Senate has given Crassus an army made up of ten legions and the authority to do whatever it takes to end the slave rebellion once and for all.

Meanwhile, Spartacus wants to lead his men over the Alps and home, but his two seconds have a different plan. They want to march on Rome itself and bring the Republic to its knees. Rebellion has become war. War to the death. 

Praise for Spartacus: Rebellion

"The author comes into his own during the numerous battle scenes when his burly prose highlights the pain, brutality and chaos of ancient combat. Kane's Spartacus is brave, vain, ruthless and sexy, a Superman for more savage times. The author is genuinely deserving of praise for taking on this mighty subject matter in such a bold and regularly entertaining fashion. Admirers of Kane's work to date will not be disappointed and there's every chance this latest instalment will attract plenty more." (Daily Express )

"Kane succeeds in drawing a convincing picture of how it might have been, which is what a good historical novel should do." (Historical Novel Society ) 

Praise for Spartacus: The Gladiator

Gritty, passionate and violent, this thrilling book is a real page-turner and a damn good read. It brings Spartacus - and ancient Rome - to vivid, colourful life (Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire )

Ben Kane manages to bring a freshness to the saga ... Told with Kane's usual panache and historical knowledge, this book is highly recommended (Kathy Stevenson, Daily Mail )

Eyes are merciless, blows are wicked and screams are piercing, but this is a compulsive if relentless story, vividly recounted in muscular prose. Definitely one for the boys (Daily Telegraph, 4 stars )

If you want to become familiar with the lanista and the rudus, to know your scutum from your licium, then Kane's your man ... plenty of action (Independent )

There is much to enjoy in this saga of the downtrodden triumphing temporarily over their oppressors, and the portrait of Spartacus as charismatic leader is a vivid one (Sunday Times) 

my thoughts:

I loved the way Ben Kane was able to bring these characters to life.  They are not just historical figures, but actual people.  You can understand their thoughts and  feel what they are feeling.  
Spartacus is a larger than life figure.  When you read this novel, you will feel as if you truly know Spartacus.

Very well researched. Easy to read.  You will learn a great deal about the ancient Roman empire.  You will not be able to put this book down. 

About the Author

Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin, and worked in Ireland and the UK for several years. After that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for seeing the world and learning more about ancient history. Seven continents and more than 65 countries later, he decided to settle down, for a while at least.

While working in Northumberland in 2001/2, his love of ancient history was fuelled by visits to Hadrian's Wall. He naïvely decided to write bestselling Roman novels, a plan which came to fruition after several years of working full time at two jobs - being a vet and writing. Retrospectively, this was an unsurprising development, because since his childhood, Ben has been fascinated by Rome, and particularly, its armies. He now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family, where he has sensibly given up veterinary medicine to write full time.

To find out more about Ben and his books visit www.benkane.net.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'd like to introduce a book by author 
Ezra Jonah Jacobs.   The book is called
The Tale of the Valiant Hero Kenta

about the book:

Date Published: March 22, 2013


Kenta Takeyama is a 16 year old martial artist who possesses superhuman 
strength and abilities and the Takeyama -ryuu fighting art. He desires to become the most 
powerful shogun on the Nikkoujima (Sun Light Islands), as there are much more powerful 
men in the world. He lives with his father Tesshin, who trained him in the martial arts, and 
his mother Amaya, who is the former princess of a royal family and master fighter; his little 
sister Mana, who wants to become a famous play actress and open her own production studio, 
as well as his pet bear Kumomori, whom he had since he was 4. Kenta finds that it’s time to 
follow his dreams of becoming a great and powerful shogun (using his power to protect people 
and build more homes and villages, help the poor and starving, rather than just for pomp and 
circumstance. He wants the people to live in peace and prosperity with no fear, as the world is 
already entering another age of war. Essentially, he wants to change the country). And so, with 
his parents’ permission, he decides to travel to Senkyou to enlist in the military and become 
a true samurai warrior. He feels confident that the can do so after going through many trials 
and travels through his childhood, and training under the tutelage of his father in his family’s 
martial arts styles.
During the first part of the novel, after a little love fiasco with his childhood friend 
Yumine who has a crush on him and sparring with some buddies, he travels the lush and vibrant 
island and helps many different people out. As Kenta reaches Senkyou, he meets new rivals 
and friends, such as Natsumi, a new love interest and Hayate, a mysterious ninja who wants 
to raise up his own organization of ninja mercenaries. During basic training, he discovers that 
the capital is being attacked by powerful youkai. The powerful beasts appear and disappear in 
a flash, even the temple priests are having trouble. Does the Great Tengu King of the Gogonji mountain territory 
know anything about these attacks? Do our heroes stand a chance against  these swift and powerful foes?
 What is the reasoning behind all of this carnage?

about the author

Ezra Jonah Jacobs

Author Bio
Ezra Jonah Jacobs was born in 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised in the suburbs 45 minutes outside of Atlanta by his father and mother, having one older brother. Growing up in a small country town, there was plenty of farmland and open plains to play and run around, a good place to let his young imagination run wild. When not outside, he was usually reading, drawing pictures, or playing video games. He has also had an interest in martial arts since the age of 6, first gaining an interest after watching a Bruce Lee documentary and seeing a movie by the name of Street Fighter. He started emulating the techniques he saw in these movies. It was also around this age he became interested into becoming an author after hearing his teacher read a book to his class. He would be influenced more by other books throughout grade school either by going to the library or during in-school readings.

In Jr. High School, Jacobs developed an interest in many new different mediums, including manga (Japanese comics) and ancient world literature, such as Don Quixote and Beowulf (already having some world literature in his background the form of Gulliver’s Travels and Aesop’s Fables while in Elementary school). He also first came across ancient stories of kung fu masters with enough strength to slay lions, enough speed to out run a cheetah, and being able to lighten their bodies enough to walk on egg shells. He found these stories rather fascinating and would spend time reading them, while at the same time trying to find more.

During his time in high school, world literature reads had expanded. He also began reading more of a genre called Wuxia (martial arts fiction), in particular Jin Yong, and was greatly fascinated by the scope of the stories as well the detailed battle sequences. To him it was as if he were watching a kung fu movie unfold before his very eyes. He thought this genre was rather interesting, especially since it influenced all of his other favorite mediums as well, even theater.

At college, Jacobs finally made the conscious decision to become an author. It was during this time, after class that he would spend time typing up many different stories. Many being one-shots (one long chapter), while others became full length novels. He began trying different genres and styles out until reading Jin Yong’s “A Smiling, Proud Wanderer”. He then decided to give wuxia a try and began working on a novel of such style. He had developed many early versions of his current stories, eventually editing and reforming them into what they are now. He also began reading many other novels around this time, such as Musashi, even more ancient world literature such as Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy, and The Faerie Queen, as well as many other things that would later influence his works.

Jacobs graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia with a Major in Literature and a Minor in Arts. He also studied karate while on campus during these years. As he wrote, he always had in mind to create stories that would give his readers the impressions they were almost watching a movie or a TV show, something interesting and exciting yet bearing the allure of a novel. Jacobs currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, he is usually reading from his extensive book collection, taking walks in the city, and training.


my thoughts:

Good story.  A lot of attention paid to the martial arts.  If you like the martial arts, you should love this story.  I was impressed with the very beginning of the book.  It included a listing of the various martial arts movements.  This made it much easier to follow the story.  

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