By the Blood of Heroes reviewed by Ian Shone for Alt Hist

By The Blood of HeroesIan Shone has kindly volunteered his time to Alt Hist to help out with book reviews and proof-reading, and I’m glad to say that his review of By the Blood of Heroes by Joseph Nassise is is now available on the Alt Hist site under our Book Reviews section. By the Blood of Heroes is a combination of alternate history and zombie-fueled horror, and I think you will find Ian’s review interesting.

Please go along and take a look at the review.

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Reviews of Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: A Marian Wood Book/Putnam (October 4, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0399157859
ISBN-13: 978-0399157851
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 2 inches

Available from

Available from

I posted about Sharon Kay Penman’s new book Lionheart recently. So I thought now was a good time to see what the reviewers were saying about the book.

 Man of la Book certainly liked it – in particular noting the historical detail.

MisfitandMom loved the book as well, was not bored, but warned that it was not light reading – and we wouldn’t want that anyway would we?

Broken Teepee thought Lionheart was a deep and involving book and said that lovers of history would not be disappointed.

Raging Bibliomania also marveled at Penman’s historical detail and was enthralled by the politics and battles. They did wish though that more attention were given to the female characters.

So pretty good reviews all round from the blogosphere!

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Reviews of Taylor Anderson’s Firestorm

Firestorm: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson is a new Alternate History book published on 4th October 2011

ISBN 9780451464170 | 432 pages | 04 Oct 2011 | Roc | 9.25 x 6.25in

Available from


We featured news of Taylor Anderson’s new Firestorm novel a while ago, and with the book now published I thought it would be good to see what the reviewers think of it!

Michael Jones and, enjoyed the book and found it a good read – and he hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series!

Kirkus Reviews however recommended starting at the beginning of the series for newbies, but they also liked the fast paced, action packed story.

SfRevu also liked the book, but was anxious to know more about certain details of this alternate history world.

So everyone likes it, but it’s a question of where you start – with this book, or  at the beginning with Into the Storm.

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Book Reviews of The Lion Wakes by Robert Low

While blogging about the latest books being published in the field of historical fiction I have noticed that very few titles have reviews available pre-publication – I assume this is an embargo to make sure punters don’t get disappointed when they can’t buy the book straight away. So I thought for some selected titles I would also post some excerpts of reviews to give an overview of a book’s reception.

First up The Lion Wakes by Robert Low. gives a generally positive review, noting the gripping action, but also notes that sometimes the narrative is hard to follow:

All in all he has done something remarkable, and I look forward to the sequels. He has not set out to demolish the myth, but rather, by questioning simple interpretations of it, to deepen and enrich it; and he has brought this off in fine style. As a piece of bravura historical painting The Lion Wakes is remarkable. is again positive and mentions the Scottish voice of the author:

Low throws himself boldly and with brio into the dark and dangerous tangle of the First War of Scottish Independence. Written in a distinctively Scottish voice, rich in dialect and striking imagery, The Lion Wakes boasts a wealth of vividly drawn characters including a puissant, rancorous Edward I (“a great black storm”), and the best collection of Scottish rogues, retainers and hard fighting men since George MacDonald Fraser’sThe Candlemass Road. (2011; 439 pages, including a map of 13th-century Britain, Author’s Note, List of Characters and Glossary).

On the forums there are some good comments on the book at Historical Fiction Online.

So all in all very positive for this title!

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Historical Fiction for Columbus Day

Christoper Columbus arrives in America
Image via Wikipedia

With Columbus Day coming up soon as a holiday in America – 12th October is the date celebrated I believe, I though it might be interesting to see what historical fiction has been inspired by Christopher Columbus the great explorer (although the Vikings got there before him didn’t they!)

If you do a check on Amazon for books featuring Christopher Columbus, the following spring up as most intriguing:

Codex 632: The Secret of Christopher Columbus: A Novel by José Rodrigues Dos Santos

Christopher Columbus Answers All Charges by Yuri Rubinsky

There also seems to be quite a bit of self-published material (I am guessing anyway by the look of it and the lack of popularity), and no really big name authors. I’m probably missing something huge, but has anyone really done a good fictional account of Christopher Columbus?

I have the feeling that someone is going to comment and provide the answer! Please let me know. Perhaps we’ll find out before Columbus Day itself dawns?

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Book Review Offer: Wolf Hunt by Sebastian P. Breit

We have another review copy available – this time an alternate history novel by Sebastian P. Breit called Wolf Hunt. If you would like to review this title for Alt Hist then simply email me at with some information about your past reviewing work and if you pass muster I’ll email you a copy of the PDF review copy of the book.

Here’s some more information about the book and about Sebastian.

About “Wolf Hunt”:

“2024. The world we know is crumbling. A devastating war in the Persian Gulf has left the global economy in ruins, and civilization itself is beginning to crack under the strain.

When a war-weary task force of NATO ships races against time and a rival fleet to prevent Brazil’s descent into a murderous civil war, their mission is unexpectedly upset by a mysterious tempest. Thrown back in time, Captains Steven Flynn and Florian Hallwinter with their crews emerge in the year 1940 as the world is gripped in the fires of World War Two.

Presented with the opportunity to change both past and future for the better, they find themselves drawn into a maelstrom of conflicting interests. While overcoming the suspicion of their natural allies of the time proves harder than they imagined, they soon discover that even the best intentions carry the seeds of doom. For whereas Flynn is American, Hallwinter and his crew are from Germany…”

Wolf Hunt is as much about the journey of these two similar yet different groups of men to change history itself as it is about the clashes—and the clash of cultures which ensues—along the way. For the Americans, it’s about witnessing a place that calls itself America—the America of the ‘Greatest Generation’ even—but which culturally and socially is rather alien to the place they know. For the Germans, it’s as much a story about clashing head-on with their nightmares as it is a quest for national redemption.

Available as ebook & paperback:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


About the author:

Sebastian P. Breit has worked in the financial sector and has studied English and Political Sciences at the University of Trier, Germany. He currently lives in Germany’s oldest city, Trier where the Roman past lurks behind each and every corner. You can follow his writing progress & projects as well as his ramblings on a wide range of topics on his web page: “The Burning Ages”

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Book Review Offer: Field of Dead Horses

We have another book up for review if anyone is interested. If so please get in touch with me with your name and address details and a brief CV of previous review work – I’ll then pass your details onto the publisher who will send you a review copy. I will then ask you to submit the review to Alt Hist in the usual way through the Online Submission system.

Here’s more information about the book and its author.

Title: Field of Dead Horses
Author: Nick Allen Brown
Publisher: Harrowood Books
ISBN: 978-0-915180-24-0
Price: $16.99
Page Count: 333
Publication Date: 4th Qtr 2011

Summary: On a cold February morning in 1939, Elliott Chapel is riding his horse on the border of his farm when he finds a bloodied and beaten woman, lying face up in the shallow water of Penny Creek. Days later, Ellie Evans escapes certain death with the help of the town doctor, and comes out of her coma. Once Ellie Evans explains how she ended up in Penny Creek, a series of events unfolds that traps Elliott Chapel between torturous circumstances and a dark future.

Narrated by Elliott five decades later, he recalls the incident, telling the story of the events that transpired and ultimately revealing the long kept secret that began in a small Kentucky town.

Author Bio:
Nick Allen Brown has been working as a copy writer for eight years writing television commercials. He has written treatments for the Sci-Fi Channel, The Lifetime Network and interned two years for Coke Sams, a movie producer, writer and director. Nick has worked as a writer for Insight Media Advertising, Liberty Media, Benedek Broadcasting and Gray Television. He lives in Bowling Green, KY with his wife Becky and their two children.

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3 Book Reviews Available Free Online

The three book reviews that will appear in Issue 2 of Alt Hist are now available for free online.

Books reviewed are:

Historical Fiction Writing: a practical guide and tool-kit by Myfanwy Cook

Rome Burning by Sophia McDougall

Ruso and the River of Darkness by R. S. Downie

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