May 2022 Books Monthly Review of books and stories magazine - on the web 24 years...
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Jeff Wheeler: The Druid

Published 1st May 2022


An abandoned child becomes a singular inspiration to the mythology of Muirwood in an epic series by Jeff Wheeler, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Muirwood and Kingfountain novels.

Eilean was born a “wretched”―a lowly foundling raised by the Aldermaston of Tintern Abbey. Then she’s chosen to assist in establishing the new abbey of Muirwood, now the site of a castle in the swampy Bearden Muir. Eilean’s role is as night servant to the druid Mordaunt, the king’s exiled advisor―and prisoner. He’s clever, dangerous, and invaluable to the Aldermaston.

Mordaunt’s priceless secret: the hiding place of an ancient tome that reveals the existence of other worlds and the magic between them. Mordaunt knows how potent its words are and how dangerous they could be in the wrong hands. But can Eilean win him over? All she must do is gain Mordaunt’s confidence and trust and persuade the apostate to divulge his secret to her. But as she learns more from Mordaunt, Eilean’s loyalties begin to fray. And the risks are greater than she imagined.

Despite betrayals, deceptions, and the deadly motivations of others, a girl from the flax fields is about to rise above her station. By exploring the potential of the power of an ancient spoken magic, Eilean is coming into her own.

John French: Sigismund

Published 12th May 2022


Sigismund, First Captain... Emperor's Champion..The Eternal Crusader!

The Great Crusade is ending. The Emperor has returned to Terra while Horus remains among the stars to complete the unification of humanity.

As the Imperial armies fight the final battles of the age, Remembrancer Solomon Voss seeks the answer to one question: why does Sigismund, First Captain of the Imperial Fists and greatest champion of the Legions, believe that war will not end?

Granted a rare audience with the master of the Templars, the answer takes Voss on a revelatory journey to a time before Sigismund became a Space Marine, through his first battles and oaths, to the bitterest duels between Legions


Neal Asher: Weaponized

 Published 26th May 2022


Weaponized is a thrilling far-future adventure by acclaimed science fiction author Neal Asher.

A bright new future for humanity – or a dark and inescapable past.


Ursula has lived twice the normal human lifespan, courtesy of the latest technology. But now she’s struggling to find excitement and purpose, so signs up to the Polity’s military. She excels in weapons development, and progresses rapidly up the ranks. But after botching a powerful new ammunition test, she’s dismissed from service.

Hunting for a simpler, more meaningful existence, the ex-soldier heads for the stars. And after founding a colony on the hostile planet of Threpsis, Ursula finally feels alive. Then deadly raptors attack and the colonists are forced to adapt in unprecedented ways. The raptors also raise a deeply troubling question: how could the Polity miss these apex predators? And alien ruins? Meanwhile, biophysicist Oren has formed his own survival plan – one he’ll pursue at any cost.

As a desperate battle erupts to consume the planet, Ursula finds she must dig deep into her past to ensure humanity’s future.

Holly Black: Book of Night

 Published 3rd May 2022


 #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies.

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn't pick, a book she couldn't steal, or a bad decision she wouldn't make. She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie.

Now, she's trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but going straight isn't easy. Bartending at a dive, she's still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that her shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend has been keeping secrets from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she's up against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world - all trying to steal a secret that will allow them control of the shadow world and more.


Mike Chen: Star Wars Brotherhood

Published 10th May 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights.

The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers.

After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order's most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy-and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.

Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travel alone-and his former master's insistence that he listen this time-Anakin's headstrong determination means nothing can stop him from crashing the party, and bringing along a promising but conflicted youngling.

Once a Padawan to Obi-Wan, Anakin now finds himself on equal-but uncertain-footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger for everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together-and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and its people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.



T Kingfisher: Nettle and Bone

Published 26th April 2022

A dark and compelling fantasy about sisterhood, impossible tasks and the price of power, from award-winning author T. Kingfisher

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra―the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter―has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.

Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince―if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.

On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra's family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.


Namina Forna: The Merciless Ones

 Published 26th May 2022


Discover the gripping sequel to Namina Forna's New York Times bestselling YA fantasy, THE GILDED ONES. Set in an ancient West African-inspired world, this series is perfect for fans of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE and BLACK PANTHER.

It's been six months since Deka freed the goddesses in the ancient kingdom of Otera, and discovered who she really is... But war is waging across the kingdom, and the real battle has only just begun. For there is a dark force growing in Otera – a merciless power that Deka and her army must stop.

Yet hidden secrets threaten to destroy everything Deka has known. And with her own gifts changing, Deka must discover if she holds the key to saving Otera... or if she might be its greatest threat.

THE MERCILESS ONES is the second, thrilling instalment of the epic fantasy series in which a young heroine fights against a world that would dare tame her.



Jack Campbell: The Lost Fleet - Outlands

Published 28th June 2022

The New York Times-bestselling series continues as Admiral ‘Black Jack’ Geary commands the fleet deep into alien space and leads humanity to the galactic stage.

Admiral John ‘Black Jack’ Geary faces new frontiers as he leads his fleet on a mission that could change humanity’s understanding the of universe itself.

Having survived political warfare Geary must lead a diplomatic mission to establish a new embassy with the cryptic but welcoming Dancers. His battle group, and the scientists and ambassadors they’re escorting, must cross territory controlled by the mysterious, and deadly, Enigmas. And saboteurs and assassins still hide in his crew.

Carrying the burden of his own legend, Geary must embody the best of military leadership, whether as a brilliant tactical commander or a man who knows the price of pulling the trigger. Knowing every decision he makes will be assessed on the galactic stage.







The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its 24th year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email at paulenorman1@gmail.com and I'll let you know where to send it.



 

  In this issue:

 

  The Front Page

  Fiction books

  Children's Books

  Nonfiction Books

  Nostalgia

  Growing Up In The 1950s

  The Silent Three

  The Four Marys

   Living with Skipper

  Acker Bilk Sleeve Notes

  Pen and Sword Books

  Sundays with Tarzan

  The Back Page

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