Book Review | Rivers Ran Red

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Rivers Ran Red: The Last of the Romans Trilogy by J. A. Grierson

Published November 1, 2019

Ebook 328 pages

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Can J. A. Grierson write all the History books from now on please?

The Story

An extremely well written and well researched historical fiction based on the events surrounding the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains and the Roman’s defeat of Attila the Hun.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“In a whirlwind of fire and carnage, Attila the Hun wheels half a million horsemen towards Roman territory. In his path, corruption and greed have undermined the ancient empire and the vacillating emperor, Valentinian III, has cut her legions to a sliver. But out of this smoke a wily, battle-scarred general, Avitus, rises in her defence. Making allies of his enemies, Avitus rallies barbarian warlords to fight for the Eagle and crosses the Alps to face Rome’s nemesis. But when Attila offers to split the Empire’s corpse with the Goths his march becomes a suicide mission.

One war will decide the fate of civilization.

The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains rages through the night. Individual acts of bravery and cowardice tip the final balance. Rivers run red and burst their banks with blood. Dawn draws a portrait of unimaginable carnage.

In a tale of epic deeds, heroes confront insurmountable odds, with honour and courage. Avitus faces a myriad of enemies, both Roman and barbarian but can one man save civilisation?

What I liked

Wow!

Just, wow. I could NOT put this book down. I am by all accounts a fantasy reader only. Sometimes when I am in a reading slump, I will pick up other genres … but typically it’s all fantasy, all the time. This reads like an epic fantasy. Extremely enjoyable, extremely bloody and entirely real. I was connected to all of the characters, their lives, their history and their events. I cried when they died, I cheered when they were victorious. This book did more than just chronicle the history of these individuals … this book immersed me in the world of military power, political intrigue, love and life and death. This book is everything books should be.

The historical accounts were well researched and didn’t feel like History class … and the fictional elements were believable and complimentary to the history of that day and the characters who would have existed.

What I Did Not Like

The beginning of this book was plagued by pretty purple prose … but this daunting adjective stuffing fell out of Greirson’s writing around the second chapter (once the dialog started) and the book became much more enjoyable to read.

In Conclusion 

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good Roman history, and for fans of fantasy with epic battle scenes and political intrigue.

 

First Lines Friday | I wait for the police in the study …

First Lines Fridays is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words.

What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

quotation marks_11I wait for the police in the study overlooking Gramercy Park, the body prone on the floor a few feet away. Outside, rain has cooled the green spring evening. In here the heat if stifling.”quotation marks_22


Read on to find out what book this excerpt is from

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Top 10 Tuesday | Top 10 Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is…

Top 10 Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t


My TBR is a mess … like it is literally trying to kill me! So many books to read so little time and books I intend to read get swallowed up in the mess! I have approximately 1229057 book series I intend to read eventually …. so …. I’m just going to choose a few of the ones that have been bouncing around closer to the top of my tbr lately … and totally at random.

Here are some of the series that I have been meaning to start but have been lost to the ever growing TBR for far too long…


Poison Study by Maria V SnyderStudy series by Maria V Snyder

I have been meaning to start this series for so so so long, but every time my library hold has been available, I was not in a position to read it. Luckily my bookish bestie just loaned me her copy and I am excited to jump into this one finally!

Books in series: technically 3 but there is a second series tie in with an additional 3 books. There are also 3 novellas for the series.

Poison Study (Goodreads synopsis):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…” 

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Burn, Rewrite, Reread | Book Tag

I was tagged by Danielle @ Life of a Literary Nerd (check her out!), and it looks like so much fun!

Start by randomizing your Goodreads “read” shelf, pick the first three books, and assign an option to each. 5 rounds …. let’s do this!


Round 1

Burn

The Notebook (The Notebook #1) by Nicholas Sparks

This was an easy choice because I hated this book. This book was SO BORING! I was literally listening to this audiobook while watching paint dry and I think the paint situation was more exciting. I gave this book 1/5 stars.

Rewrite

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This was a little tougher because The Great Gatsby is honestly one of my all time favorite stories! Unfortunately I find Fitzgerald’s writing to be a bit cumbersome. This is the only reason I chose it for a rewrite vs. City of Ashes. I just feel like it could be cleaned up a bit to make it an easier read. Still this book garnered a 5/5 star rating from me.

Reread

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

I didn’t love this series as much as I did Clare’s other works … but it was a solid read and I would be down for a reread at some point. No complaints really. Somewhere around the 4.5/5 stars on this one.

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Top 10 Tuesday | Top 10 Favorite Fathers in Fiction

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is…

Top 10 Favorite Fathers in Fiction


Father’s Day is this upcoming Sunday so let’s take some time to discuss some pretty amazing fathers in fiction! I am also extending this list to father figures as well because I think these guys deserve some recognition both in fiction and in real life!

But can we take a moment to mention the lack of amazing father representation in fantasy books? I didn’t realize it until I started sifting through my read list but way too many fathers are either dead, or evil? We need more positive father representation in fantasy.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1) by Harper Lee

I don’t think you can make a list of fabulous fictitious fathers without including Atticus Finch, who is definitely one of the greatest book dads of all time!

This man is a shining example of integrity. He is an excellent roll model even when he questions his worth as a single father being judged by his community.

(Goodreads synopsis):

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.”

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