Book Review: Bernard Cornwell’s The Burning Land

November 4, 2009

BernardCornwellBernard Cornwell is another one of my favourite authors. He writes smart, adventurous historical fiction in both stand-alone novels and long-running series, and he does so at a prolific rate: He has put out at least a book a year every year from 1981 up to the present; more often than not he’s written a couple, and in 1995, 2002 and 2003 he published three books inside of twelve months! Can you imagine if every author had this kind of work ethic? I can’t speak with great authority about Danielle Steel, but I suspect Cornwell has to be within an order of magnitude of her prodigious output, and that’s really saying something.

It’s easy to get hooked on Bernard Cornwell, and it’s even easier to get your fix. Even if you can shoot through one of his novels in a single long day in an arm chair, his current book total stands at fifty. He also does a nice job of jumping between his several series and single passion projects. No matter what you’re reading of his, though, you can sense the author’s enthusiasm, intelligence, and general good humour. There are an awful lot of authors whose work I admire, but who I doubt very much I’d like as a person. I’d love to buy Bernard Cornwell whatever he’s drinking. Let’s call it a standing invitation, shall we?
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Book Review: Sharon Kay Penman’s Henry II Trilogy

October 26, 2009

banner_penman

Sharon Kay Penman has recently cemented her place in my pantheon of favourite authors. I love historical fiction, and she is one of the shining lights of the genre today. Her specialty is the Middle Ages of Great Britain and France, and her attention to detail in that time period is every bit as impressive as Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series. She write hard historical fiction: The history always comes first, and the fiction is sprinkled in just enough to make the real events and people of that time period into a novel.

Read the rest of this entry »