Wednesday, 31 May 2017

By Blood Divided - James Heneage

Destiny, inheritance, the world shifting from east to west. This is an epic novel set in an age of dramatic change.

Siward, scion of a great dynasty, commands the Varangian Guard and has vowed to defend the Roman Empire to the last. Makkim, renowned general to Ottoman rule, has vowed to destroy it.

They are enemies in war, but unknown to them, they are also rivals to inherit one of Europe's greatest fortunes. Even worse, they are competing for the love of the same woman.

Their vast inheritance lies in Venice, as does the famous courtesan they both love. She is the reason they will find themselves fighting on the walls of Constantinople, in one of the most dramatic sieges in history. 

My thoughts:
Reading this made me think that I wanted to see it as a movie. A Ridley Scott movie, I so miss his epic historicals. I need some fighting, walls tumbling and cities taken. it would work great for that. Drums beating and.... ok enough blood thirst from me now.

The book is about two men, two cousins on opposite sides of a never ending battle. Siward is a Varangian and is great at it. He loves being a soldier. And I liked him. But poor guy inherits a bank in Venice and must leave all that. The Eastern Church needs money. Venice does play a big roll in this book. With it's secrets, alluring courtesans (as he will find out when we meet the POV of Violetta who does what she wants, no man can stop her.) and conspiracies. Venice is a snake pit to be honest. A beautiful cesspool. 

The other big POV is that of Makkim, a general of the Ottoman Empire. And they are set on taking Constantinople.  The big fight is coming, but at the end. First the chess board needs to be set. Plans made and intrigues unfold. Makkim, well he was devout to his emperor, even though the second guy had major flaws. He had been indoctrinated and was a true muslim and could not really see any other points of views at first. He might have been a general but he was still a slave as a janissary.

It was interesting getting the povs from both sides and knowing history, well I knew what would happen in the end...

I must mention Violetta again. She has a POV too, somewhat smaller but still as big as these two guys. I liked how free she was, even if she stuck in a golden cage in a way too, even if she did not see it that way. Being a courtesan did give her respect and being able to move between worlds. And hey, I always like when there is a bit of romance, slowly growing.

A great book that had me hooked. I needed to know that everyone was going to be all right. The battle of Constantinople was coming and they would obviously all be there. 

At the end there was a few notes from the author. I did not know that Siward's grandfather had a trilogy of his own. Sounds good. Also, I really want to read a book about Henry the Navigator. That guy sounds really interesting.

Conclusion:
Great historical fiction set at an interesting time in history. It kept me hooked and it felt like I was there.

Hardcover, 496
Expected publication: June 1st 2017 by Quercus Books
Historical
For review




36 comments:

  1. Wow, what a book! It would make a great movie. This sounds like it had a lot going on.

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  2. Cover? Besides "it had one"? ;p

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  3. This does sound like it would make a great movie. Love the review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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  4. Sounds interesting. I haven't read this author.

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  5. Definitely sounds like it would be a great movie.

    For What It's Worth

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  6. Haha... you are in need of a good violent movie! I don't think I'd ever read this, but watch the movie for sure!

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  7. Not really my kind of book, but I think I'd like it as a movie :)

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  8. Oh this really makes me want to read it. I love a book you want to see as a movie!

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  9. Perhaps not for me but I hear your enthusiasm for it and that is always wonderful to read when someone has loved a book.

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  10. Glad it showed POV from both sides, that's unique, I like!

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  11. This is not my kind of book, but I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  12. THis does kinda sound like a Ridley Scott movie...

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    Replies
    1. At least the end when they start fighting :D

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  13. Not my genre usually, but the setting is in Venice.....

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  14. Oh, this sounds interesting! I love books set during the Roman Empire, and the fact that you want to see this made into a movie directed by Ridley Scott tells me how epic it must be.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I think he could make it really epic for sure

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  15. When I saw the cover I thought it was set in ancient Rome. Like Caesar, Augustus... But it sounds good!

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    Replies
    1. Well the second half of the empire did try to be like Rome

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  16. Holy blood-lust there! But I must admit that I read the book I just finished because I was feeling some war!

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    1. Hehe, of course the war was just at the end, but enough for me

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