My Book Review of The Ash Spear by G.R. Grove:
The Ash Spear is set in sixth century Britain and tells of the continuing adventures of the bard-in-training Gwernin as he encounters kings, politics, war and hardship. I was impressed with the setting and background; the author did impeccable research and the history is brought to life with magnificent detail.
Written in the first person, the tale is spun with an effective tone, well flavoured in nuance and the right inflections. The narrating character is a genuine portrayal, coming across as a three-dimensional person with flaws. He was at various times amusing, heroic, irritating and unsympathetic, but always interesting. The book also does a nice job in depicting other characters and having them interact as a whole.
The Ash Spear does have a few problems, with occasional lapses in grammar and some poorly compiled sentence structure in the beginning of the novel. Also, the author ended the chapters with the same sentence, which I found quite annoying and repetitive. The novel, perhaps, could have benefitted from a shorter length as well; while beautifully written, some of the scenes had expansive descriptive passages which caused the pace to meander a bit.
Still, it was an enjoyable novel to read and appealing enough for me to consider reading the rest of the series.
The Ash Spear is available through Smashwords
My Book Review of Storyteller Songs by G. R. Grove:
I enjoyed the poetry; it is excellent, nicely crafted, lyrical, and captures the essence of ancient Celtic culture. There is a graceful, evocative quality to the poems and it isn’t hard to imagine sitting in an archaic feasting hall listening to the words. Also, the surrounding prose that accompanies the verses is a tantalizing tease that piqued my interest in the books.
The book was a pleasant short read, and I think it makes a nice companion volume for the Storyteller series.
Storyteller Songs is available at Smashwords