Tagged: History

Warhorse – Review

About the Book

Warhorse, Michael Morpurgo

Children’s, Historical Fiction, 176 Pgs

Scholastic Press  September 1, 2010


In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo, former Children’s Laureate of Britain, is the author of War Horse, called “Superb” by the New York Times Book Review, and now a major motion picture. His other prize-winning books include Kensuke’s Kingdom, Private Peaceful, and The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. Michael lives in Devon, England, with his wife, Clare. Together, they founded the charity Farms for City Children, which gives children from urban areas an opportunity to spend a week working on a farm in the countryside. You can find out more about him and his books at michaelmorpurgo.org.

Sam’s Review

Now a major movie, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo has a strong message in favor of peace.  This is perfect for horse lovers and peaceful types.

Joey has gone through so much as a war horse. He lost Andy, his boy, he lost his fellow horse to WWI, and he is nothing like the thoroughbred he is. But through it all, he sticks to his hope of finding Andy, giving the soldiers on both sides hope.

I loved this book from start to finish, because I dislike war and fighting. It was well written, and well developed, and showed that there is hope for people in battle.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam reviews Michael Morpurgo's WARHORSE - children's historical/animal fiction

Buy the Book

 Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition in our inventory, in very good condition. You can buy it right here: 

This book is available in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audiobook,mass market paperback formats from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Fateful Decisions – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Trevor D'Silva's Fateful Decisions

About the book:

Fateful Decisions by Trevor D’Silva

Historical Fiction     325 pages

Black Rose Writing     October 25, 2017

It’s 1915 in the heat of WWI. Two friends heading to England aboard the British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, meet and fall in love with a charismatic woman. After battling for her affection, Rachel Williams makes her decision, beginning a journey that no one can predict or soon forget. For the next thirty years, Rachel is forced to live with the choice she made, as the dominos fall around her, sequentially.

Is there a sinister force at work? Who can Rachel trust? Will Rachel ultimately regret her decision when she learns how it impacted others?

Set in America and Europe, history and fiction intertwine, commencing with the sinking of Lusitania. Historical events like The Russian Revolution, Prohibition, The Great Depression and World Wars I and II also play important roles in the lives of the characters and the decisions they make to love, betray, forgive, and reconcile.

About the author:

Trevor D’Silva has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering; M.S. degrees in Engineering Management, and Environmental Engineering; and an Associate degree in Accounting. He has lectured in mechanical engineering and environmental science subjects at various colleges. Fateful Decisions is his first novel, encompassing history and fiction from WW I to the end of WW II. He uses his free time to expand his knowledge in history and reading crime, thrillers, and mystery novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Every so often, a book slides across my desk with a concept that utterly fascinates me. Trevor D’Silva’s Fateful Decisions is one of those books. The idea of a book following one person through the inevitable consequences of decisions both large and small… That alone pulled me in. I read the sample to get a feel for the author’s writing style, and paused – but the concept, and the opening chapters’ scenes won the day.

Fateful Decisions is a debut novel, and I’m hoping that Mr. D’Silva continues to develop himself as a writer. His style in narration and dialogue is very stiff and feel almost unnaturally formal. It’s not a style I typically continue reading, but in this case, I found myself continually turning pages to find out what happened next, while developing my own feel for how the characters each sounded in dialogue.

The plot was what kept me in the book, turning the pages as I moved through the timeline. I am fascinated with the idea of cause-and-effect related to decisions, and this was the focus of the book. To that end, I think Mr. D’Silva could have slowed down some, to help the reader connect more fully with both historical events and the events in the lives of his characters. 

Thirty years is a LOT of time to cover in 300 pages, and the author did this efficiently. While it was fascinating to read the chronology of world events as seen through the eyes of various characters, at times I found myself scratching my head, questioning the plausibility of THAT many coincidences in one life (or even three lives as this story rolls along).

The book is full of plot twists and uncanny developments and spans just about every major world event between the sinking of Lusitania and the end of WWII, so be prepared for a wild ride.

While I found the author’s style stiff, I would still recommend this book to fans of early 20th century history. 

Jenn shares her thoughts on Trevor D'Silva's historical fiction novel "Fateful Decisions" on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions (also available on Kindle Unlimited as of this writing) here. [Affiliate link]

Apricots & Wolfsbane – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Apricots and Wolfsbane by KM Pohlkamp

About the book:

Apricots and Wolfsbane by K. M. Pohlkamp

Historical fiction (Adult/New Adult)   293 pages in print

Published October 13, 2017 by Filles Vertes Publishing

Lavinia Maud craves the moment the last wisps of life leave her victims’ bodies—to behold the effects of her own poison creations. Believing confession erases the sin of murder, her morbid desires are in unity with faith, though she could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves.

Book club discussion guide included!

At the start of the 16th century in Tudor England, Lavinia’s marks grow from tavern drunks to nobility, but rising prestige brings increased risk. When the magistrate suspects her ruse, he pressures the priest into breaking her confessional seal, pitting Lavinia’s instincts as an assassin against the tenets of love and faith. She balances revenge with her struggle to develop a tasteless poison and avoid the wrath of her ruthless patron.

With her ideals in conflict, Lavinia must decide which will satisfy her heart: love, faith, or murder—but the betrayals are just beginning.

About the author:

K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife to the love of her life, a proud mother of two, and a Mission Control flight controller. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Houston, Texas.

Jenn’s Review:

Usually, when I get a request to read and review a book, I don’t read other folks’ reviews first, and I’ll admit that I was hesitant at first to add this particular volume to my to-be-read list for content concerns. When I judged Reading Review Wars on this book last month, my apprehension only grew.

My doubts were utterly unfounded.

I’ve never read a book with an anti-hero (in this case, anti-heroine) as the protagonist, so Apricots and Wolfsbane was a first for me. Lavinia Maud is nothing short of a badass, though, as a woman who’s taken on a career that, in 16th century England, is nothing short of dangerous and illegal. However, she refuses to settle into the role of docile wife as she is expected to do, and she pursues her nefarious trade with a passion.

Ms. Pohlkamp has nailed the inner conflict in her creation of Madam Maud with her protagonist’s conflicted morals. She’s okay with murder-for-hire, but craves absolution after each kill. Admitting to her list of victims isn’t a stretch for her, but she refuses to give up the names of who’s hired her.

I won’t say that Lavinia Maud is likable. Even after the last page, I’m still on the fence about whether I liked the main character. She is, however, (as are all the secondary characters in this story) well developed and multi-faceted.

Fans of bad-ass, female protagonists in historical fiction – this one’s for you. It’s hard not to root for a character who refuses to quietly fit into the mold and boldly takes control of her own destiny. This is the first in a series, apparently, so I’ll be watching for book 2 to come out!

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews KM Pohlkamp's historical fiction Apricots and Wolfsbane

Sam’s Review:

Murder. To many, it’s a sin. But to Lavinia, it’s her job. And it’s a nicely paying job as well. Apricots and Wolfsbane is her story, and it is a very fun to read story. The author is K. M. Pohlkamp, and I would love to thank her for sharing this book with me.

Poison is an interest of mine, mainly because it makes for a good story, so that helped boost the rating of the book. It was well written, and filled with tension at the right moments. I got chills reading this book, it was that good.

And in the negatives, well, for me, all I can say is, “what negatives?” It wasn’t too predictable, nor was it too unpredictable. I loved the plot twists, the well developed settings and characters, and I loved everything about this book.

Buy the book:

This book is available as a Kindle or paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Jenn judged the Reading Review Wars for this book. To read the reviewers’ arguments, click here.

Ceres (Images of America Series) Book Review

You can purchase a used copy of this book here.

Great book on the history of one California’s little known cities.  Sitting just south of Modesto California, Ceres’ history is quite amazing in itself.  If you are a history buff, or if you enjoy the small places of the world, this is a book you’ll want for you collection. As a long time resident of Ceres, CA, myself, it was fascinating to read the history of the town I played ball, road bikes, and lived in.

This book is also available on Amazon in Kindle, hardcover and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Swords: An Artist’s Devotion – Book Review

Buy a copy of this book here.

About the book:

Be smitten by the sword! An extraordinary young artist brings the history of this noble weapon — and its skillful masters — into stunningly sharp relief.Brave men and women have taken up the sword since ages of old, and a fascination with this formidable weapon grips dedicated followers to this day. Here is a celebration of swords and swordsmen that spans time and place — from ancient warriors such as Beowulf to medieval knights; from stealthy ninja and samurai to legendary maidens of war. Illustrated with breathtaking intricacy, SWORDS reflects the passion of a true devotee, offering lavish background details on design and use as well as exquisite spreads showcasing specimens in all their shining glory.
Back matter includes a bibliography.

Brian’s Review:

This is a fun book filled with some interesting information on one of man’s most oldest and deadliest weapons ever created.  With great illustrations and fun facts this is a book any enthusiast will enjoy.  Thumb through and look at the pictures, or take the time to read the words.  Either way this book is a winner.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in either Hardcover or Paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Football Facts – Book Review

About the book:

This big-as-a-linebacker collection will win over every football fan-even reluctant readers. Featuring such cool categories as On the Gridiron, Super Feats, and Catch Phrases, it contains thousands of football facts and fun trivia, as well as great stories, amazing plays and players, and lots more. Paperback, 352 pages (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review

This is a fun book with information pertaining to one of America’s favorite past times.  With notes on records and other facts about football any football enthusiast will love. They young will enjoy learning about their favorite sport while older people will enjoy testing their knowledge, and gaining that tad bit of information that will let them seem smarter around the water cooler during the season.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one copy of this book available here.

This book is also available from Amazon in paperback edition only here. [affiliate link]

The Templars and the Grail – Book Review

About the book:

Who were the medieval Knights Templar?  How did they become so powerful and influential?  Why were they suddenly arrested and tortured in 1307?  What happened after their suppression?  And how does their memory live on today?

The powerful Knights Templar, famed monastic warriors of the Crusades, have long been shrouded in mystery.  They were believed to conduct mystical rites, guard various relics, and perhaps possess the lost treasures of Jerusalem.  They were also bankers to kings, trusted diplomats, skilled farmers, business scions, and navigators.  Drawing on both academic and local sources, this book provides a solidly researched, up-to-date academic history of the Order of the Temple, the Knights Templar (Part One), while also examining various theories about the Templars and their enduring mythos today (Part Two).

A vital contribution to medieval Templar history, 12th-14th century medieval religious studies, Crusades studies, Grail and related literature, and an analysis of modern-day interest in the medieval Order of the Temple (1119-1312).  Appendices include a comprehensive Chronology of Events (1118-1571), a list of Grand Masters,  information on major Templar sites, and illustrations featuring Rosslyn Chapel (Scotland) and its museum exhibition.

Brian’s Review:

 If you have ever heard of the Knight Templars, the holy grail, or even the crusades, then this book is right up your alley.  This work of nonfiction is master piece put together on the history of this great and powerful knights, from their rise to the their fall, and what may or may not have happened to them afterwards.  If history was taught the way this book was put together, kids in high school would be yearning for their history classes.  I can’t rave enough about this book

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]