THE FOWLER’S SNARE by @CMTStibbe #AncientEgypt #HistFic #Bookreview @tmsanders2014 @readreviewroom

The Fowler's Snare: A Novel of Ancient EgyptThe Fowler’s Snare: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Claire Stibbe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Fowler’s Snare is book #2 in this ancient Egyptian trilogy. Two sons, attempted to poison their father, King Ibada of Alodia, they escape to Egypt with a small army and plot to take over Thebes.

Pharoah Kheper-Re discovers that Kanjo and his men are more than mere merchants, he suspects they are Princes on the run and decides to test them in a dangerous challenge facing great hardships across the desert. A team lead by his commander Shenq will race Kanja and his selected men.

This period of history revolved very much around the gods, seers, prophets and dreaming with magic and omens believed at every turn. Many a priest or sorcerer lost their life if they didn’t predict the right outcome. In this book everyone’s lives revolve around the predictions.

There is a large cast of characters, twenty five helpfully named at the beginning of the book which is useful as many are hard to pronounce. I did struggle to keep them all separate as, for me, few had distinguishing dialogue which made them stand out.

I do like the book cover artwork and I enjoyed the first half of the book, the descriptions of the ancient world were very enjoyable. However I felt the race across the desert was too long and drawn out and lacking in connection back to the Pharaoh and the original story theme, it didn’t keep my interest in the storyline, instead it introduced yet more characters who diluted the race plot. A few times there was a bit of head hopping leaving me wondering who was talking and sometimes action seemed to jump in time from one paragraph to the next with no real page break in the storyline. It may have been just the formatting of the book I read, or it may need another check with editing.

All in all a good story premise, but a good trim of the number of characters allowing the reader time to form a relationship and empathy with the main ones, a check on the dialogue to make each person really stand out as an individual so that the reader can clearly picture them. And content, for instance, Pharaoh conveniently having Kanja’s army all slaughtered on the night of the race, with no fight, comebacks or survivors, and making sure every person or action takes the story forward at a good pace.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I reviewed this book for ReadersReviewRoom

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Guest Author Sue Vincent

Today our guest is author Sue Vincent. I have read and reviewed a couple of Sue’s book “The Osiriad” http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4lk and “The Initiate” co-written by Stuart France http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-37P  Sue recently offered their book The Heart of Albion for out book Review Challenge.

Sue Vincent

Let’s find out more about Sue and her books.

1) Where is your home town?

I was born in West Yorkshire, in the City of Leeds, so technically I’m a city girl though these days I live in the village of Waddesdon.

2) How long have you been writing?

My mother and grandfather were both writers, so it seemed a natural thing to do. In 2008 I won the David Burland Poetry Prize. It wasn’t until Gary Vasey asked me to collaborate on The Mystical Hexagram (Datura Press) that I began to write seriously.

Meanwhile I had met Stuart France and together we had embarked upon the adventures in the landscape that gave birth to The Initiate. I would say that the rest is history… but we haven’t finished yet and our fourth book together, Doomsday: The Ætheling Thing, is almost complete.

3) In your book The Initiate you follow myths and legends around ancient sites and old churches. What were you following?

It started with the mysterious blue light that seemed to rise like a mist, caught on camera at sites of ancient sanctity. We were led along a trail of severed heads and coincidences; through the archaeology, art and medieval architecture of England. We found ourselves delving into religious iconography, folklore and legend. Perhaps what we were really following was a growing awareness that beneath the surfaces we see every day there are strange and deep mysteries, hidden in plain sight, just waiting to be noticed and seen with the eyes of the heart.

4) The Heart of Albion continues your mystical journey; where does it lead you? Where is Albion?

What had started as a very local adventure soon seemed to encompass the whole of the country; the mysteries that were unfolding are an integral part of our history, our race and the very land itself.

Albion is the oldest name for Britain and comes from an old word for ‘white’, which means ‘sacred’ too. For us, Albion is the deeper Britain, the life of the land and its people, where stream and blood flow together like the red and white springs of Avalon.

5) In Sword of Destiny your story is set in Yorkshire. Who is the ancient keeper of light?

The Keeper of Light is Merlin. He is the son of the Forest Lord and a mortal woman and it is his task to aid the four people who are brought together to champion the Light at a time of change in the world.

The moors are rich in lore and legend; magical creatures, giants and ghouls are everywhere and each rock and river has a story to tell. As we move into a digital age we do not sit by the fire and listen to these tales from Great Granny as we once did. The land sleeps, its dreams quiescent. Sword of Destiny only brushes the surface of folk memory, but I hope it captures something of the magic that brings the land to life.

6) Tell us about the coincidence of birds who find and follow you on your travels.

It all started at Uffington with the buzzards and the skylark who seemed tuned in to our conversation and mood. You would, of course, simply smile and put it down to coincidence. The long walk along the Ridgeway to Wayland’s Smithy was attended by birds. It seemed a little odd, the way they kept leading us onward. Especially after the great snowy owl that had flown up beside us in broad daylight the previous day. But again… just one of those things. Of course, next morning there were nine of them wheeling overhead… and a combined wingspan of some sixty feet is a little hard to ignore…

7) The Giants Dance is set in Derbyshire, what was the ancient stone circle you found?

One of the most important sites for Don and Wen is the little Barbrook stone circle. It is here that Wen begins an encounter with visions of a far distant past. The circle itself is half hidden by the grasses; cysts and further circles await discovery in the heather and to walk that moor open to the past brings it to a rich and vivid life.

8) Wen and Don set off on great adventures of discovery, tell us about the visions Wen sees.

                Wen has always been close to the land and has felt the echoes of the past as shadows brushing the edge of consciousness. She has a strongly sceptical streak and would have called it imagination, until and she and Don visit Wincobank. Then it gets personal.

What she sees there imposes itself upon Wen’s senses and emotions; an overlay of an other reality that shows her the story of a young girl, a seer, who calls her to witness tragedy and heroism through her eyes before taking Wen on a shared journey through a lifetime… and beyond.

9) You’ve also written a book called The Osiriad, tell us about this book.

My fascination with Egypt started early; behind the stories were deep and timeless truths that hold good for us today. Not simply moralistic tales, but abstract concepts that are only now being echoed in the various branches of Quantum Physics and modern spirituality.

But the tales were disconnected and made little sense on their own, so I pieced them together in a linear fashion that makes them understandable and cohesive. But I also wanted to make them easy and enjoyable to read, so the book is written in the first person, and it is Isis who tells the tales from Her own perspective.

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

                I write almost daily for my blog, Daily Echo and the books and new releases also feature on our website http://www.franceandvincent.com. All the books are available on Amazon, as paperback and for Kindle. I can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook and via The Silent Eye website.

Sue's books

Thanks Sue, Good Luck with the new book.

 

 

The Osiriad by Sue Vincent

The Osiriad: Isis and Osiris, the Divine LoversThe Osiriad: Isis and Osiris, the Divine Lovers by Sue Vincent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a delightful book which looks at the role of stories throughout history and their purpose in explaining day and night, the seasons and life and death. By looking at the Egyptian Gods, Sue retells the birth of the Egyptian world through the eyes of the God Isis. The Egyptians are known across the world and the stories of their Gods are echoed in many other religions. In fact Sue adds her own thoughts at the end of this book about the importance of stories and their use in explaining life through pictures and images. She draws together beliefs that we still learn from stories if we can engage with the writing and share the messages. In fact a story can be a many layered article depending on the reader. I really enjoyed my own lessons from the book, it was a delight to read about the Gods in a short easy to read style and then to think about the messages that the Egyptians were giving their people and handing down to future generations to come.
Find a copy of this book here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads