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Personal Conflict

The Trials of Arthur by Arthur Pendragon & CJ Stone

Now this is an interesting one that I recently received for review. The Trials of Arthur was originally published back in 2003, but has now been extensively re-written and updated (eBook version is out now, the revised paperback version is due later in 2012). It is actually not strictly a novel, but I’ve moved the goalposts slightly in order to review it since it reads so well and is also rather fascinating to boot!

It tells the story of a latter day King Arthur and his band of supporters — bikers, Druids, environmental campaigners — from all walks of life. The reason that it is not a novel is that it features, and is co-written by, the great man himself (it really is him, it says so on his passport) so it is actually a true story — a slightly odd, but true, story! I was as cynical on first picking it up as you no doubt are as you read this, but I was soon drawn in and found it was striking a number of chords with me. But even if you read it and somehow don’t find yourself delighting at the wonderful eccentricity that we Brits excel at, you certainly won’t be able to argue that the story is anything other than unique.

Read on for a full review…

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Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya Samson

Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya SamsonIndependent and Self-Publishing are possibly the hottest and most contentious topics in the literary world today. Although I am wholeheartedly behind this trend, as a reader and reviewer, it is unfortunately the case that I do see far too many books of a standard that vindicates the argument of mainstream publishers that their old style gate-keeping is the last bastion of quality.

Thankfully, I also come across novels such as Vidya Samson’s Indian Maidens Bust Loose, which are as well written and edited as anything I read from larger publishers but may simply not meet their commercial requirements, or perhaps even the author’s own plans for their work.

I do have to point out before you read the review, that at the time of writing  Indian Maidens Bust Loose is only available in eBook format, so apologies to those without access to eReaders.

Read on for a full review…

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Hemispheres by Stephen Baker

Hemispheres by Stephen BakerDo you ever get that glorious feeling of connecting with a book — like it was personally written just for you? Stephen Baker’s excellent first novel Hemispheres hit me just like that. Even from the moment I first saw the cover, as a keen bird watcher myself, I just had a feeling it was going to be right up my street.

But whilst there is a strong birding theme which runs throughout the book, and without doubt it will delight the bird watching fraternity, there is so much more to it than that. It really is a cauldron of human relationships and experience, which the author has cleverly woven into a highly exciting and beautifully intricate storyline.

Read on for a full review…

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The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts by Gary William Murning

The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts by Gary MurningI actually read an earlier draft of Gary William Murning’s latest novel The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts last year (earning myself a kind mention in the acknowledgements into the bargain, cheers Gary!) and have been looking forward to getting my hands on the final published version ever since.

This marks another departure from the tone and subject matter of his previous novels, and perhaps straddles the boundary between Literary Fiction and Horror (but more on that matter below). It is certainly one more piece of evidence which demonstrates this writer’s breadth and adaptability.

Read on for a full review…

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