Month: May 2015

Bernard Cornwell – The Sharpe series (any of them)

Most of you will be familiar with these stories, from the T.V. series that leapt Shaun Bean to stardom in the UK, and ultimately led to him becoming noticed by Hollywood.  The Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones will now be what most will associate him with, but for me he’ll always be Richard Sharpe.  After the pilot series of Sharpe’s Rifles (two episodes back in 1993) I was intrigued by the story, and when I found an old battered copy of one of his novels in my grandmother’s bookshelf (My grandfather, before his death, had a great interest in Waterloo) I was led into a fantastic ride through the Napoleonic wars, as Sharpe led his rag-tag company of riflemen through the peninsular of Spain.  It proved a long held theory of mine, that the historical novel will always be superior to the film or TV series as the writer has so much more scope to explain the historical details so important in this genre.  Before long I was an expert on the …

David Gemmell – Legend

Back in 2006 I heard the news the David Gemmel had passed away.  I was greatly saddened by the news, not just because I was an avid reader of all his novels, but also because his novels had come to personify everything that I love about modern fantasy writing.  Fast action, fascinating stories, outlandish worlds full of heroes and magic.  However, what separated David Gemmell from the crowd was the depth of the characters he created.  Not only were the main characters carefully thought out, every support characters life will have been carefully crafted and moulded into a believable character.  If the story required two sentries to be waiting on guard duty, he wouldn’t simply create two generic guards, ready to be bumped off when needed.  He would explain why they had joined the army, what motivated them in life, what their worries were – did they have a family?  Were they looking forward to seeing them that night?  It was this level of character development that made the worlds he created so real, so …