Sunday, April 26, 2009

Books for Summer

Forgive me, fellow bloggers, I have been somewhat remiss in my own blogging this month. I've had a bit of a writing spurt this spring. Hopefully it'll last through summer. :)

Anyway, in... er... honour of that image of "Pictish" warpaint in my last post, I've prepared a post on Pictish body art, but I don't want to put it up till I'm back at the flat with my books and have some reliable quotations. ;)

But I just had to share the booky goodness I've found whilst looking for historical fiction. Here's a selection of titles coming out over the next couple of months. Looks like there's some good summer reading to be had here!

Claudius by Douglas Jackson is, according to, being released on July 16. Set during the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43, its protagonist is Rufus, keeper of the emperor's elephant. Quite like the look of this one! Jackson has already released one Roman historical novel, titled Caligula.

Warrior Daughter by Janet Paisley is to be released on June 4. The product description has this to say: "Illuminated by the great Celtic fire festivals, Warrior Daughter is inspired by the historical Scathach, a fierce warrior woman of the first century AD and forerunner to the equally ferocious Boudicca." Hmm. I'm not sure I believe that Scáthach was a real person, or that she had any particular link with Boudicca, but I'm looking forward to this one nonetheless. I love mythology-inspired novels, and it's always fun to explore when the characters might have existed. And Scáthach is pretty cool! (Though is it just me, or does that spear on the cover look more like a Roman pilum than anything else?)

Also being released on June 4 is The Silver Eagle by Ben Kane, the second in his Forgotten Legion Chronicles set in the first century BC, detailing the parallel adventures of a brother and sister. I've not read the first one yet, but I think I'll keep an eye out for it. I'm easily tempted by atmospheric covers with Roman soldiers on them. :)

Moving out of this blog's typical sphere of interest is Margaret Elphinstone's The Gathering Night, set, according to this page on her website, in Mesolithic Scotland and will be released on May 21. Regular readers of this blog know that my obsession is for all things Roman and Celtic, but I've got a passing interest in this time period, and since our knowledge of the early hunter-gatherers who inhabited Scotland is so slight, it sounds like the perfect time and place to let the imagination take flight! I expect shell middens will show up. ;)

And, yes! Ruth Downie's third Medicus mystery, Persona Non Grata, is coming out some time in July (July 7 on, and July 16 on, which is remaining pretty tight-lipped about it). I really enjoyed the first two, featuring army doctor/reluctant detective Ruso, and looking forward to getting my hands on the next one (whenever that does happen).

And speaking of Roman whodunnits, I seriously need to get back up to speed with Lindsey Davis' Falco books. I leant my copy of The Silver Pigs to my mum, and she got hooked immediately. And when my mum likes a series, she will just plough through it (she read all of the Aubrey-Maturin books in a month). Now she's further on with the series that I am, and Mum likes to talk about the books she reads. So I need to catch up before she gives away any major spoilers! :)

Well, those are the books. Now I just need the cash to buy 'em with. *cries*


Gabriele C. said...

I think I'll skip Warrior's Daugther, it sounds too much like another feminist icon book with earth-embracing, pseudo Celtic magic thrown in - I could never finish the first of Manda Scott's Boudicca novels for that reason.

I may give that Lost Legion one a try though, albeit a legion did not consist of ten thousand men. ;)

Btw, it looks like I'll indeed come to Scotland in June - got a spare mattress and a blanket for me for one night? :D I'll have to come to Glasgow to catch the West Highland train in the morning.

Doug said...

Hi Kirsten, thanks for name checking Claudius. I hope you get a chance to have a look at it and you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. I wondered if Gabriele was the girl with the German-based Romano-Celtic website? The detail is amazing and the amount of work she's put into it incredible. I've used it to double-check facts a couple of times and it's great.
All the best


Kirsten Campbell said...

Gabriele - I know what you mean. It looks like it has the potential to slide in that direction, but I've got a reasonably high tolerance rate for that, and I'll reserve judgement till I've read it. I don't mind a bit of psuedo-Celtic mysticism in my books, as long as it supports the narrative, rather than bogging it down, which seems to be the problem with Scott's series.

When it comes to the ten thousand men part, we may just have to shout, "LA LA LA Not listening!" :D

Heh. I'll see if Alyson still has that air mattress. :D When are you coming to Glasgow?

Doug - Hello, and welcome. :) I'm looking forward to reading Claudius. I've not "visited" the AD 43 invasion since I read Simon Scarrow's series, so I'm looking forward to returning! :)

Yep, that's Gabriele! I'm sure she'll be pleased to hear that! :D

Gabriele C. said...

I have a Romano-Celtic website? Well, I have a blog with the occasional post about Romans, and I write a novel series featuring Romans, Celts, and Germans, so maybe that counts. :)

Kisrten, that would be Wednesday, June 10. I plan to travel from Falkirk in the morning so I'll have a chance to see the cathedral which I missed last time, and leave on the morning of the 11th. I really won't need much - in fact I'd be glad to not get an English breakfast for a change. :)

You can contact me via email:

K.A. Denby said...

Don't think that Scáthach was a real person either, but i will look for the book. She does appear in a few different Celtic Mythology collections that I have. Thanks for sharing these!