The sixth century was not a peaceful time for the Roman empire. Invaders threatened on all fronties, but they grew to respect and fear the name of Belisarius, the Emperor Justinian’s greatest general. With this book, Robert Graves again demonstrates his command of a vast historical subject, creating a startling and vivid picture of a decadent era.
Bernard Cornwell - Harlequin
It was the time when the English came across the Channel to take the battle to the French. The army was led by the King, the great lords and knights, but it is the achers, the common men were to be England's secret weapon. Thomas Hookton is one of those archers. But he is also on a personal mission - one he frequently forgets in the joy of fighting - to avenge his father's killing by a French raider and to retrieve his family's treasure. But the journey is far more complex and treacherous than he had expected and the enemy who awaits him could harness the power of Christiandom's greatest relic - the Grail itself.
Edmund de Waal - The Hare with Amber Eyes
264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. Later, when Edmund inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined...The Ephrussis came from Odessa, and at one time were the largest grain exporters in the world; in the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi was part of a wealthy new generation settling in Paris. Marcel Proust was briefly his secretary and used Charles as the model for the aesthete Swann in _Remembrance of Things Past._ Charles' passion was collecting; the netsuke, bought when Japanese objects were all the rage in the salons, were sent as a wedding present to his banker cousin in Vienna. Later, three children - including a young Ignace - would play with the netsuke as history reverberated around them. The Anschluss and Second World War swept the Ephrussis to the brink of oblivion. Almost all that remained of their vast empire was the netsuke collection, smuggled out of the huge Viennese palace (then occupied by Hitler's theorist on the 'Jewish Question'), one piece at a time, in the pocket of a loyal maid - and hidden in a straw mattress. In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal travels the world to stand in the great buildings his forebears once inhabited. He traces the network of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. And, in prose as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves, he tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand - and which, in a twist of fate, found its way home to Japan.
Jean Plaidy - The Borgias
For the first time in one volume, Jean Plaidy's duet of Borgia novels brings to life the infamous, reckless and passionate family in an unforgettable saga. Madonna of the Seven Hills Fifteenth-century Rome: the Borgia family is on the rise. Lucrezia's father is named Pope Alexander VI, and he places his daughter and her brothers, Cesare, Giovanni and Goffredo, in the jeweled splendor - and scandal - of his court. From the Pope's affairs with adolescent girls to Cesare's dangerous jealousy of anyone who inspires Lucrezia's affections to the ominous birth of a child concieved in secret, no Borgia can elude infamy. Light on Lucrezia Some said she was an elegant seductress. Others said she was an incestous murderess. She was the most dangerous and sought after woman in all of Rome. Lucrezia Borgia's young life has been colored by violence and betrayal. Now, married for the second time at just eighteen, she hopes for happiness with her handsome husband, Alfonso. But faced with brutal murder, she's soon torn between her love for her husband and her devotion to her brother Cesare... And in the days when the Borgias ruled Italy, no one was safe from the long arm of their power - not even Lucrezia.
Bernard Cornwell - The Last Kingdom
'I had been given a perfect childhood, perfect, at least, to the ideas of a boy. I was raised among men, I was free, I ran wild, was encumbered by no laws, was troubled by no priests and was encouraged to violence.' Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of 9th Century Northumbria, but orphaned at ten, adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the last English kingdom when the Danes have overrun Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. That war, with its massacres, defeats and betrayals, is the background to Uhtred's childhood, a childhood which leaves him uncertain of his loyalties, but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further to the West Saxon cause, but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of a Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea, and there, in the horror of a shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.
Oliver Bowden - Assassin's Creed - Renaissance
'I will seek Vengeance upon those who betrayed my family. I am Ezio Auditore da Firenze. I am an Assassin…' Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, a young man embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family's honour, he will learn the art of the assassins. Along the way, Ezio will call upon the wisdom of such great minds as Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli – knowing that survival is bound to the skills by which he must live. To his allies, he will become a force for change - fighting for freedom and justice. To his enemies, he will become a threat dedicated to the destruction of the tyrants abusing the people of Italy. So begins an epic story of power, revenge and conspiracy. TRUTH WILL BE WRITTEN IN BLOOD
Bernard Cornwell - Heretic
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the number one bestseller Vagabond, this is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In 1347 the English capture Calais and the war with France is suspended by a truce. But for Thomas of Hookton, the hero of Harlequin and Vagabond, there is no end to the fighting. He is pursuing the grail, the most sacred of Christendom's relics, and is sent to his ancestral homeland, Gascony, to engineer a confrontation with his deadliest enemy, Guy Vexille. Once in the south country Thomas becomes a raider, leading his archers in savage forays that will draw his enemy to his arrows. But then his fortunes change. Thomas becomes the hunted as his campaign is destroyed by the church. With only one companion, a girl condemned to burn as a heretic, Thomas goes to the valley of Astarac where he believes the grail was once hidden and might still be concealed, and there he plays a deadly game of hide and seek with an overwhelming enemy. Then, just as Thomas succeeds in meeting his enemy face to face, fate intervenes as the deadliest plague in the history of mankind erupts into Europe. What had been a landscape of castles, monasteries, vineyards and villages, becomes death's kingdom and the need for the grail, as a sign of God's favour, is more urgent than ever.
Bernard Cornwell - Vagabond
In the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Archer's Tale in Bernard Cornwell's acclaimed Grail Quest series, a young archer sets out to avenge his family's honor on the battlefields of the Hundred Years' War and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail. 1347 is a year of war and unrest. England's army is fighting in France, and the Scots are invading from the North. Thomas of Hookton, sent back to England to follow an ancient trail to the Holy Grail, becomes embroiled in the fighting at Durham. Here he meets a new and sinister enemy, a Dominican Inquisitor, who, like all of Europe, is searching for Christendom's most holy relic. It is not certain the grail even exists, but no one wants to let it fall into someone else's hands. And though Thomas may have an advantage in the search -- an old notebook left to him by his father seems to offer clues to the whereabouts of the relic -- his rivals, inspired by a fanatical religious fervor, have their own ways: the torture chamber of the Inquisition. Barely alive, Thomas is able to escape their clutches, but fate will not let him rest. He is thrust into one of the bloodiest fights of the Hundred Years' War, the Battle of La Roche-Derrien, and amid the flames, arrows, and butchery of that night, he faces his enemies once again.
Conn Iggulden - The Gates of Rome
The ultimate Rome story From the spectacle of gladiatorial combat to the intrigue of the Senate, from the foreign wars that secure the power of the empire to the betrayals that threaten to tear it apart, this is the remarkable story of the man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar. In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict – and Julius Caesar, cutting his teeth in battle, will be in the thick of the action. The first instalment in the bestselling Emperor series.
Robert Graves - Claudius the God
In the sequel to _I, Claudius_ a republican Roman Emperor writes the inside story of his reign. Men classed Claudius as a pitiful fool. But the reign he describes is far from folly. Reluctantly launched into the purple, he emerges as a man who erred on the side of good nature and credulity. It is the common people and the common soldiers who sustain him in his efforts to repair the damage of Caligula's reign, in his relations with the Jewish king, Herod Agrippa, his conquest of Britain, and his final reckoning with his promiscuous wife, Messalina. In one of the finest historical reconstructions of the century Robert Graves has created a character to compare with Dostoyevsky's Prince Myshkin.
Jeanette Winterson - Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, _Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit_, was published. It tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. The girl is supposed to grow up and be a missionary. Instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster. Written when Jeanette was only twenty-five, her novel went on to win the Whitbread First Novel award, become an international bestseller and inspire an award-winning BBC television adaptation. Oranges was semi-autobiographical. Mrs Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over that novel and its author's life. When Jeanette finally left her home, at sixteen, because she was in love with a woman, Mrs Winterson asked her: _why be happy when you could be normal_? This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a tyrant in place of a mother, who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in an northern industrial town now changed beyond recognition, part of a community now vanished; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life-raft which supports us when we are sinking. Funny, acute, fierce and celebratory, this is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother.
Bernard Cornwell - Sharpe's Siege
A classic Sharpe adventure: Richard Sharpe and the Winter Campaign, 1814. The invasion of France is under way, and the British Navy has called upon the services of Major Richard Sharpe. He and a small force of Riflemen are to capture a fortress and secure a landing on the French coast. It is to be one of the most dangerous missions of his career. Through the incompetence of a recklessly ambitious naval commander and the machinations of his old enemy, French spymaster Pierre Ducos, Sharpe finds himself abandoned in the heart of enemy territory, facing overwhelming forces and the very real prospect of defeat. He has no alternative but to trust his fortunes to an American privateer -- a man who has no love for the British invaders.
James Herriot - Every Living Thing
Celebrate the return of the most beloved storyteller of our time! The waiting is finally over. For the first time in over a decade, the world's favorite veterinarian, James Herriot, returns us in a twinkle to the rural green enclave of England called Yorkshire for more irresistible tales of animals and people. At long last, another treat from Herriot! In stories of wonders great and small, James reintroduces many old friends like Mrs. Pumphrey, his partner Siegfried Farnon, and of course, his wife Helen. But there are wonderful new faces too, especially his children Rosie and Jimmy, and his latest assistant, Calum Buchanan. Herriot works his magic again! Offering readers an even more intimate view of the life and dreams of a country vet than any of his previous volumes, James Herriot's Every Living Thing is a book that will warm your heart, make you laugh out loud, and feel so good you'll never want it to end. Herriot really does love Every Living Thing...and so will you!
Oliver Bowden - Assassin's Creed - Black Flag
The Golden Age of Piracy – a time when greed, ambition and corruption overcomes all loyalties – and a brash young captain, Edward Kenway, is making his name known for being one of the greatest pirates of his time. In the brilliant new novel, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, discover the story of how Edward, a young privateer, became one of the world's most deadly pirates and was drawn into the centuries-old battle between the Templars and the Assassins.
Daniel Defoe - Moll Flanders (angol)
Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour - and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist.
Bernard Cornwell - Sharpe's Triumph
Meet Richard Sharpe, a great British hero. India, 1803. Sergeant Richard Sharpe is hunting a treacherous Englishman who has joined the Mahratta Confederation. Deep in enemy territory he faces temptations more subtle than he could ever dream, and stalking him comes his worst enemy, Sergeant Obediah Hakeswill. The paths of treachery all lead to the small village of Assaye where Sir Arthur Wellesley's tiny British army faces the Mahratta horde. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wellesley decides to fight, and Sharpe is plunged into the white heat of a battle that will make his reputation, if he can only survive.
Bernard Cornwell - Sharpe's Waterloo
June 1815: The Duke of Wellington, the Prince of Orange, and Napoleon will meet on the battlefield...and decide the fate of Europe With the emperor Napoleon at its head, and enormous French army is marching toward Brussels. The British and their allies are also converging on Brussels - in preparation for a grand society ball. And it is up to Richard Sharpe to convince the Prince of Orange, the inexperienced commander of Wellington's Dutch troops, to act before it is too late. But Sharpe's warning cannot stop the tide of battle, and the British suffer heavy losses on the road to Waterloo. Wellington has few reserves of men and ammunition; the Prussian army has not arrived, and the French advance wields tremendous firepower and determinaiton. Victory seems impossible...
Bernard Cornwell - The Pagan Lord
The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot hold. The Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs. Uhtred, once Alfred's great warrior but now out of favour with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg. Loyalties will be divided and men will fall, as every Saxon kingdom is drawn into the bloodiest battle yet with the Danes; a war which will decide the fate of every king, and the entire English nation.
Bernard Cornwell - War of the Wolf
At the fortress of the eagles, three kings will fight … Uhtred of Bebbanburg has won back his ancestral home but, threatened from all sides by enemies both old and new, he doesn’t have long to enjoy the victory. In Mercia, rebellion is in the air as King Edward tries to seize control. In Wessex, rival parties scramble to settle on the identity of the next king. And across the country invading Norsemen continue their relentless incursion, ever hungry for land. Uhtred – a legendary warrior, admired and sought as an ally, feared as an adversary – finds himself once again torn between his two heritages: fighting on what he considers the wrong side, cursed by misfortune and tragedy and facing one of his most formidable enemies. Only the most astute cunning, the greatest loyalty and the most spectacular courage can save him. For decades, Uhtred has stood at the intersection between Pagan and Christian, between Saxon and Viking, between the old world he was born into and the new world being forged around him. But as the winds of change gather pace, the pressure on Uhtred as father, as politician and as warrior grows as never before.
Bernard Cornwell - Sharpe's Honor
An unfinished duel, a midnight murder, and the treachery of a beautiful prostitute lead to the imprisonment of Sharpe. Caught in a web of political intrigue for which his military experience has left him fatally unprepared, Sharpe becomes a fugitive - a man hunted by both ally and enemy alike.