The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling - from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman's own award-bedecked, best-selling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.
On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. Although Quick takes Odelle into her confidence and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.
"Left me emotionally confused... But I loved it!"
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.
"I'm still waiting for something to happen....."
World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham's middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret.
"Narration not good"
Team Yankee, the New York Times best-seller by Harold Coyle, presents a glimpse of what it would have been like for the soldiers who would have had to meet the relentless onslaught of Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions. Using the geo-political and military scenarios described by General Sir John Hackett, former NORTHAG commander and author of World War Three; August 1985, Team Yankee follows the war as seen from the turret of Captain Sean Bannon's tank.
Warlords battle across Britain to become the first king of the English. After a stunning victory against the native Waelisc, Beobrand returns a hero. His valour is rewarded with wealth and land by Oswald, king of Northumbria. He retires to his new estate with his bride only to find himself surrounded by enemies old and new. With treachery and death on all sides, Beobrand fears he will lose all he holds dear. On a quest for revenge and redemption, he accepts the mantle of lord, leading his men into the darkest of nights and the bloodiest of battles.
Recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called Endo's supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century's finest novels". Considered controversial ever since its first publication, it tackles the thorniest religious issues of belief and faith head on. A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.
"How a man comes face to face with God"
Beobrand is compelled by his brother's almost-certain murder to embark on a quest for revenge in the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria. The land is rife with danger, as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion. In the battles for control of the region, new oaths are made and broken, and loyalties are tested to the limits. With no patronage and no experience, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight with sword and shield. Relentless in pursuit of his enemies, he faces challenges which transform him from a boy to a man.
"Bloody & Brilliant"
Marvellously atmospheric tale of strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast. Each of them has been named in a will, but nobody knows their benefactress.... Four very different people are named in a will. Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist who cannot face what his skills have created; Marjorie, desperately poor and unable to dislodge her writer's block; and Lucius, ostensibly in control but whose personal life is in chaos.
Oswald is now King of Northumbria. However, his plans for further alliances and conquests are quickly thrown into disarray when his wedding to a princess of Wessex is interrupted by news of a Pictish uprising. Rushing north, Oswald leaves Beobrand to escort the young queen to her new home. Their path is fraught with danger and uncertainty, Beobrand must try to unravel secrets and lies if they are to survive. Meanwhile, old enemies are closing in, seeking brutal revenge.
"A tale about the real Kings and Lords in the North"
When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence. Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as 'paper groom' to the youngest of the King's mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise.
"Two thirds dazzling one third excellent"
Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.
"Winds of War"
Set at the turn of the century, this is one of Catherine Cookson's most unusual novels, powerfully portraying a woman dangerously driven by desire and ambition.
"has the appeal of a Cookson novel but slow to star"
Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes.
"Third time of listening, just gets better!"
East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything.
"A good listen"
Napoleon, escaped from Elba, pursues his enemies across Europe like a vengeful phoenix. If he can corner the British and Prussians before their Russian and Austrian allies arrive, his genius will lead the French armies to triumph at Waterloo. In the Balkans, preparing a thrust northwards into Central Europe to block the Russians and Austrians, a horde of Muslim mercenaries is gathering.
"Best narration ever !!"
The year is 1703, and Matthew Corbett, professional "problem solver", is missing. Last seen by his friends in New York before he departed on a lucrative, seemingly straightforward mission for the Herrald Agency in Charles Town, he's been too long absent. His comrade-in-arms Hudson Greathouse has an increasing sense the young friend he thinks of as a son must have met with some unexpected peril.
"McCAMMON DOES IT AGAIN"
Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.
The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying - and trying very hard - to get his attention.
"Can't wait for more"
Some women are destined to arouse in men either fierce hatred or insatiable desire. Such a woman was Katie Mulholland. At 15, a scullery maid in the house of the Rosires, she had been raped by the master. Now, many years later, she had enough money to maintain three carriages if she wanted to and she was on her way to see Bernard Rosier under very different circumstances.
"A PAGE TURNER I COULDN'T PUT DOWN!"
With the exception of the terrible retreat from Afghanistan, none of England's many little wars have been so fatal in proportion to the number of those engaged as our first expedition to Burma. The Burman policy of carrying off every boat on the river, laying waste the whole country, and driving away the inhabitants and the herds, maintained our army as prisoners in Rangoon through the first wet season; and caused the loss of half the white officers and men first sent there.
During the reign of King Alfred, Danish forces have invaded the English countryside. Although the English try to repulse these attacks, they are overrun by the savagery and sheer numbers of the Danes. One of those deeply touched by these attacks is young Edmund. As a boy, he watched as his father was slain in battle fighting the Danes. Although young, he was intelligent, and noted the mistakes made on the battlefield.
Ammon-shur thought that saving the girl and escaping deadly peril in Uruk meant that he would live a safe and happy life in his new home in Ur. With his business prospering, a new daughter just born and everything looking up he is deliriously happy, but he did not reckon with the spread of a deadly new religion that accompanied a massive expansion of the slave trade. Life and liberty become precious commodities as people across Sumeria and beyond are targeted by roving bands of slavers.
The Eagle and the Wolves is the gripping fourth novel in Simon Scarrow's best-selling Eagles of the Empire series. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell. It's AD 44, and Vespasian and the Second Legion are forging ahead in their campaign to seize the southwest of Britain. Macro and newly appointed centurion Cato are ordered to provide Verica, ruler of the Atrebatans, with an army.
In 1350 the people of Cambridge are struggling to overcome the effects of the Black Death - and with a high mortality rate among priests and monks, the townsfolk are vulnerable to sinister cults that have sprung up. At Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew is training new physicians when the body of a friar is found in the massive chest that the university uses to store precious documents. While investigating, Bartholomew stumbles across a derelict church being used as a meeting place for the mysterious sect he believes is at the heart of a web of blackmail.
The date is 15 AD. The German chieftain Arminius has been defeated, one of the lost Roman eagles recovered and thousands of German tribesmen slain. Yet these successes aren't nearly enough for senior centurion Lucius Tullus. Not until Arminius is dead, his old legion's eagle found and the enemy tribes completely vanquished will he rest. But Arminius - devious, fearless - is burning for revenge of his own.
The year is 1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this. Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory.
In a triumphant return to his much-loved Courtney series, Wilbur Smith introduces us to the bravest new member of the famed family, Saffron Courtney. Saffron grows up on a sprawling Kenyan estate, under the watchful eye of her father, prominent businessman and distinguished war veteran Leon Courtney. Her childhood is idyllic until a family tragedy forces her to grow up much faster than necessary. As she grows into a spirited teenager, her thirst for knowledge and adventure leads her to England.
The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy's population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate - her father is dead, her mother has disappeared, and her brother is being drawn toward danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father's name.
For decades Christina Olson's whole world has been a rocky, windswept point on the coast of Maine, the farmhouse her ancestors fled to from the Salem witch trials. A world she fears she will never leave. As a girl, farm life asked more of Christina than it did her family, her wasting limbs turning every task into a challenge. But the very tenacity that strengthened her may dash her chances for a life beyond her chores and extinguish her hopes for love.
It is 1894 in the remote settlement of Bulawayo, in what later became Southern Rhodesia. Recent immigrants from Ireland, Morris and David Langbourne throw body and soul into rebuilding their previously devastated business. Between Morris' brilliant business acumen and David's almost limitless energy, their future looks very promising as they take massive financial and logistical risks and look forward to a booming business in the backwoods of beyond.
I came in from the porch where I'd been sitting with my usual morning company, our dog, a collection of cats and chickens. Dee, my emerald-eyed cowgirl, had just made a fresh pot and handed me a fresh cup - hot and black like we both liked it - with her always pleasant smile.
The strange and terrifying men rode into the quiet town of Willington. Their war cries pierced the night sky and woke just about every sleeping person in town. A few of the townspeople managed to get some of their guns, and the battle for Willington had begun.
Darkness had completely surrounded me by the time I pulled my body onto the top of that ridge. A cold rain began to fall. I brought myself up onto my right knee. It was empty. There was no wagon. There was no Sarah. With both of my fists clinched tight, I let out a hurling cry that silenced every sound of the night. Even the rain stopped, briefly. I cried right then. Like a baby starving for his mother's bosom, I cried.
Someone saves your life. How far will you go to repay the debt? Summer, 1942, Nazi-occupied France. A nervous young man sits on a train; his simple mission: to deliver a message on behalf of the resistance. German guards ask for his papers and his nerves give way. An older woman, sitting opposite, intervenes and rescues him from the clutches of the Gestapo.
In Nazi-occupied Holland, 17-year-old Noa snatches a baby from a train bound for the concentration camps, fleeing with him into the snowy wilderness surrounding the train tracks. Passing through the woods is a German circus - a troupe of waifs and strays, led by the infamous Herr Neuroff. They agree to take in Noa and the baby, on one condition: to earn her keep, Noa must master the flying trapeze - under the tutorage of mysterious aerialist Astrid. Soaring high above the crowds, Noa and Astrid must learn to trust one another...or plummet.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin - unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation. Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can't. She's a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, a rich train passenger - all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she's been assigned to nab.
After Peter Körber is stabbed to death in Berlin, his son, Andreas, leaves Denmark, where he was raised by his mother and stepfather, and travels to that once-divided city to uncover the brutal truth. In his search to know this complete stranger, Andreas hopes to come to grips with his own identity crisis, stalled academic career, and failed relationship. But what kind of man was his father? A complicated portrait begins to emerge concerning Peter's role in the German Democratic Republic before reunification.
The First Ever Collection of New Lone Ranger Prose Stories! The masked ex-Texas Ranger and his Native American companion Tonto fight injustice in the Wild West! Stories include meetings with The Cisco Kid, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday, as well as the origin of Tonto and the origin of Silver! Edited by Matthew Baugh and Tim Lasiuta.
Told by the stranger Ferryman, the tales follow the fortunes of a family destined to live through that most terrible of times, the rise of one civilization and the fall of another. Before Rome became an empire, Caesar looked north, to the Gauls, eying their lands and wealth hungrily. This book begins with the escape of the slave, Gallin, from the destruction of Spartacus and his journey home to his ancestral lands. But it is long before he finds his place within his tribe again.
The Stranger from the Sea is the eighth novel in Winston Graham's sweeping series of Cornwall, Poldark. Cornwall, 1810. The Poldark family awaits the return of Ross from his mission to Wellington's army in Portugal. But their ordered existence ends with Jeremy Poldark's dramatic rescue of the stranger from the sea. Stephen Carrington's arrival in the Poldark household changes all their lives.
"Fantastic as usual"
London 1893: When Cora Seaborne and her son Francis reach Essex, rumours spread from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced that it may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail she meets William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar.
"Give me the book!"
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighbourhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
"Great story, woeful narration"
In February 1941 British Command surrendered to the Nazis. Churchill has been executed, the King is in the Tower and the SS are in Whitehall.... For nine months Britain has been occupied - a blitzed, depressed and dingy country. However, it's business as usual at Scotland Yard, run by the SS, when Detective Inspector Archer is assigned to a routine murder case. Life must go on.
"Interesting but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed"
Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.
"What a wonderful book."
It is1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him.
Julian Fellowes's Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's now legendary ball, one family's life will change forever.
"Reminiscent of Georgette Heyer"
The first book in a brand-new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at 10, he is captured and 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 only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault. The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up.
"Fate is unstoppable"
What if you could go back in time and change the course of history?11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless.... King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill who becomes the love of Jake's life.
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice.
"A comic book in wolf's clothing"
Lent, 1469. The recent wars between the House of York and the House of Lancaster seem over. The Yorkist King Edward sits on his throne in Westminster while the Lancastrian claimants are in exile or under lock and key in the Tower. But within the family of York, there is discord. The Earl of Warwick conspires against his king, and while to one another's faces they are all smiles, their household men speak in lies and whispers. No man comes to court unarmed.
"FANTASTIC STORY LINE HOPE TO READ MORE IN THE NEAR"
New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon enchanted scores of fans with Outlander, her electrifying historical saga set in 18th-century Scotland. Now this sequel sweeps listeners back into the past as Claire relates more of her perilous sojourn there with her Scottish warrior husband, James Fraser. Twenty years after her strange journey back in time, Claire has returned to Scotland with her daughter, determined to share with her the secret she has harbored since her time travel.
"Can't put it down"
Handsome Frank Rossi took Matty Gilbie away from her working class roots in East London, promising her fame and fortune. As his wife, she would be half of a power couple. But the Wall Street Crash puts paid to all that, and as Frank becomes more violent, Matty flees in the dead of night. Once home in Bermondsey, she goes into hiding, but Frank is on the move, determined to find her and get her back.
Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.
Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, narrated by Dominic Hoffman.
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery, one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow.
"One of the best book I have ever read"
The brand-new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. BBC2's major TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two novels in the series. From the day it was stolen from me, I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island; it was massive, it could be approached only on land by a single narrow track - and it was mine.
"Another brilliant story"