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....."
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.
"Best Audiobook I have read to date,"
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.
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.
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"
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"
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.
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!"
As the Second World War rages, the Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma, and the British rulers prepare to flee. But the human legacy of the British Empire will be left behind in the shape of 62 Anglo-Burmese children, born to local women after affairs with foreign men. Half castes, they are not acknowledged by either side, and they are to be abandoned with no one to protect them.
"Great easy to listen story."
In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.
"Ambitious and entertaining"
Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the admiralty by his erratic voting as a member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates.
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"
Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America - where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain - the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences.
"A fitting end ... Ish"
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 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"
Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried's portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book's hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.
"What is a true war story?"
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!"
. Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery. The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York.
Rajputana, India, 1930. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British government sends her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself. But when Eliza arrives at the palace, she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding younger brother. Brought together by their desire to improve conditions for local people, Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise.
London, the 1720s. Welcome to Romeville, the underworld of that great city. The financial crash caused by the South Sea Bubble sees the rise of Jonathan Wild, self-styled Thief-taker General who purports to keep the peace while brutally controlling organised crime. Only two people truly defy him: Jack Sheppard, apprentice turned house-breaker, and his lover, the notorious whore and pickpocket Edgworth Bess.
Joe Hansom knew what his purpose in life was, and he was good at it. Others speculated that if Hansom was on your trail, he'd hand some death out to you. Over the years that had been shortened up, and Joe was now known over a large distance as the hands of death.
Ben Redding has been sent ahead of the herd traveling up the Chisholm Trail through Indian Territory. The herd needs water in the worst way, and a drought has dried up most of the creeks and turned rivers into streaks of mud. When Ben finds a clear, cold pool of water on the prairie, he thinks he's found an oasis, until he discovers what lives in the water, and what her price is for a drink. Can he return to the herd in time to warn them? Will thirsty cowboys even believe what he saw?
Zachary Taylor is fed up with his routine life as a town marshal and the mundane tasks of running a small ranch and settling down with his family. All this is soon to change as he finds himself embroiled in the most dangerous case of his career. Following a trail of bodies and stolen stock, he finds himself getting far more than he bargained for. Within days the menace draws a noose of terror about his life and threatens the lives of his family, a local rancher, and a beautiful saloon girl desperate for his help.
A tough young cowboy, a beautiful palomino horse, a few pretty girls...and lots of horse thieves. Young Billy Howard watched his parents being murdered, watched his dad's horses being stolen, and rode from Texas to Montana to Arizona in search of the killers. He finds romance along the way, and for him love is as elusive as horse thieves. But he never gives up on either.
A young man, who is predestined to be the catalyst of war, is torn between his heart and the church: one he knows to be his true love and the other a farce. Born of nobility in France in the year 1066, the fate of seven-year-old Tristan de Saint-Germain is thrown to the winds upon the execution of his father for treason against William the Conqueror of Normandy. Then, abandoned by his mother who remarries and departs for England, Tristan and his four-year-old brother find themselves thrown into the monastic world of the Benedictine Black Monks of Cluny, France.
Buck Hawkins and Dobie Garrett are a pair of cowboys in the Texas Panhandle. They're unlikely outlaws - until their ranch is stolen and the two cowhands framed for rustling and horse theft by a crooked banker. Now with a price on their heads and hunted by the law, the two cowboys decide that if they have to ride the outlaw trail, they might as well be the best holdup artists in Texas. Problem is, they aren't all that good at the trade.
Suspenseful, seductive and as sharp as an assassin's blade - a historical thriller with a swashbuckling twist and a hero like you've never seen him before. When he's caught out by one ill-advised seduction too many, young William Shakespeare flees Stratford to seek his fortune. Cast adrift in London, Will falls in with a band of players - but greater men have their eye on this talented young wordsmith. England's very survival hangs in the balance, and Will finds himself dispatched to Venice on a crucial embassy.
Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the personification of Rome's imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war hero with a decorated military career, he hides a secret. After his nerve is broken in Germany, the thought of genuine armed combat is enough to send him into a cold sweat of fear and shame.
More than her fiery hair marks Freydís as the daughter of Erik the Red; her hot temper and fierce pride are as formidable as her Viking father's. And so, too, is her devotion to the great god Thor, which puts her at odds with those in power - including her own brother, the zealous Leif Eriksson. Determined to forge her own path, she defies her family's fury and clings to her dream of sailing away to live on her own terms, with or without the support of her husband.
For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous - and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan's budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park.
When World War II breaks out, Edith and Oskar Eberhardt move their family - their daughter, Marina; son-in-law, Franz; and granddaughters - out of Berlin and into a small house in the quiet town of Blumental, near Switzerland. A member of Hitler's cabinet, Oskar is gone most of the time, and Franz begins fighting in the war, so the women of the house are left to their quiet lives in the picturesque village. But life in Blumental isn't as idyllic as it appears.
When the Red Scare ends, paranoia lingers. Can Tinseltown recover to take on television? After an exile from MGM, ousted screenwriter Marcus Adler is looking for his way back into the biz. When he hatches a plan to start over with a disgraced movie star, a Hollywood censor reminds Marcus that the misdeeds of the past aren't soon forgotten.
As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead "carry on singing." Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir," the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.
Carrie and Robert's dream comes true, but is Carrie strong enough to survive what comes next? Abby makes the choice to go to Kansas to fight for Woman Suffrage, and almost pays the ultimate price. Violence and hatred run rampant through the country as America tries to come to grips with 2,000,000 freed slaves. So many of the characters you have come to know and love face both challenges and joys in this turbulent time in history.
Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the "time-travel professor", and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties.
A fisherman makes a find in a pond that tears a small town apart. As the mystery unfolds more people become involved and the conflict grows. A trout pond, like a small town, has big fish eating small fish. All kinds of creatures live in and around a pond, and it's the same in a small town, the bigger they are, the better the catch, or the harder they fall! The Trout Pond tells about people who change.
The American Civil War creates enemies of lifelong friends and allies of strangers, but no relationship is more unlikely than that of a passionate Northern Unionist and a loyal Virginia sympathizer. Actress and Northerner Jordan Colfax is hired to spy on behalf of the Union. When she meets Confederate sympathizer Laura St. Clair, whose father is military aide to Jefferson Davis, the perfect opportunity presents itself. But when the truth about Jordan's real intentions is discovered, their love is put to the ultimate test.
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!"
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"
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"
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes' spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes' story begins to emerge and with it the family's terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.
"Agnes - understanding the human being"
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."
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"
February 1460. In the bitter dawn of a winter's morning, a young man and a woman escape from a priory. In fear for their lives, they are forced to flee across a land ravaged by conflict. For this is the Wars of the Roses, one of the most savage and bloody civil wars in history. Where brother confronts brother, king faces king, and Thomas and Katherine must fight just to stay alive....
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"
Set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses, this is the second novel in an epic historical fiction series. If you liked Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, you will love Toby Clements' Kingmaker novels. October 1463. England is a divided nation. In the north the Lancastrian king struggles to hold power while in the south the princes of the house of York prepare for war.
"Cracking Good Read"
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.
The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan. Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war.
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"
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.
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"
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"
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"
A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the burden of knowing that war cannot be avoided.
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"