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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !!"
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.
"This series just gets better and better"
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"
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!"
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"
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"
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.
2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life. 1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes.
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."
October 1772, Portsmouth. Sixteen-year-old Richard Bolitho waits to join the Gorgon, ordered to sail to the west coast of Africa and to destroy those who challenge the King's Navy. For Bolitho, and for many of the crew, it is a severe and testing initiation into the game of seamanship.
"missing band of brothers"
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!"
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?"
London, 1870: The body of a Hungarian immigrant is found dead in what appears to be a ritualistic killing, with a bayonet through his heart, his fingers broken and his body surrounded by 17 blood-dipped candles. At first Commander William Monk of the Thames River Police suspects the killer is from within the community, but when another murder takes place, Monk fears the immigrants are being targeted by an outsider.... Meanwhile, Hester is reunited with a doctor who had been left for dead on a Crimean battlefield.
Sometimes a family's deepest silences hide the most important secrets. Carmela disappeared from her Italian hometown long ago and is mentioned only in fragments and whispers. Mina has resisted prying, respectful of her family's Sardinian reserve. But now, with her mother battling cancer, it's time to learn the truth. In 1952, Simius is a busy Sardinian town surrounded by fertile farms and orchards. Carmela Chirigoni, a farmer's daughter and talented seamstress, is engaged to Franco.
What's a young man going to do when a war ends? One young soldier returning from the Civil War finds himself thrown into a world of danger, corruption and crime as he struggles to reinvent himself. When his neighbors' farm is burned to the ground and all are killed - he finds his new destiny as a bounty hunter.
Tragedy strikes the New York-based Cardinal family when their car is involved in a terrible accident. Twelve-year-old Lou and seven-year-old Oz survive, but the crash leaves their father dead and their mother in a coma. It would seem their world has been shattered forever until their great-grandmother, Louisa Mae, agrees to raise the children on her Virginia mountain farm. But before long their rural idyll is threatened by the discovery of natural gas on the mountain.
When a man loses everything, there is nothing left but revenge! And that revenge is sometimes bittersweet.
Betty Jane Welch reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest to make her mother happy and, surprisingly, finds herself to be the judges' choice. Just like that, she's catapulted into the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. Her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing, mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when she unexpectedly wins the crown, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff.
India, 1986: Mukta, a 10-year-old village girl from the lower-caste Yellama cult, has come of age and must fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute, as her mother and grandmother did before her. In an attempt to escape her fate, Mukta is sent to be a house girl for an upper-middle class family in Mumbai. There she discovers a friend in the daughter of the family, high-spirited eight-year-old Tara, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past.
Nineteen-year-old Evelyn has rarely strayed from her family's isolated estate - save for the occasional trip to Edinburgh, where her father, a respected magistrate, conducts his business. But when Evelyn's innocent friendship with a servant is misinterpreted by her father as an illicit union, Evelyn is whisked away to accompany her father on a trip to North America.
For a moment Wilson froze and looked at the white-helmeted pilot who sat high on the nose of the colossal fighter. Across the small void, he saw the pilot's eyes peer over his mask. Dark, chilling eyes. Wilson kicked right rudder to slide closer and jam any chance for a bandit gunshot. When the bandit pulled all the way over, almost on its back but in control, he cursed in frustration at what he knew was coming next.
The Hero of Hometon is the light-hearted story of a young man who completes the 300-year-old quest of a knight, for the benefit of a small town's inhabitants.
A young man desperate for work and independence finds himself employed in a rural nursing home. When young Jason gets too close to a resident (a self-proclaimed KGB spy who is under the watchful eye of an agent known only as Chandler) he finds his only way out is in.
Texas never had a law against being stupid. Young Trace LaFon counted that a good thing or he'd never have lived long enough to become a Texas Ranger or partnered up with Xavier Falcon. But the two become a part of history the very first time the Rangers were ever used as an arm of law enforcement in the Lone Star state.
All he wants is a job as a ranch foreman. He'd tried in Montana, but ended up in a gunfight with a pair of ugly-looking brothers over a horse. Leaving one dead and the other swearing revenge, Norm figures it'd be wise to make himself scarce. He heads south, to Nebraska. Instead of work, though, he finds something he never expected--a partner. Edith is a beautiful young woman with a sordid past of her own.
Still recovering from his previous assignment in Arabia, imperial agent Cassius Corbulo has been spending most of his time and money on women and wine. Unfortunately for him, word of his achievements has reached Emperor Aurelian's deputy, and he is sent north, tasked with smashing a counterfeiting gang.
Heart of the West is a collection of 19 short stories that take place in the Southwestern United States, penned by legendary author O. Henry. With his customary wit, the author paints a beautiful - and amusing - picture of the Old West. His stories all end with a twist, often to comedic ends, sometimes with tragedy. O. Henry brings the Old West alive in these stories as only he could.
Torrent and his new love interest Margaret Wilson head for Arizona to help Buck and Campy save their hotel from a bad gang of cowboys. Little do they know that Gray Wolf is now with their old friends but behind bars after being wrongly accused of horse theft. The action is fast, and the plot thickens as an old prospector divulges a secret that weighs heavily on our hero. You won't be able to stop listening to this new Western classic.
It is late summer AD 44, and the battle-weary Roman legions are in their second year of campaigning against the British tribes. The troops' commander, General Plautius, is under pressure from the emperor to crush the natives once and for all. Centurions Macro and Cato are with the crack Second Legion under the precarious leadership of Centurion Maximus, and it's their task to hold a ford across the river Tamesis when the natives are forced into a trap.
Sunderland, 1940, and the women go to the shipyards to do their bit for the war effort. Polly never dreamed she would be able to work in the shipyards like the men in her family but times are tough and her new job ends up giving her more than she ever expected when she meets enigmatic dock diver Tommy Watts. During the day, head welder Rosie teaches her fledgling flock of trainees their new trade, but at night she hides a secret life. And mother hen Gloria signs up to escape her brutal husband, but finds she cannot run....
Apaches are on the run pursued by the US Cavalry. A new threat to the railroad comes in the form of deadly dark figures in the night. Could this be Indians getting revenge or are the perpetrators more insidious? Torrent finds a new love but may lose her again in the dark chasms of the new territories. He finally confronts his father and uncovers shadowy intrigue to Solomon Torrent's empire coming from below the border. Don't blink because the action is constant in this new western.
A young farm boy finds a dying man, the man's saddled horse, and his six gun. Going against the dying man's advice, when Chase straps on the gun he becomes the man who owned the gun. Travel this intriguing trail with this young man who gets more than he bargained for in Dead Man's Gun.
Born in rural Palestine, just before the dawn of the 20th century, Miriam adores her father and is certain his love will protect her, but she soon finds that tradition overrides love. Uprooted by war, Miriam enters a world where the old constraints slip away with thrilling and disastrous results. Miriam's rebellious daughter, Nadia, is thrilled with the opportunity for a modern life that her elite education provides. But when she falls in love with an outsider, the clan reins her back with a shocking finality.
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.
"warning! impossible to put down, until the end."
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"
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"
Arthur Wesley (the future Duke of Wellington) was born and bred to be a leader. With a firm belief that the nation must be led by a king, the red-coated British officer heads for battle against the French Republic, to restore the fallen monarchy. Napoleon Bonaparte joins the French military on the eve of the Revolution. He believes leadership is won by merit, not by noble birth. When anarchy explodes in Paris, he's thrust into the revolutionary army poised to march against Britain.
"Well worth a listen"
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 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.
"The Boys are Back in Town"
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.
"'Her words remain our inheritance'"
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"
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."
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"
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"
Enter a world where bloody battles and heroic deeds combine in the historic struggle to unite Britain in the face of a common enemy. The third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's King Alfred series, follows on from the outstanding previous novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman. The year is 878 and the Vikings have been thrown out of Wessex. Uhtred, fresh from fighting for Alfred in the battle to free Wessex, travels north to seek revenge for his father's death, killed in a bloody raid by Uhtred's old enemy, renegade Danish lord, Kjartan.
"So goog it now on TV"
London 1862: Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.
"Very well read, brilliant story."
The Loving Cup is the tenth in Winston Graham's sweeping series of Cornwall, Poldark. Cornwall 1813. A silver cup lies half forgotten in a dank cave, amongst a pile of stolen goods. Yet the tiny vessel and its inscription, "Amor gignit amorem", haunts the lives of the still-feuding Poldark and Warleggan families, as Ross, Demelza and the ambitious and powerful Sir George Warleggan watch their children make the decisions that will shape their destinies.
"Excellent, in context"