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Editorial Reviews

It's so important to have a catchy review on the front and/or back cover of your 'soon to be published' or 'recently published' book. And, of course, on your Amazon Book Page under Editorial Reviews.

Click on the book title links below to see some of the editorial reviews we have organised for authors. If you would like us to organise a review for you, simply click here.

The Bend of the River

By Edward Rickford

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'This novel represents the best in historical storytelling. Complex, original and utterly gripping. Highly recommended.'

The Bend in the River is the follow up to The Serpent and the Eagle, a book which seems to have been remarkably successful. But, before I beginning discussing the new book, I know what you all want to know. Do I need to read the first book to enjoy the second? Yes – and no. Yes: why miss out on what looks like a compelling novel? And no: the author, being a clever fellow, put a synopsis of the first book at the beginning of the second book. So, all's well!
Now, to the book. Let's start with a single sentence synopsis. Here we go: In the year 1519, the enigmatic Hernando Cortés travels to the New World looking for fame, fortune and, of course, conquest; now, with his eyes firmly on Aztec gold, he must find a way of defeating them in battle. Yes, I admit it, that was two; I just sneaked in a dodgy semicolon.
I must say, this is a very well-written historical novel. The author seems to know his history – IN A BIG WAY! He's also adept at many aspects of writing, from character development to plot development, from helping the reader to fall in love with the historical setting, to helping the reader understand the problems of the day. Of which there were many! The author works particularly well with setting. He understands how important it is not to just simply describe the historical setting but, rather, have the characters interact with it in a natural and unobtrusive way. As a result, the reader can get lost in the historical setting without being overwhelmed by it.
He is also very good with speech. I recently read another historical novel set in the deep south, but set in the 1920s. I enjoyed it, but my enjoyment was marred by the insistence of the author to give the hero such a strong dialect, I could hardly understand a word he uttered. Thankfully, this author has not fallen into that trap.
Is there anything to work on? Not a lot. It's possibly a little slow to get going in parts, and there is the odd paragraph of flowery prose I good editor might cut into. But, all in all, it's a gripping bit of storytelling, as we follow Cortés on his adventure into the New World.
So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. Who would I recommend it to? That's difficult. Firstly, to any student of American history. The author, I think, knows the time well and any student would learn much from such rich pickings. Secondly, to any reader who enjoys richly-developed characters. For me, this is predominantly a character-led story, and all of them, even the lesser characters, jump off the page. To sum up, this is a wonderful book; the sort of book to curl up with – along with a glass of red wine.

A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review

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