Publication date: July 26, 2013 by iUniverse
Source: Publisher/author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
It is 741. After subduing the pagan religions in the east, halting the march of Islam in the west, and conquering the continent for the Merovingian kings, mayor of the palace Charles the Hammer has one final ambition-the throne. Only one thing stands in his way-he is dying.
Charles cobbles together a plan to divide the kingdom among his three sons, betroth his daughter to a Lombard prince to secure his southern border, and keep the Church unified behind them through his friend Bishop Boniface. Despite his best efforts, the only thing to reign after Charles’s death is chaos. His daughter has no intention of marrying anyone, let alone a Lombard prince. His two eldest sons question the rights of their younger pagan stepbrother, and the Church demands a steep price for their support. Son battles son, Christianity battles paganism, and Charles’s daughter flees his court for an enemy’s love.
Based on a true story, Anvil of God is a whirlwind of love, honor, sacrifice, and betrayal that follows a bereaved family’s relentless quest for power and destiny.
I found Anvil of God by J. Boyce Gleason to be much more interesting and exciting than I had initially expected. Charles Martel, the mayor of the palace, is only in the book briefly because he is dying. He tries to arrange things so that his sons won't fight each other and hopes that war won't break out. Of course, his fears come to pass due to all the likely reasons. The two older sons, Carloman and Pippin don't think their half-brother, Gripho, should get part of their inheritance and feel that they each will be put at a disadvantage.
Carloman is also heavily involved with and influenced by the Church and he has a large army made up of his Knights in Christ. Pippin, while a great fighter, is not as highly regarded by his brother, his father and the other influential people. These two brothers argue and compete against one another for their father's regard and then for his land and power.
Sunni is Charles' second wife and she is a very likable character due to her intelligence, independence and her personality. She was raised a pagan and still practices the rites in secret. Despite her token acceptance of Christianity, most people around her are suspicious of her and of her son, Gripho.
Charles had one daughter, Hiltrude, called Trudi in the book. Trudi doesn't act like a typical lady of her station. She wanted to wear armor and learn to fight like a man and Charles allowed her to do so. This was not met with much approval, but Charles doesn't seem to have cared much for what other people thought. Trudi was another of my favorite characters because she is strong, independent and smart. She has a tough time because, of course her father has chosen a husband for her and she isn't happy about the chosen candidate at all. She decides to follow her own path and has a long, difficult and exciting journey/adventure/trial to get through.
Anvil of God is full of intrigue, betrayal, battles, corruption, as well as love and loyalty. I don't know very much about this time period or the people involved, but I enjoyed reading Gleason's novel detailing some extremely exciting and violent events. I appreciated that the author explained what was known about the period and what he changed or made up to tell his story.
I think that anyone interested in military history, the early Church, medieval history and historical fiction in general would enjoy this book. As with basically any book about this time period, there is a lot of violence of all kinds, so you have been warned. I found the set up for the series about the Carolingians to be very intriguing and I do look forward to reading more about this violent and dynamic time period and family.
About the AuthorAfter a 25-year career in crisis management and public affairs, J. Boyce Gleason began writing historical fiction and is publishing his first novel ANVIL OF GOD, Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles. With an AB in history from Dartmouth College, Gleason brings a strong understanding of the past to his historical fiction. He is married, has three sons and lives in Virginia.
For more information please visit www.jboycegleason.com.
Virtual Book Tour ScheduleMonday, October 28
Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, October 29
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Monday, November 4
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, November 5
Review at Reading the Ages
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Guest Post at HF Connection
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Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, November 8
Review at Library of Alexandra
Monday, November 11
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, November 12
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, November 13
Review at From LA to L.A.
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, November 14
Review at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Monday, November 18
Review & Giveaway at The Bookworm
Tuesday, November 19
Review at A Book Geek
Wednesday, November 20
Review at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, November 21
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, November 22
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Monday, November 25
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
Wednesday, November 27
Review at The Calico Critic
Thursday, November 28
Review & Giveaway at WTF Are You Reading?
Friday, November 29
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee