kveto from prague

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kveto from prague

kveto from prague’s book reviews

Wilford is really good at writing unlikeable characters whom it is easy to root against, yet still feel sympathy for. Its a fine trait for a writer.
A fun, late genre crime noir. quite a page turner with lots of colourful characters. At this point, Wilford isn't afraid to make all the characters scoundrals and buck some of the genre tropes.
GA Henty's take on the American civil war. Unsurprisingly, Henty chooses the Confederates as his "good guys" making his protagonist a young English boy, Ned, who is heir to a plantation in Virginia. The British were sympathetic to the south in the war.
While Henty has some scenes of a slave owner beating a slave and Ned helps one slave escape to England, he also speaks up in favour of the institution, pointing out that most slaves are "happy" and depicts a picture of the Unionists as the evil rabble rousers.
It has the typical Henty fomula of a uber-competent English boy who joins the army, gets captured, escapes, etc.
So, another Henty snoozer. In this the protagonist is an unrealistic uber-competent Dutch boy who fights against the spaniards. Though he's from Holland he constantly reminds everyone that his father is English so he's only half-dutch, ad nausium, because only the english are flawless.
typical Henty, the Protestant Dutch (supported by the English ) are all good and the catholic Spaniards are all evil.
ust replace Spaniards for any other opponent of the english and you have the template for every henty book. As always you learn ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the cultures he writes about. how can anyone spill so much ink and include no local colour?
I was very disappointed to learn Henty wrote about this topic. I only got a few chapters in.

Don't bother with this. Instead read the Geoffery Trease book "Follow my Black Plume" which deals with the same topic but in a brilliant way. (Trease wrote specifically to counter Henty's overly jingoistic style)
A cute little standard Burroughs tale. Its ok but "Jungle girl" and "Monster men" are more interesting.
The best of Howard's Bran Mac Morn tales, the king of the doomed Picts. It shows a king who must compromise his principles for revenge against a Roman governor in North Britain circa 300AD. Both creepy and adventure with a historical bent.
A collection of notes about the WWI legend of spirits saving the British soldiers. Completely forgettable.
This is a bit better than the usual Henty fare. Set during and after Boudiccia's revolt in the first century AD in Roman occupied Britain, Beric is a young tribal chieftain, raised by Romans. He gets captured and brought to Rome to be trained as a gladiator.

I read this one in concert with "Wulf the Saxon" and this one is better. Probably because A. the Britons are not his golden-boy (Aryan) Saxons and B. he has a healthy respect for the Romans, so they arent the cartoonish bad guys that the Welsh and Normans were in "Wulf".

I'd recommend it, but remember its Henty so be prepared for lots of talk and descriptions of nothing and little plot. As always, you don't really LEARN anything.
Probably one of the better Solomon Kane novels, as it takes the Puritan hero out of Europe and into Africa, against a murderous African queen of a lost tribe. A mix of magic and sword and rapier action.