Tuesday 12 June 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of Daughter of War by S J A Turney

AMAZON UK £2.99 £8.99
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AMAZON CA $4.99 $17.58

Book 1

Military / Fictional Saga
Knights Templar  / 1200s

Don't trust the cover art, that is the most important piece of advice I can give you, because if you think this is a story of the warrior girl on the cover, you'll be disappointed.

Arnau Vallbona is introduced to us as a young knight fighting against the Almohad of Spain in the company of a Templar knight who leaves a deep impression on him. The battle is won but there are losses, losses that change the course of Arnau's life.

Despite the sweeping saga promised by the preface, this is a more contained piece, detailing events that occur for the majority over a week and in the space of a couple of square miles. This is one of the strengths of the novel, the ability to make a small community of Templars interesting, concentrating on a handful of characters who never roam far. The detail of the Templar life is quite astonishing, the minutiae of being a knight and the trappings of knighthood are a joy to discover, if you are of that mind, and the brutality is laid bare of what a sword or mace is going to do in battle in a manner rarely seen in most historical fiction, bringing a layer of understanding to the genre.

However, there are a few drawbacks, the cover art being the greatest. It is misleading at best. The title may be 'Daughter of War' but the cover image on the copy I read was of a character who never appears in the book. A case of a traditional publishing house marketing department not having a clue what the book is actually about. There were a few typos, I'll forgive those as this was a review copy, but there were also a few slips in the research, language being another major one for me, more obvious as I have spent significant time in Catalunya where the novel is set.

But negatives aside, this is a good novel with a believable, consistent storyline that ends as well as it can. Any fan of military history and knights will thoroughly enjoy this.

© Nicky Galliers

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