Title: Anvil of God
Author: J. Boyce Gleason
Publication Date: July 26, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon
Rating: 4 Stars
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.
J. Boyce Gleason's Anvil of God, is a wonderfully penned and fantastically blended mix of historical truths and creative license.
Like most, I am aware of the great and terrible exploits of Charlemagne. Until this read however, I was not at all familiar with the those higher up in his family tree.
In fact, what readers are presented with in this read is family drama at its best.
We have a dying ruler, Charles the Hammer, who is trying to do what he deems best for his family and his realm by dividing his lands among his sons and marrying off his daughter.
Well, the sons are of differing faiths with two Christian and one Pagan. So of course, Pagan brother Gripho has to fight tooth and nail for his birthright. He however is not without allies. One rather vocal birdie in his ear being his mother, Sunnichild.
As if this is not bad enough, Charles' daughter Trudi, has other plans that obviously do not involve marrying the Lombard prince to who she was so unceremoniously bartered in exchange for the security of his southern lands. Trudi does what any other sword wielding, smarter than the jackasses around her, kick ass woman of her time would, and promptly runs off to...wait for it...sleep with the enemy!
Least we not forget that all of this Game of Thrones type drama is being played out on a world stage.
While the family is squabbling and defenses are down, those that would destroy the family and plunder their lands, do their worst.
This is a wonderful and surprising read. The author does a great job of managing and balancing a huge cast of characters and multiple points of view. This is a book that has it all; larger than life historical detail, compelling characters, emotional and physical conflict, and in this case, multiple love stories! I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to see how these family dramas will play out in the rest of the series.
About the Author
After 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 threerant sons and lives in Virginia.
For more information please visit www.jboycegleason.com.