I found Titans to be a thoroughly interesting and thought provoking book, akin to work you might find more so from a novelist rather than just that of a black and white historian. Kevin sets the scene with visions these giants of history coming alive across the realm of time through his words; they seem to come out of the very pages and into your mind as you read page after page. Kevin doesn't just relay information and historical data, he makes you re-live the time, he engrosses you in the period keeping you glued to each page. You feel you are walking amongst these men of a bygone era, you can almost smell the gunpowder, the thunder of hooves and roar of the canon.
The title alone provokes interest, "Once were Titans", once one sees this title alone attention and interest will have been awakened. While reading this book I, at times felt as though I was being gently pulled along page after page before realising I had read several chapters at a sitting. I found it hard to put the book down at times and continually made excuses to pick it up as soon as humanly possible. Kevin's style of writing is vivid to say the least. I have nothing but admiration for an author who can make such a dry black & white topic such as history into a colourful exciting adventure back in time. Truly a feat not too many historians have been able to obtain as a skill for keeping their readers fully attentive and focused.
The research Kevin has done is incredibly detailed and deep, he explains many facets of the Napoleonic era especially that of the French as is the focus of this book from a passionate and obviously enthusiastic approach. Kevin, it is understood was and is a great admirer of the late Col. Elting. He uses the same style and approach to his work as did Elting who will go down in history as one of the great historians of this period. Kevin, I feel is destined to follow in his footsteps. Kevin goes into great detail of the French general staff, its working, the individuals within and the various departments contained in the structure. He also enlightens us to Berthier and his early career and what made him into the Chief of staff we all know him as. Along with many other prominent figures which helped drive the cogs of the Imperial French army.
Kevin gives an insightful graphic account of the many battles these men commanded in and were apart of, detailing the chapters with in-depth engrossing free flowing wording which remains easy to follow. Some authors get very boggy in their portrayal of conflict but not so with Kevin, the reader finds himself locked line for line into the story anticipating each coming page with delight. Titans is an easy book to become lost in regarding time, you lose track of it as you become more deeply engrossed in the telling of these stories of bravery, and human conflict set within a backdrop of high drama, honour and bloodshed.
The aim of the book is to give the reader a fresh and deep analysis of the French army, its style, doctrines, or as most military men would say, the heart beat of the army. How it functioned and fought, how its men revered its generals and leaders and how the machine worked. Only military men can really understand this thoroughly and although the weapons and technology may change with time soldiers are still soldiers no matter the era. Kevin, being a retired US Marine gives the reader an excellent understanding of the vibe of what it must be like to be a soldier of any rank, more so if the reader is or was military himself.
I cannot say enough about this book or indeed others Kevin has written, he has done a superb job and I hope he goes on to complete many more books on the era and have them published. The period needs more historians like him to bring history alive and make it interesting. His work should be used on a scholarly level if it isn't already in any history lecturing hall.
My only criticism of this book is the few typos I noticed which should have been fixed, but this is not the fault of Kevin, the publisher should have corrected these before printing. But a few typos did not detract for me in any way from being thoroughly engrossed in the stories of this book. I await any future work Kevin may publish with much anticipation.