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D. Cook "Fire & Steel"
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Waterloo 1815 (3) (Campaign 280)
Waterloo 1815 (3) (Campaign 280)
by John Franklin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another achievement for Osprey Publishing, 28 May 2016
This review is for the Osprey campaign series of Waterloo.
Now, Osprey do have many years experience of publishing concise and authoritative books. In this series of three books about “Quatre Bras”, “Ligny”, “Mont St Jean and Wavre” J Franklin covers the entire Waterloo battlefields from start to finish. He has not repeated the often misquoted accounts, but has instead made use of extensive and painstaking research of the original documents and the personal papers of those who were there, including many previously unpublished accounts. Like most books on the campaign this adds an extra point for keeping with accuracy.

Book 1 Quatre Bras covers the hotchpotch Allied troops, the British, German, Nassau, Dutch and Belgians, and the skilful use of the ground by the French who appeared time and again, seemingly unseen in the thick rye fields and charging over the undulating ground as though they had just magically appeared. If the infamous error between Ney's ADC and Napoleons useless commands had not happened then D’Erlon's thousands might have given the battle a different outcome, but as the evening came on the day ended in a stalemate because the Allies withdrew to Mont St Jean the next day and Ney's troops did nothing.

Ligny is covered in Book 2 with the same attention to detail as Quatre Bras, bringing to life the bitter struggle from hamlet to hamlet south of Sombreffe as Napoleon sought to give the Prussian’s such a decisive blow that they would not recover and be forced to retire back to Prussia. Napoleon won the battle, but as the dawn revealed itself the next day, the Prussians were not as destroyed as he had hoped.

Waterloo is the bloody culmination of the three book series. The stage is set for what was then the biggest battle in European history and with detailed breakdowns of the battles within a battle at the chateau of Hougoumont, La Haye Saint, Plancenoit (and the often forgotten battle of Wavre), the author does not disappoint the reader.

The amount of information in the three books regarding the Waterloo Campaign is impressive. All the elements of the fighting are covered in minute detail, pages packed with original colour plates, prints, enhanced by the highly detailed illustrations of Gerry Embleton and a few good maps.


Waterloo: The Decisive Victory (Osprey Companion)
Waterloo: The Decisive Victory (Osprey Companion)
by Colonel Nick Lipscombe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommened for an historians collection, 28 May 2016
The first thing is that is this just another 'Waterloo' book. Well, some of it adds nothing new to the campaign (after all so much has been written) but this is well put together. There are lavish illustrations throughout which is a nice feature, with considerable detail and analysis by ten renowned historians is a stroke of genius.
I would highly recommend it for your collection.


The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle
The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle
by Mark Adkin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £29.25

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best accounts of the campaign, 25 May 2016
A sumptuous excellent account of the Hundred Days campaign.
I visited the battlefields of Quatre Bras, Ligny, Waterloo and Wavre in '15 and the Mark's account truly brings it all to vivid life. Rich narration, well-written and one of my favourite books on the subject.
Some claim to be *the* companion, this must be right up there with the very best.

By David Cook, author of Fire and Steel: The Soldier Chronicles Books 1-5.


Salamanca 1812: Wellington Crushes Marmont (Campaign)
Salamanca 1812: Wellington Crushes Marmont (Campaign)
by Ian Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid reference with good maps and illustrations, 25 May 2016
Excellence reference material. I always keep a copy of an Osprey title whenever I write. I do find sometimes that with a new edition released the information is the same, the photo's are the same and the illustrations & maps remain unchanged. That's a pity because they do need to be updated. Also the annoying use of black and white photos, illustrations from other battlefields and more vague information about the battle needs be stopped please. Other than that, Osprey still remains a trusty point of reference.

By David Cook, author of Fire and Steel: The Soldier Chronicles Books 1-5.


The Peninsular War: A New History
The Peninsular War: A New History
by Charles Esdaile
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and well-researched, 25 May 2016
A friend of mine recommended I read Professor Esdaile's account of the Peninsular War, the campaign running from 1808-1814 in the Iberian Peninsular.

The guerrilla - the little war certainly destroyed Napoleon's grasp of the Spanish countryside. The cities had long fallen, all except a handful of areas, but the French could never hope to conquer the entire country. British redcoats, German allies, Portuguese troops and other contingents eventually wrestled the country out of French control. It wasn't easy. Spanish politics, played a more crucial role that is often ignored or used to sour the relations between Britain and Spain. It was tenuous, there is no doubt about that.

The author really brings his thoughts on the successes and failures and gives the reader a wider scope. Was Salamanca and Talavera huge victories? He does vilify the redcoats, which on occasion, is correct. However, Wellington's 'jailbirds, patriots and volunteers' were the better field army. No contest.

The book is brilliantly illustrated, but I do wish for more maps. There is a glossary in the back and a series of excellent maps in the front.

Not light reading, however, I would recommend it to anyone with serious interest in the period and it sits well in my own library.


The Guestbook (Madrona Island Series 1)
The Guestbook (Madrona Island Series 1)
Price: £2.75

3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet litle love story, 15 April 2016
A sweet little story about Lily who leaves her dominating husband after finding out he has been having an affair, and moves to an island to run a B&B left to her.
The story is enjoyably written, pleasant, and the romance is cute and a little place to escape dreary Sunday weekends.

A far better thought-provoking story of love by D.M. Miller in her Heart series The Religion of the Heart: (Heart Series: Volume 1) are for readers who want to read about love conquering all.


Kaleidoscope Hearts
Kaleidoscope Hearts
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story of love and loss, 15 April 2016
This was a sweet second chance romance about loss and healing and rediscovering the joy that life can bring you. Told in dual POV with some flashbacks into the past it was a really nice story that kept me turning the pages.

This is a tale of loss and love.

Estelle has recently lost her fiancé and decides to sell their beloved home and move in with her brother Vic. The future path is murky so she waits for guidance, love and a path she can take to move on.

Oliver is Vic's best friend who she shares a secret and a rather awkward history with. Vic is a very protective brother and is unaware of the attraction between his sister and his closest friend.

This story is full of love and hope. It's one not to miss and another beautiful story of love by author D. M. Miller The Religion of the Heart: (Heart Series: Volume 1) will fill the void left once you have finished this book.


1864: The forgotten war that shaped modern Europe
1864: The forgotten war that shaped modern Europe
by Tom Buk-Swienty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 22 Feb. 2016
An enjoyable history lesson about a subject I must confess to knowing NOTHING about. It was a page turner, interesting and made me think about that part of Europe that had slipped off my radar - and the ever-growing might of Prussia, perhaps a time when the Germans were increasing their bullying tactics pre-WWI.

David Cook, author of Fire and Steel: The Soldier Chronicles Books 1-5.


Kingdom: Insurrection Trilogy Book 3
Kingdom: Insurrection Trilogy Book 3
by Robyn Young
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful trilogy, 22 Feb. 2016
Finally the completion of the trilogy and its utterly fantastic. Its such a brilliant series, every character is lovingly created, the story moves at a great pace, and it all comes together wonderfully. I sat back and sighed heavily when I finished this, it had that much of an effect.

I must add that Robyn's meticulous research into the period really adds to the grit and grime of the 14th century Scotland. History come alive.

David Cook, author of Fire and Steel: The Soldier Chronicles Books 1-5.


Furies of Rome: Vespasian VII
Furies of Rome: Vespasian VII
by Robert Fabbri
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Expertly crafted novel, 22 Feb. 2016
The next story in the brilliant series from Robert. I really liked this novel, great action, suspense, dialogue and another political problem for our hero to solve. I must also say that Nero is fantastically written.


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