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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking tale
Author Bio (in his own words)

I live with my wife, my crazed lunatic son and very vocal baby daughter, and two (close approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire, where my wife and I both grew up, surrounded by friends and family. A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love of country, I cannot envisage spending my life anywhere else, though my anchor is...
Published 16 months ago by Parm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but didn't meet expectations.
I really like S.J.A Turney's books of the Marius' Mules series and others of the Roman Empire, unfortunately this didn't live up to expectations. It's a reasonable read but not up to Marius' standards.
Published 4 months ago by Mikep723


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking tale, 27 Aug 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Author Bio (in his own words)

I live with my wife, my crazed lunatic son and very vocal baby daughter, and two (close approximations of) dogs in rural North Yorkshire, where my wife and I both grew up, surrounded by friends and family. A born and bred Yorkshireman with a love of country, I cannot envisage spending my life anywhere else, though my anchor is sometimes tested as the wanderlust hits and we travel wherever I can find the breathtaking remains of the classical world. I have a love of travel and history, architecture and writing and those four interact well enough to keep me almost permanently busy.

Since leaving school and University, I have tried a great number of careers, including car sales, insurance, software engineering, computer network management, civil service and even painting and decorating sales. I have lived in four counties and travelled as widely as time and budget allowed and find myself, on the cusp of my fortieth year, back where I began and finally doing something I love.

Having written a number of unpublished short stories in my early days, I decided back in 2003 to try and write a full length novel. That was the start of Marius' Mules. Being a lover of Roman history, I decided to combine my love of writing and my love of classical history. Marius' Mules was followed two years later by Interregnum, my attempt to create a new fantasy story still with a heavy flavour of Rome. Since then, the success and popularity of both have inflated my head so that I can no longer comfortably fit through doors, and has spawned sequels to each work, with a third in the fantasy series and the fourth Marius' Mules now complete.

I maintain another website detailing the Roman sites I visit and photograph here, and write a blog you can find here. Find me on twitter as @sjaturney. I am an almost terminally chatty person. That's just a due warning if you feel like contacting me (on the left hand menu.) I am always happy to speak to people and have just put together an FAQ gathered together from things I have been asked previously.

Author Web site

Description

Crete, 1492.

After a sojourn of more than a year on the Venetian-controlled island , Skiouros has learned the art of the sword, the languages of his peers and his enemies and everything he believes he needs to know in order to begin his great quest: to seek the death of the one remaining conspirator in the plot responsible for his brother's death. Circumstances collide, forcing the former thief to set forth on his journey, with the aid of his old friends Parmenio and Nicolo.

Meanwhile, far across the Mediterranean, a small fleet of Turkish galleys is engaged in a last desperate attempt to preserve Islamic influence in the Iberian Peninsula. While the great naval commander Kemal Reis battles to save a lost people, his subordinate burns to sack, destroy and murder every hint of Christian life in the west.

When the Isabella, complete with the three companions and a young Italian nobleman, cross paths with the violent Ottoman would-be pirate, things turn sour and Skiouros finds himself driven ever further from his goal, bringing him to face some harsh and unsettling personal truths. Skiouros is about to be tested to the limits of his endurance, with his very life at stake.

Priests Tale Review

Reading this book was a very interesting experience.

Firstly because Simon Turney is such an excellent writer. Every book leaves me astounded that he still self publishes. But that self publishing seems to give him a freedom of style and expression as well as release schedule.

What I expected from Priests Tale was a book packed full of vengeance, action and adventure, of Skiouros next trials in seeking the revenge for the death of his brother Lykaion. (in Thiefs Tale)

This to some degree is what I got, the book is indeed packed with action, adventure and a thirst for vengeance. Only the vengeful beast we see isn't Skiouros, it is Etci Hassan the dark brooding captain of a Turkish ship, a man burning with the flames of Jihad against the Christian nations. This hatred brings him in direct conflict with Skiouros, Captain Parmenio, Nicolo and a wonderful new character Master Cesare Orsini.

The conversational interplay between these characters is so natural so charismatic it draws the reader into the plot, wraps them in the intrigue and comradeship and takes them on a journey through the world of slavery and Tunis.

What I had expected to be a story of all out action, in fact turned out to be a story of comrades, of men finding out who they are deep down, when push came to shove would they run or would they stand, what does a friend truly mean, how much would you give up for them, how much can comradeship and friendship change a persons soul. All these things and more are explored and covered either overtly or covertly within the text.

When you combine this level of skilful writing with the fun and adventure that Simon imbues the story, you end up with a top class book, one that thrills form the first page to the last.

From a personal extra enjoyment I know that Simon has named some of the main characters for some friends (for which I am personally honoured with Captain Parmenio). Its something that will always bring a smile to my face (and at the same time would not influence my view of the book). What did surprise me, in a good way, was how little traits, personality idiosyncrasies had also crept in. (and I don't just mean Nicolo's love of the grape). I'm sure some of this is deliberate, but i do wonder if some also crept in subconsciously, Does the author realise how much of himself is in Skiouros? All of this does however give an extra depth to the story.

This is a must buy, because we should support great writing, and because its a fantastic book

Highly recommended

(Parm)

Other titles (Visit Simon's web site and book store)
Marius' Mules
1. The Conquest of Gaul (2009)
aka The Invasion of Gaul
2. The Belgae (2010)
3. Gallia Invicta (2011)
4. Conspiracy of Eagles (2012)
5. Hades' Gate (2013)

Tales of the Empire

1. Interregnum (2009)
2. Ironroot (2010)
3. Dark Empress (2011)

Ottoman Cycle

1. The Thief's Tale
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Priest's Tale by SJA Turney, 26 Aug 2013
I have a slight quirk in my reading habit in which I occasionally have to stop and put the book down just before something harrowing, exciting or pivotal is about to happen. I don't do it all the time but while I was reading The Priest's Tale by S.J.A.Turney I found myself doing it often. This, the second volume of The Ottoman Cycle, continues the tale of Skiouros who is now on Crete, leaving Istanbul behind at the end of volume one disguised as an Orthodox Christian priest. The year is 1492 and Skiouros has been preparing himself to deal with the one person left responsible for the death of his brother. Deeming the time to be right he leaves Crete and is headed to Rome where his foe is a prisoner/guest of Pope Innocent VIII. The trials and tribulations of what should have been an easy voyage are the focus of this exciting story.

Hassan Ecti, captain of an Ottoman war ship has his own mission, albeit an over zealous one as he is determined to destroy any vestige of Christianity in lands that are now being taken away from the Muslim faithful in the West, lands that they have been settled in for seven centuries are now under control of the hated Pope. The clash between Hassan and Skiouros and his friends is full of the blind bigotry brought on when religions collide, a violent collision that continues today.

Mr. Turney has given us a tale that is full of suspense, full of surprises, full of the turmoil inherent in any good book. Skiouros has grown in character and we are able to see and feel the anguish he encounters in his bid for vengeance. The supporting cast are also well written, good guys and the never ending supply of baddies. I read a lot of historical fiction and it is the baddies that make these tales interesting and hard to put down. Hassan Ecti rates as one of top five baddies I've encountered.

Descriptive and full of intrigue and surprises, The Priest's Tale takes the reader on a wonderful ride with a host of great characters and a most entertaining ending that leads into volume three, The Assassin's Tale. The author has, in my own humble opinion, created yet another masterful, hard to put down glimpse into the past. Well done, Mr. Turney, keep on writing as I am not yet sated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading, 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Excellent read could not put it down recommend it to everyone who enjoys historical novels.mr turney should be proud he has surpassed himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best authors, 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Simply one of the best authors around in present times
look forward to next installment, Unable to put book down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn p, 22 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
A fast paced tale with easy reading style.I read the book in no time.can't wait for next book to be released.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, with more to come, 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Since coming across the authors Roman stories, I have read hos books with much enjoyment. This does not disappoint, and it is good to see that the original story is now being turned into a short series. It helps that it is set at a time I am personally not wholly familiar with
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Priest's Tale, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Wow what an adventure, Simon has excelled with the second adventure of Skiouros, Lots of twists and turns and I can't wait for what happens next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story continues, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
The second part of the Ottoman cycle did not disappoint, with plenty of action, adventure narrow escapes and a ripping good yarn to boot. The characters especially Skurious continue to develop and mature and you feel that you are joining him on his journey and not just reading about it. Can't wait for the next chapter. If you like historical fiction I can't recommend Simon Turney's books enough. Go on have a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ottoman Cycle returns., 26 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. Ray. Brown (Arbroath Scotland) - See all my reviews
What Can I say, when the first episode of Skiouros (A Thiefs Tale) exploded into print and we followed the adventures of Skiouros and his brother to an amazing series of adventures, A Priests Tale carries these adventures onward as Skiouros, tries to reach Rome and is prevented in so many wild adventures that keep the reader turning pages with a rapidity so far unknown.Buchery,Slavery, Pederasty, it is all here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and pleasant to read - I recommend it to those reading hostorical fiction, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: The Priest's Tale (The Ottoman Cycle Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
excellent story I enjoy reading it and waiting for the next story (sequel) to be published
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