- Hardcover: 413 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan New Writing (5 Jan. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230007465
- ISBN-13: 978-0230007468
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.4 x 3.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,933,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Secret War Hardcover – 5 Jan 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The recently promoted Captain William Saxon and his closest friend Lieutenant Kieran Harte are survivors of the Battle of Waterloo. For both of them, the victory comes with a cost. William lost many men under his command and carries the guilt that he was no able to do more. Kieran has been injured and is recuperating in the Belgian town of Gembloux where he has found love and is considering leaving the army to stay behind when his colleagues return home.
Neither of them realise that there are worse battles to come, against an enemy not so easily defeated as the French were. They soon find this out, though, as a mysterious artefact stolen from the body of a dead French soldier proves to have the power to raise a daemon. This daemon ravages the town of Gembloux, killing soldiers and civilians alike, including Kieran's lover. Reluctantly, they return home only to find there are others who are interested in the artefact. Death follows them until they meet a man called Engrin who leads them to Rome and introduces them to a secret part of the Catholic Church that is fighting a battle against these daemons and worse.
The story starts a little slowly, given that we don't actually see any action from the Napoleonic War, although we do get some in flashback a little later on.Read more ›
We are drawn into the book with some highly atmospheric and realistic scenes from the aftermath of the battle of Waterloo, before the action quickly changes up about 5 gears and takes it's first thrilling turn into the fantastical.
You are never far away from epically described and imaginatively detailed battle scenes, while lead characters William Saxon and Kieran Harte, like Vorenus and Pullo from HBO's Rome, find themselves in the middle of high adventure and history changing events every time they pause for breath.
MFW Curran has created a world - and a secret world, that could endure for a long time and for many volumes. It nods towards the rich history of fantasy writing, from Tolkien to Rowling, without ever once standing around long enough to be accused of being derivative. It's a fresh approach and mix of genres that thrills. The author could scarcely improve on the action, thrills and spills and plot development - with a little more depth next time round he may well stray into 'classic' territory.
It might not have any strong female characters, (I agree with the review below)but then does it really need any? And if the other books are as good as this one, then I don't really mind if a series is on the cards!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really thought that this would be about undercover activities of the protagonists ,but it turned out to be a rather far fetched occult storyPublished on 28 Jan. 2013 by chas
just lost myself in the story, which was well paced and made me stay up reading all night. ejoyed the book.Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by mel
After surviving the horrors of Waterloo, two British soldiers soon face a threat far more deadly than Napoleon's French. Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2010 by Book Gannet
I read this book in a couple of days. I loved the whole vampire/history tie in. It's well written and an excellent story. I really struggle to understand what's not to enjoy...Published on 13 Dec. 2009 by Nick
The story line COULD be very good it has an interesting plot .
It is a complete mess of ideas from other novels / Authors , not well put together at... Read more
I picked this book up after seeing it in a local bookshop. I read the blurb on the back and I thought that it sounded quite interesting. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2009 by Mr. T. M. Oliver
I pick up this book because of the blurb on the back giving the impression of an interesting concept, and the concept is interesting. Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2009 by Connart
A real cracking read couldn'put it down looking forward to the next installment I'm sure there is going to be a lot morePublished on 22 Jan. 2009 by Indred Cold
A beautifully written descriptive and graphic adventure. The cover is deceiving for although this is undoubtedly a story about war it is so much more than that. Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2008 by Alison