Posts tagged ‘ancient history’

FIGHTING FOR IRISH INDEPENDENCE: WAR AGAINST THE NORSE CLANS

Freedom Within the Heart

Written and directed by Mark Mahon

Pencils and Inks by:

Miguel Caceres

Colors by Veronica Gandini

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This is a graphic novel based on a screenplay. Mahon bases his tale on the ancient history concerning the feuds between the Irish and the Norsemen and begins in 910 A.D. The pagan Vikings pillage the Church and meet with little resistance from the Irish. A short period of peace follows and the action picks up in the home of the Kennedy clan. Two young brothers Malhoun and Brian are listening to the legends of the battles. They are the protagonists who will struggle with the Norsemen in the near future.

There are lots of battle scenes depicting gruesome warfare, greed, cruelty, revenge and family tragedy. The plot is well developed and flows smoothly. The characters and their emotions are aptly portrayed in words and graphics. Drawings and colors are vivid and rich with minute attention to detail.

Lots of violence depicted in the battle scenes and the implied violence meted down to the women and children of the clans. For that reason, I would recommend parents of children under twelve review it for objectionable material. Recommended as an exceptionally well done graphic novel for lovers of that genre who enjoy history.

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DRIVE AND DETERMINATION

Alexander The Great: The Macedonian Who Conquered the World

Written by Sean Patrick

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This book is not a biography or carefully researched book about military history. Rather it is a book with a very specific point of view on how to set out to achieve your goals. In fact, the first quarter of the book deals with the theory that the simplest way to defeat obstacles that stand in your way and to systematically accomplish the goals you set for yourself is to be as determined in your drive as Alexander the Great. Patrick’s theory states that if you do this, you will show your bravery and tenacity to your opponents, who will then lose the will to keep fighting you.

The middle section of this book retells the events of Alexander’s campaigns. Patrick consistently presents Alexander in a favorable light, largely discounting other reasons for success or failure. Finally the last third of the book explains what the author calls The Power of Purpose. All of us should learn from Alexander’s journey to greatness that to be successful the reader needs to do the following: strengthen her will by having a clear purpose, put that purpose into motion, and then follow through to reach the goal by never relenting or giving up on it.

This is an interesting theory, if you are looking for inspiration and motivation. On the other hand, if you are expecting to find a book based on meticulous historical research or an accurate portrait of Alexander’s life, this one will not fill your expectations. At approximately fifty pages, it is a short motivational read for young adults and adult readers.

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CROSSING THE SANDS OF TIME

Sons of the Sphinx

Written by Cheryl Carpinello

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I received a copy of this book from Double Decker books as part of a blog launch for the author in exchange for an honest review.

First off, I will openly admit that I am a historian with an avid interest in the field of ancient history. The author has done a marvelous job of negotiating the disputed points of this era and woven them into a seamless time travel historical adventure for middle grade, teen readers and adults. Her characters are well-developed and manage to appear authentic in both the ancient and modern time periods. Carpinello includes a glossary to assist the reader in understanding the historical figures and background.

Rosa is a fifteen year old tenth grader who has inherited a special gift from her grandmother. This teen is able to speak to people of the past, who appear to her at most inconvenient times like during a math test. At the outset of this adventure, King Tut himself not only speaks but appears to her in her room. He urges her to travel back in time with him to find the spirit of his love, Hesena. Rosa has never dated, but finds herself falling for Tut. She agrees to help him, if they can get back before her parents return from dinner and the movies. Tut assures her that the time wrap will allow them to do so.

Rosa will need to draw upon her inner spirit to connect with Hesena, fight off tomb robbers, traverse the hot sands of the Egyptian desert, and fend off the evil Pharaoh Horemheb in their attempt to complete their quest and right the wrongs that have been done. She will travel back more than 3000 years in time, but never have the opportunity to share her experience with her family and peers. Yet Rosa’s talent and spirit shine through and allow her to fight her fears and grow stronger.

This was a perfect read to curl up with on a cold, snowy afternoon. Highly recommended for all lovers of history, adventure, fantasy and fun for all ages ten and older.

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