Storm of War
Daniel, a petty thief with no family but a handicapped brother, hopes to ascend in the crime world in the ancient city of Constantinople. Unfortunately, his efforts to gain respect land him in serious trouble as his life is threatened, and he must escape the city to find refuge. However, he finds himself among crusaders on their way to reclaim the Holy Land of Jerusalem, which is currently held by Saracens. Daniel soon finds a new way to gain respect and honor while serving under a harsh Scottish knight. His path to honor, however, entails rains of arrows and the foul stench of war and death—a reality he must survive.
Once in a while, you come across a book that reminds you of the feeling of exhilaration you had when you fell in love with reading fiction. Storm of War, with its brilliant combination of a historical theme and a vivid description of battle scenes, is a great example of this. Bryan R. Saye gives readers a front-row seat to the Crusades through a first-person narrative about an ambitious character on the side of the crusaders and his interactions with both friend and foe.
The immersing narrative depicts an important medieval war with an impressive amount of detail. My favorite scene portrays an intense battle involving a shield wall and the men with horses who “hacked and kicked and slashed and pounded their way” into the shield wall. I also enjoyed the intelligent dialogues, the complex characters, and the clear direction of the story. I liked that I found it easy to follow and understand the story and the protagonist’s desires, flaws, and goals right from the beginning. I was quite keen about finding out what would become of Daniel as he engaged in several spine-chilling exploits, like going into the enemy’s territory alone for sentimental reasons.
Even though the theme of religion is strong in Storm of War, the book’s tone is neutral, making it suitable for all readers regardless of their beliefs. I was touched by the perspective of a victim of the crusades, who expressed how the crusaders “claimed to come in the name of Christ, and yet they murdered children and women” and the similarities of these crusaders to the Saracens.
Storm of War is an elaborate book that combines different themes in one coherent narrative: ambition, love, family, orphanhood, religion, combat training, theft, guilt, and more. I strongly recommend it to readers who might fancy a historical novel with a fast-paced, war-themed narrative that entertains as much as it enlightens.
|Author||Bryan R. Saye|
|Page Count||356 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|