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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Wednesday 30 December 2015

Brothers' Fury - Giles Kristian

My holiday fiction reading has been the second volume in Giles Kristian’s 'Bleeding Land' trilogy, Brothers’ Fury - set in the English Civil War.

The main characters come from the Rivers family. One brother, Mun, fights for the King and the other, Tom, for Parliament - mainly due to a feud with another local family. They also have a sister Bess who tries to find her brother and bring him back to the family.

The book mostly focuses on the small war, so typical of this conflict. Small units interdicting supplies, attacking columns of reinforcements and supporting or relieving sieges. In addition, we have subterfuge and plenty of internal feuds. The stories come together at different times as their respective units of horse almost clash. In Cornwellian style the book ends at at a major battle - in this case the first Battle of Newbury in 1643.

As other reviewers have said, this is on the grimmer, gorier, grittier side of historical fiction. The characters are certainly gritty, not really likeable, and certainly not in the heroic school of historical fiction. However, none of that makes this book any the less readable.

Many of the actions would make good skirmish wargames using rules like Donnybrook. I might dust down my ECW figures for a game before the holiday is over.

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