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Casca: Halls of Montezuma, Tony Roberts

Casca: Halls of Montezuma, Tony Roberts


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Casca: Halls of Montezuma, Tony Roberts

Casca: Halls of Montezuma, Tony Roberts

Barry Sadler's The Eternal Mercenary #25

I must confess I hadn't heard of this long-running series before reading this twenty fifth entry in the saga of Casca, the Eternal Mercenary. The original books were written by Barry Sadler, a Green Beret medic, author and musician, and the author of the "Ballad of the Green Berets", and tell the story of Casca Rufio Longinius, the Roman soldier who killed Jesus on the cross, and was cursed to wander the earth until the second coming. This allowed Sadler to place his character in any war of the last 2,000 years, and the series ran to 22 entries before Sadler's death.

After a false start with volumes 23 and 24, the series has now been revived by Tony Roberts (also the author of the casca.net website). His first entry in the series sees Casca arrive in Virginia, where he falls foul of an ancient order dedicated to tracking him down, before taking part in the Mexican War, fighting with the Marine Corps.

This is an thoroughly entertaining novel, and has been well received by fans of the series. Roberts has created a convincing version of mid-nineteenth century Virginia, and of the American armies that invaded Mexico in 1846-8, while Casca himself makes for an unusual hero. With a second book already out and a third on the way, the series seems to be in safe hands.

The books can be obtained via the Casca.net website.

Author: Tony Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 240
Publisher: 1st Impression Publishing
Year: 2006
Website: www.casca.net



Contents

Casca Rufio Longinus Edit

Casca Rufio Longinus grew up in Etruria in the village of Falerno. [3] His family died of plague, and he enlisted into the 7th Legion at either Messilia [4] or Livorno. [5] He joined the 10th Legion and was sent to Jerusalem where he was assigned to the execution detail for three prisoners, one of which was Jesus.

At Golgotha, Casca stabbed Jesus with his spear in an attempt to relieve Jesus of his pain and suffering. Jesus condemned Casca by saying, "Soldier, you are content with what you are. Then that you shall remain until we meet again. As I go now to My Father, you must one day come to Me." As Jesus died, blood from his wound trickled down Casca's spear and onto his hand, and Casca unknowingly tasted it after wiping sweat from his mouth, causing his body to convulse in pain. Later, Casca was stabbed in the stomach by his superior officer in a fight over an Armenian dancer. A mortally wounded Casca killed the superior officer and was promptly arrested and imprisoned, but by morning he was nearly healed. He then discovered that he cannot age, and that he is immortal, though he can feel all pain inflicted on his body. While his wounds heal completely, his body accumulates countless scars over the centuries.

For the rest of the series, Casca is seen fighting in numerous wars, having been cursed to remain a soldier until the Second Coming. He fights for many sides of many nationalities, such as the Wehrmacht, the Confederate States Army, the French Foreign Legion, the Byzantine Empire, and the Red Army. He is often depicted as a mercenary. Casca is loyal to the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and he often fights against the Ottomans. One of his main adversaries is the Brotherhood of the Lamb.

Over the course of the series, Casca meets numerous famous historical figures, such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Adolf Hitler, Attila the Hun, Blackbeard, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo, Robert E. Lee, George Washington, and Muhammad, among others.

Julius Goldman Edit

Julius Goldman was a surgeon in the United States Army with the rank of Major, stationed at the 8th Field Hospital in Nha Trang during the Vietnam War. He first meets Casca in The Eternal Mercenary when the latter was brought into the hospital with multiple fatal injuries he should not have survived. Dr. Goldman discovered Casca's immortality and decided to become his biographer and chronicler. He is often visited by Casca for updates on his life and experiences throughout the ages. Dr. Goldman later leaves the Army and establishes his own practice. As Goldman ages, he introduces Casca to Danny Landries, the son of one of his former army comrades. Danny first meets Casca in Devil's Horseman and takes over from Goldman as his biographer.

The Brotherhood of the Lamb Edit

The Brotherhood of the Lamb is a fanatical militant religious sect and the main antagonists of the series. It is run by the Inner Circle, the sect's hierarchy, composed of an elder and twelve "brothers". They preach force and power over traditional virtues of piety and compassion. The Brotherhood worships the Holy Lance, which forms the central focus at prayers. On holy days, the Brotherhood recreates the crucifixion in a reenactment involving the killing of one of the brothers, who has been selected to act the part of Jesus, using the Holy Lance.

The Brotherhood was founded by Izram, a man who proclaimed himself the thirteenth Disciple in the wake of Jesus's death, supposedly as a result of Casca stabbing him with the Holy Lance. Izram purchased the Holy Lance from some of Casca's comrades as a relic and symbol for the events on Golgotha. Izram then went into the wilderness for forty days before a revelation came to him that when Jesus returned at the Second Coming, he would meet Casca. The Brotherhood keeps Casca in their sights until the Second Coming though they may hate Casca for his actions at Golgotha, they must not prevent him from meeting Jesus. They occasionally inflict severe pain on Casca, such as an elder cutting Casca's hand off or an acolyte arranging to burn Casca at the stake. In The Sentinel, Elder Gregory murders Casca's adopted son, Demos, and his wife, Ireina, for which Casca crucifies Gregory to death. Casca was also a prisoner of the Brotherhood in The Cursed and Panzer Soldier.

Notable real-life historical figures depicted as elders of the Brotherhood of the Lamb include Heinrich Himmler and Hassan al-Sabah.

Casca is not written in chronological order, with many later novels being sequels or prequels to earlier ones. Immortal Dragon and The Outlaw are not considered canon entries in the series.

Publication history of Casca
Title Book No. Summary Author Release year Notes
The Eternal Mercenary 1 During the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Major Dr. Julius Goldman discovers that wounded soldier "Casey Romain" is actually Casca Rufio Longinus, a 2,000-year-old Roman legionnaire cursed with immortality by Jesus Christ. Barry Sadler 1979
God of Death 2 In 3rd century Mexico, Casca is declared a god by the Teotec Indians, and he defends them from an attack by the Olmecs. Barry Sadler 1979
The War Lord 3 Casca travels to 3rd century Byzantium and China, where he is buried alive by a jealous empress. Barry Sadler 1980
Panzer Soldier 4 Casca fights for the Germans at the Battle of Kursk, and later meets Adolf Hitler. Barry Sadler 1980
The Barbarian 5 Casca deserts the Roman legion in the 2nd century and joins a Germanic tribe. Barry Sadler 1981
The Persian 6 Casca becomes a commander in the army of Persian king Shapur II, but is burned at the stake when he is branded a heretic. Barry Sadler 1982
The Damned 7 Casca returns to the Roman Empire in time to see Rome fall to the Visigoths, then joins the fight against Atilla the Hun at the Battle of the Catalunian Plains in 451. Barry Sadler 1982
Soldier of Fortune 8 Casca serves as a Cambodian mercenary in 1976. Barry Sadler 1983
The Sentinel 9 After sleeping in an ice cave for more than a century, Casca travels to the Eastern Roman Empire to fight against the Vandals in 534. Barry Sadler 1983
The Conquistador 10 Casca escapes from a 16th-century Spanish prison and travels to the New World with Hernán Cortés. Barry Sadler 1984
The Legionnaire 11 At the end of World War II, Casca is captured by the French and drafted into the French Foreign Legion. He is eventually sent to French Indochina, where he fights in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Barry Sadler 1984
African Mercenary 12 In 1977, Casca is sent on a mission to kill an African dictator, but is betrayed by his allies. Barry Sadler 1984
The Assassin 13 In the 11th century, Casca is captured by Arabic slave traders, and is inducted into the secret sect of the Hashshashin. Barry Sadler 1985
The Phoenix 14 Casca is captured by the People's Army of Vietnam while on a mission to stop a Viet Cong assassination squad. He escapes, but is mortally wounded while doing so, and is rushed to a U.S. Army field hospital. Prequel to The Eternal Mercenary, and thus the series as a whole. Barry Sadler 1985
The Pirate 15 In 1718, Casca sails to the Caribbean to escape arrest. There, he becomes involved with pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. Barry Sadler 1985
Desert Mercenary 16 Casca and his friend Gus work as mercenaries during the Algerian War. Barry Sadler 1986
The Warrior 17 In the late 1860s, Casca sails the South Pacific, where he saves a small island village from a local warlord. Barry Sadler 1987
The Cursed 18 Casca joins the British Army in 1899, but deserts to the Chinese side and joins the Boxer Rebellion. Barry Sadler 1987
The Samurai 19 Casca is rescued off the coast of Japan in 1184, and later fights in the Battle of Dan-no-ura. Barry Sadler 1988
Soldier of Gideon 20 Casca joins the Israel Defense Forces and fights in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War. Barry Sadler 1988
The Trench Soldier 21 Casca fights with the British Army during the early days of World War I. Barry Sadler 1989 Last to be released by Barry Sadler before his death in 1989
The Mongol 22 Casca is rescued by a young Mongol warrior named Temujin. Casca teaches the young man the art of war, which allows him to conquer and unite the local tribes into a mighty army. Now calling himself Genghis Khan, Temujin sets his sights on the West. Barry Sadler 1990 Written by Barry Sadler, released posthumously
The Liberator 23 When the ship carrying Casca is sunk, he spends six years at the bottom of the ocean until he is rescued by African fishermen. They worship him as a god, and ask him to free their people from the rule of an overlord who believes he is the Son of God. Paul Dengelegi 1999 First to be written by Paul Dengelegi
The Defiant 24 Casca saves the life of a young Marco Polo and joins him on his journey to the court of Kublai Khan. Paul Dengelegi 2001 Last to be written by Paul Dengelegi
Halls of Montezuma 25 Casca arrives in the United States in the 1840s. He joins the U.S. Army during the Mexican–American War and takes part in the Battle of Chapultepec. Tony Roberts 2006 First to be written by Tony Roberts
Johnny Reb 26 Casca fights for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Tony Roberts 2007
The Confederate 27 During the American Civil War, Casca must face threats both from the North and the Brotherhood. Tony Roberts 2008
The Avenger 28 Casca returns to the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century to get revenge against the Brotherhood, and takes part in the Battle of Taginae. Tony Roberts 2008
Immortal Dragon 29 Unknown Michael B. Goodwin 2008 Removed from the series over allegations of plagiarizing the novelization of Rambo III
Napoleon's Soldier 30 Casca joins Napoleon's Grande Armée and participates in the 1812 French invasion of Russia. Tony Roberts 2009
The Conqueror 31 Casca enlists in the army of William I and takes part in the Battle of Hastings. Tony Roberts 2009
The Anzac 32 On the run from British authorities after two British soldiers are accidentally killed (having discovered Casca's immortality while he was in a hospital), Casca fights for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. Tony Roberts 2010
The Outlaw 33 Casca returns to Mexico to lead a group of mercenaries, including Billy the Kid, in a search for a hidden cache of Confederate gold. Michael B. Goodwin 2010 Removed from the series over allegations of plagiarism
Devil's Horseman 34 During the Mongol invasion of Europe, Casca is dragged into factional struggles, and takes part in the Battle of Mohi. Tony Roberts 2010
Sword of the Brotherhood 35 Casca is blackmailed into helping the Brotherhood retrieve the Holy Lance from the Sasanian Empire during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628. Tony Roberts 2011
The Minuteman 36 During the American Revolutionary War, Casca finds a tough adversary in British Major Sir Richard Eley as he fights at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of White Plains, the Battle of Trenton, and Battle of Princeton. Tony Roberts 2011
Roman Mercenary 37 Casca and a team of six mercenaries set out to rescue a rich man's daughter from Rome, which is being occupied by the Visigoths. Tony Roberts 2012
The Continental 38 Casca is captured during the Philadelphia campaign and is held on a British prison hulk off the coast of New York City. He eventually escapes and fights Major Sir Richard Eley one last time at the Battle of Guilford Court House. Tony Roberts 2012
The Crusader 39 Casca works for Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos during the First Crusade and helps a Frankish noblewoman on her journey towards Jerusalem. Tony Roberts 2013
Blitzkreig 40 During World War II, Casca joins the Wehrmacht's panzer corps and fights in Poland, Belgium, and France, while trying to avoid a police hunt after a murder in a Berlin hotel that Casca was involved in. Tony Roberts 2013
The Longbowman 41 Casca joins the army of Henry V and takes part in the Battle of Agincourt. Tony Roberts 2014
Barbarossa 42 Casca continues to fight for the Wehrmacht panzer corps as they invade the Soviet Union, covering the Eastern Front campaigns of 1941 and 1942. Tony Roberts 2015
Scourge of Asia 43 Casca is recruited by the Byzantine emperor to find a warlord to destroy the Ottomans. Casca's travels take him to Transoxiana, where he meets the rising Timur. Tony Roberts 2015
Balkan Mercenary 44 During the Croatian War of Independence, Casca is hired by Croatia to assemble a team of mercenaries to infiltrate Serbian territory and take out an ethnic-cleansing warlord. Tony Roberts 2016
Emperor's Mercenary 45 Casca and a colleague are sent into war-torn Gaul to save a valuable artifact from being destroyed before the fall of the besieged city of Arelate. Tony Roberts 2016
The Cavalryman 46 Casca hunts down a man who attacked a prostitute, leading him to join the 7th Cavalry Regiment immediately prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Tony Roberts 2017
The Viking 47 Casca heads to Scandinavia to get away from the growing might of Charlemagne and becomes involved in Viking politics and war. Tony Roberts 2018
The Austrian 48 Casca, intent on settling a score with the Ottomans, defends the Imperial Austrian city of Vienna against the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Vienna. Tony Roberts 2018
The Lombard 49 Casca joins a tribe of Lombards and lives amongst them for years until news of Narses, his former enemy, arrives. Casca decides Narses must finally be brought to justice. Tony Roberts 2018
The Commissar 50 Casca joins the Red Army during the Soviet–Ukrainian War, but soon turns on them after learning of their brutality. Tony Roberts 2019
The Saracen 51 Casca returns to the Holy Land and, after falling foul of Raynald of Châtillon, joins the army of Saladin and takes part in the decisive Battle of Hattin. Tony Roberts 2019
The Rough Rider 52 When the Spanish–American War breaks out in 1898, Casca joins the U.S. Army and is sent to Cuba to fight in Theodore Roosevelt's unit, the "Rough Riders", in the Battle of San Juan Hill. Tony Roberts 2020
The Last Defender 53 Casca fights the Ottomans to defend the city of Constantinople, the last vestige of his native Roman Empire. Tony Roberts 2020

Audiobook Edit

In 2004, former Casca author Paul Dengelegi wrote an unauthorized non-canon story titled Casca: The Outcast.

The story follows Casca as a prizefighter in Victorian era England with acquaintances Ike and Ulysses. After an encounter with police and a slave trader selling a female slave to a wealthy man, Casca is shot, impaled on a bayonet, and placed on a prison hulk where fights are staged between prisoners (including Ike and Ulysses, led by Scottish prisoner Simon) for the vessel's captain. Eventually, Ulysses kills the captain and orders the female slave to be freed. The prison hulk arrives in Tasmania, where Casca becomes famous as Australia's champion prizefighter. While on a ship to the United States, the ship Casca and his acquaintances are on is attacked by Royal Marines who mistake their ship for pirates, and Ike is killed while Casca is mortally wounded. The story ends with Ulysses substituting Casca's coffin for one full of rocks and hiding Casca's body from the burial party. [6]

Dengelegi contracted with Americana Audio to have it published as a three-disc audiobook CD. This was subsequently withdrawn in 2006 following the closure of Americana Audio.

E-books Edit

From January 2014, the series was put into e-book format, and all existing books in the series up to 2014 (with the exception of The Liberator, The Defiant, Immortal Dragon and The Outlaw) were available in Kindle format by June 2014.


Contents

Casca Rufio Longinus Edit

Casca Rufio Longinus grew up in Etruria in the village of Falerno. [3] His family died of plague, and he enlisted into the 7th Legion at either Messilia [4] or Livorno. [5] He joined the 10th Legion and was sent to Jerusalem where he was assigned to the execution detail for three prisoners, one of which was Jesus.

At Golgotha, Casca stabbed Jesus with his spear in an attempt to relieve Jesus of his pain and suffering. Jesus condemned Casca by saying, "Soldier, you are content with what you are. Then that you shall remain until we meet again. As I go now to My Father, you must one day come to Me." As Jesus died, blood from his wound trickled down Casca's spear and onto his hand, and Casca unknowingly tasted it after wiping sweat from his mouth, causing his body to convulse in pain. Later, Casca was stabbed in the stomach by his superior officer in a fight over an Armenian dancer. A mortally wounded Casca killed the superior officer and was promptly arrested and imprisoned, but by morning he was nearly healed. He then discovered that he cannot age, and that he is immortal, though he can feel all pain inflicted on his body. While his wounds heal completely, his body accumulates countless scars over the centuries.

For the rest of the series, Casca is seen fighting in numerous wars, having been cursed to remain a soldier until the Second Coming. He fights for many sides of many nationalities, such as the Wehrmacht, the Confederate States Army, the French Foreign Legion, the Byzantine Empire, and the Red Army. He is often depicted as a mercenary. Casca is loyal to the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and he often fights against the Ottomans. One of his main adversaries is the Brotherhood of the Lamb.

Over the course of the series, Casca meets numerous famous historical figures, such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Adolf Hitler, Attila the Hun, Blackbeard, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo, Robert E. Lee, George Washington, and Muhammad, among others.

Julius Goldman Edit

Julius Goldman was a surgeon in the United States Army with the rank of Major, stationed at the 8th Field Hospital in Nha Trang during the Vietnam War. He first meets Casca in The Eternal Mercenary when the latter was brought into the hospital with multiple fatal injuries he should not have survived. Dr. Goldman discovered Casca's immortality and decided to become his biographer and chronicler. He is often visited by Casca for updates on his life and experiences throughout the ages. Dr. Goldman later leaves the Army and establishes his own practice. As Goldman ages, he introduces Casca to Danny Landries, the son of one of his former army comrades. Danny first meets Casca in Devil's Horseman and takes over from Goldman as his biographer.

The Brotherhood of the Lamb Edit

The Brotherhood of the Lamb is a fanatical militant religious sect and the main antagonists of the series. It is run by the Inner Circle, the sect's hierarchy, composed of an elder and twelve "brothers". They preach force and power over traditional virtues of piety and compassion. The Brotherhood worships the Holy Lance, which forms the central focus at prayers. On holy days, the Brotherhood recreates the crucifixion in a reenactment involving the killing of one of the brothers, who has been selected to act the part of Jesus, using the Holy Lance.

The Brotherhood was founded by Izram, a man who proclaimed himself the thirteenth Disciple in the wake of Jesus's death, supposedly as a result of Casca stabbing him with the Holy Lance. Izram purchased the Holy Lance from some of Casca's comrades as a relic and symbol for the events on Golgotha. Izram then went into the wilderness for forty days before a revelation came to him that when Jesus returned at the Second Coming, he would meet Casca. The Brotherhood keeps Casca in their sights until the Second Coming though they may hate Casca for his actions at Golgotha, they must not prevent him from meeting Jesus. They occasionally inflict severe pain on Casca, such as an elder cutting Casca's hand off or an acolyte arranging to burn Casca at the stake. In The Sentinel, Elder Gregory murders Casca's adopted son, Demos, and his wife, Ireina, for which Casca crucifies Gregory to death. Casca was also a prisoner of the Brotherhood in The Cursed and Panzer Soldier.

Notable real-life historical figures depicted as elders of the Brotherhood of the Lamb include Heinrich Himmler and Hassan al-Sabah.

Casca is not written in chronological order, with many later novels being sequels or prequels to earlier ones. Immortal Dragon and The Outlaw are not considered canon entries in the series.

Publication history of Casca
Title Book No. Summary Author Release year Notes
The Eternal Mercenary 1 During the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Major Dr. Julius Goldman discovers that wounded soldier "Casey Romain" is actually Casca Rufio Longinus, a 2,000-year-old Roman legionnaire cursed with immortality by Jesus Christ. Barry Sadler 1979
God of Death 2 In 3rd century Mexico, Casca is declared a god by the Teotec Indians, and he defends them from an attack by the Olmecs. Barry Sadler 1979
The War Lord 3 Casca travels to 3rd century Byzantium and China, where he is buried alive by a jealous empress. Barry Sadler 1980
Panzer Soldier 4 Casca fights for the Germans at the Battle of Kursk, and later meets Adolf Hitler. Barry Sadler 1980
The Barbarian 5 Casca deserts the Roman legion in the 2nd century and joins a Germanic tribe. Barry Sadler 1981
The Persian 6 Casca becomes a commander in the army of Persian king Shapur II, but is burned at the stake when he is branded a heretic. Barry Sadler 1982
The Damned 7 Casca returns to the Roman Empire in time to see Rome fall to the Visigoths, then joins the fight against Atilla the Hun at the Battle of the Catalunian Plains in 451. Barry Sadler 1982
Soldier of Fortune 8 Casca serves as a Cambodian mercenary in 1976. Barry Sadler 1983
The Sentinel 9 After sleeping in an ice cave for more than a century, Casca travels to the Eastern Roman Empire to fight against the Vandals in 534. Barry Sadler 1983
The Conquistador 10 Casca escapes from a 16th-century Spanish prison and travels to the New World with Hernán Cortés. Barry Sadler 1984
The Legionnaire 11 At the end of World War II, Casca is captured by the French and drafted into the French Foreign Legion. He is eventually sent to French Indochina, where he fights in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Barry Sadler 1984
African Mercenary 12 In 1977, Casca is sent on a mission to kill an African dictator, but is betrayed by his allies. Barry Sadler 1984
The Assassin 13 In the 11th century, Casca is captured by Arabic slave traders, and is inducted into the secret sect of the Hashshashin. Barry Sadler 1985
The Phoenix 14 Casca is captured by the People's Army of Vietnam while on a mission to stop a Viet Cong assassination squad. He escapes, but is mortally wounded while doing so, and is rushed to a U.S. Army field hospital. Prequel to The Eternal Mercenary, and thus the series as a whole. Barry Sadler 1985
The Pirate 15 In 1718, Casca sails to the Caribbean to escape arrest. There, he becomes involved with pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. Barry Sadler 1985
Desert Mercenary 16 Casca and his friend Gus work as mercenaries during the Algerian War. Barry Sadler 1986
The Warrior 17 In the late 1860s, Casca sails the South Pacific, where he saves a small island village from a local warlord. Barry Sadler 1987
The Cursed 18 Casca joins the British Army in 1899, but deserts to the Chinese side and joins the Boxer Rebellion. Barry Sadler 1987
The Samurai 19 Casca is rescued off the coast of Japan in 1184, and later fights in the Battle of Dan-no-ura. Barry Sadler 1988
Soldier of Gideon 20 Casca joins the Israel Defense Forces and fights in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War. Barry Sadler 1988
The Trench Soldier 21 Casca fights with the British Army during the early days of World War I. Barry Sadler 1989 Last to be released by Barry Sadler before his death in 1989
The Mongol 22 Casca is rescued by a young Mongol warrior named Temujin. Casca teaches the young man the art of war, which allows him to conquer and unite the local tribes into a mighty army. Now calling himself Genghis Khan, Temujin sets his sights on the West. Barry Sadler 1990 Written by Barry Sadler, released posthumously
The Liberator 23 When the ship carrying Casca is sunk, he spends six years at the bottom of the ocean until he is rescued by African fishermen. They worship him as a god, and ask him to free their people from the rule of an overlord who believes he is the Son of God. Paul Dengelegi 1999 First to be written by Paul Dengelegi
The Defiant 24 Casca saves the life of a young Marco Polo and joins him on his journey to the court of Kublai Khan. Paul Dengelegi 2001 Last to be written by Paul Dengelegi
Halls of Montezuma 25 Casca arrives in the United States in the 1840s. He joins the U.S. Army during the Mexican–American War and takes part in the Battle of Chapultepec. Tony Roberts 2006 First to be written by Tony Roberts
Johnny Reb 26 Casca fights for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Tony Roberts 2007
The Confederate 27 During the American Civil War, Casca must face threats both from the North and the Brotherhood. Tony Roberts 2008
The Avenger 28 Casca returns to the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century to get revenge against the Brotherhood, and takes part in the Battle of Taginae. Tony Roberts 2008
Immortal Dragon 29 Unknown Michael B. Goodwin 2008 Removed from the series over allegations of plagiarizing the novelization of Rambo III
Napoleon's Soldier 30 Casca joins Napoleon's Grande Armée and participates in the 1812 French invasion of Russia. Tony Roberts 2009
The Conqueror 31 Casca enlists in the army of William I and takes part in the Battle of Hastings. Tony Roberts 2009
The Anzac 32 On the run from British authorities after two British soldiers are accidentally killed (having discovered Casca's immortality while he was in a hospital), Casca fights for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. Tony Roberts 2010
The Outlaw 33 Casca returns to Mexico to lead a group of mercenaries, including Billy the Kid, in a search for a hidden cache of Confederate gold. Michael B. Goodwin 2010 Removed from the series over allegations of plagiarism
Devil's Horseman 34 During the Mongol invasion of Europe, Casca is dragged into factional struggles, and takes part in the Battle of Mohi. Tony Roberts 2010
Sword of the Brotherhood 35 Casca is blackmailed into helping the Brotherhood retrieve the Holy Lance from the Sasanian Empire during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628. Tony Roberts 2011
The Minuteman 36 During the American Revolutionary War, Casca finds a tough adversary in British Major Sir Richard Eley as he fights at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of White Plains, the Battle of Trenton, and Battle of Princeton. Tony Roberts 2011
Roman Mercenary 37 Casca and a team of six mercenaries set out to rescue a rich man's daughter from Rome, which is being occupied by the Visigoths. Tony Roberts 2012
The Continental 38 Casca is captured during the Philadelphia campaign and is held on a British prison hulk off the coast of New York City. He eventually escapes and fights Major Sir Richard Eley one last time at the Battle of Guilford Court House. Tony Roberts 2012
The Crusader 39 Casca works for Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos during the First Crusade and helps a Frankish noblewoman on her journey towards Jerusalem. Tony Roberts 2013
Blitzkreig 40 During World War II, Casca joins the Wehrmacht's panzer corps and fights in Poland, Belgium, and France, while trying to avoid a police hunt after a murder in a Berlin hotel that Casca was involved in. Tony Roberts 2013
The Longbowman 41 Casca joins the army of Henry V and takes part in the Battle of Agincourt. Tony Roberts 2014
Barbarossa 42 Casca continues to fight for the Wehrmacht panzer corps as they invade the Soviet Union, covering the Eastern Front campaigns of 1941 and 1942. Tony Roberts 2015
Scourge of Asia 43 Casca is recruited by the Byzantine emperor to find a warlord to destroy the Ottomans. Casca's travels take him to Transoxiana, where he meets the rising Timur. Tony Roberts 2015
Balkan Mercenary 44 During the Croatian War of Independence, Casca is hired by Croatia to assemble a team of mercenaries to infiltrate Serbian territory and take out an ethnic-cleansing warlord. Tony Roberts 2016
Emperor's Mercenary 45 Casca and a colleague are sent into war-torn Gaul to save a valuable artifact from being destroyed before the fall of the besieged city of Arelate. Tony Roberts 2016
The Cavalryman 46 Casca hunts down a man who attacked a prostitute, leading him to join the 7th Cavalry Regiment immediately prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Tony Roberts 2017
The Viking 47 Casca heads to Scandinavia to get away from the growing might of Charlemagne and becomes involved in Viking politics and war. Tony Roberts 2018
The Austrian 48 Casca, intent on settling a score with the Ottomans, defends the Imperial Austrian city of Vienna against the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Vienna. Tony Roberts 2018
The Lombard 49 Casca joins a tribe of Lombards and lives amongst them for years until news of Narses, his former enemy, arrives. Casca decides Narses must finally be brought to justice. Tony Roberts 2018
The Commissar 50 Casca joins the Red Army during the Soviet–Ukrainian War, but soon turns on them after learning of their brutality. Tony Roberts 2019
The Saracen 51 Casca returns to the Holy Land and, after falling foul of Raynald of Châtillon, joins the army of Saladin and takes part in the decisive Battle of Hattin. Tony Roberts 2019
The Rough Rider 52 When the Spanish–American War breaks out in 1898, Casca joins the U.S. Army and is sent to Cuba to fight in Theodore Roosevelt's unit, the "Rough Riders", in the Battle of San Juan Hill. Tony Roberts 2020
The Last Defender 53 Casca fights the Ottomans to defend the city of Constantinople, the last vestige of his native Roman Empire. Tony Roberts 2020

Audiobook Edit

In 2004, former Casca author Paul Dengelegi wrote an unauthorized non-canon story titled Casca: The Outcast.

The story follows Casca as a prizefighter in Victorian era England with acquaintances Ike and Ulysses. After an encounter with police and a slave trader selling a female slave to a wealthy man, Casca is shot, impaled on a bayonet, and placed on a prison hulk where fights are staged between prisoners (including Ike and Ulysses, led by Scottish prisoner Simon) for the vessel's captain. Eventually, Ulysses kills the captain and orders the female slave to be freed. The prison hulk arrives in Tasmania, where Casca becomes famous as Australia's champion prizefighter. While on a ship to the United States, the ship Casca and his acquaintances are on is attacked by Royal Marines who mistake their ship for pirates, and Ike is killed while Casca is mortally wounded. The story ends with Ulysses substituting Casca's coffin for one full of rocks and hiding Casca's body from the burial party. [6]

Dengelegi contracted with Americana Audio to have it published as a three-disc audiobook CD. This was subsequently withdrawn in 2006 following the closure of Americana Audio.

E-books Edit

From January 2014, the series was put into e-book format, and all existing books in the series up to 2014 (with the exception of The Liberator, The Defiant, Immortal Dragon and The Outlaw) were available in Kindle format by June 2014.


Guadalcanal Diary, Wing and a Prayer, Halls of Montezuma, The Young Lions & Patton

Fox Home video must have had luck with their earlier War releases, because they've come up with a repackaging of their previous hits ( Patton, Von Ryan's Express ) and added some less well-known, but very welcome, titles. Like other studios, Fox seems very cautious in their catalog releases. There's certainly no flood of great old titles pouring from their gates (it's surprising that sure bets like The Day the Earth Stood Still haven't come out yet) but at least the quality is staying high. This particular string of War pictures shows the strong contrast between productions made during WW2 and Korea, and those made in peacetime. The presentations all include first-class transfers without elaborate presentations or extras, and at excellent low prices.

Captains Cross (Roy Roberts) and Davis (Richard Conte) lead the first detachments of Marines onto the Japanese stronghold of Guadalcanal, braving snipers and bombing raids and holding territory for our invading regular Army.

Based on the popular Tregaskis novel, this saga of the Marines was filmed practically before the fighting had finished on Guadalcanal. It's one of the key combat films of the war, and survives better as a document of the times than as an entertainment. Calculated to indoctrinate civilian audiences to the realities of combat, it's also encumbered with scenes to reassure the folks back home that their boys are in good hands in the military.

The book was a major seller and shocked average Americans with its descriptions of combat warfare in muddy, bloody detail instead of leavened with righteous platitudes or heroics. The movie does its best to stay faithful, but the bits of narration taken from Tregaskis' text that dot the film are overwhelmed by the comedy relief of William Bendix and Lionel Stander. At least 20% of the picture plays like light comedy of the sub-Abbott and Costello school.

It looks as if the WW2 equivalent of political correctness had a big hand in the final scripwriting. The lead character is a medic-chaplain played by Preston Foster, and several scenes are devoted to happy soldiers singing hymns and attending church services like choirboys, so Mom and Pop will know they fought with God in their hearts. One scene seems calculated to encourage civilian mail to the troops, by showing a Marine heartbroken after mail call because there was nothing in the dispatch bag for him.

This is a picture from the first wave of Hollywood striking back at Japan, and like Wake Island or Gung Ho! treats the Japanese as savage vermin to be exterminated. The act of hiding in a tree in ambush, or pressing a strategic advantage, is regarded as a war crime. When the Marines take their losses 'personally' and revenge themselves on the enemy by fighting dirty, we're encouraged to cheer. Young Richard Jaeckel plays possum and then blasts three 'Japs ' in the back, spitting out the line, 'I learned that from Tojo!' Obviously this and other moments were meant to bolster the morale of Americans in the audience, some of whom might be soldiers on their way to fight in the Pacific theater. The spectacle of the Marines driving an enemy regiment into the sea, and massacring them in the surf, is the kind of scene best appreciated by an audience that feels threatened.

Likewise, a Mexican-American character named Jesus 'Soose' Alvarez, played powerfully by a young Anthony Quinn, is included perhaps to stimulate minority recruitment. Naturally, Soose is twice the fighter of any man around and receives letters from several Latin girlfriends.

But the basic truths of the hardships and tensions of real combat remain intact, and there's no exaggerated gallantry or outrageous derring-do in sight even an episode where the Marines attack some cavebound holdouts, stresses casualties over firepower.

The attitude of wartime audiences can be summed up by a scene that now plays rather mawkishly. Stuck in a pounding bombing raid in a flimsy shelter, Jaeckel quietly cries, Foster admits everyone's scared, and William Bendix (who was already a sentimental audience favorite) makes an awkward speech about praying even when you're not a church guy, and how fate has to be in the hands of 'something bigger than us.' Apparently this scene touched just the right buttons in the wartime psyche, and was cheered in theaters.

Fox's DVD of Guadalcanal Diary is a spotless transfer that looks better than the studio print Savant saw at UCLA thirty years ago. It's so clear that the occasional bit of real combat footage really sticks out. The only extra is a trailer, that uses an alternate take of the air raid shelter scene where Richard Jaeckel freaks out in panic. The DVD box art features a huge closeup of Anthony Quinn, even though he's just a featured player in the picture.

Aircraft Carrier "X" (its name changed to protect military 'secrets') is ordered to race across the Pacific and back, to avoid fights and be seen anywhere but near Midway. After convincing the enemy that our ships are scattered and our morale too low to engage in battle, the carrier reports to Midway to help out in a whopping big battle. Running the ship are Captain Waddell (Charles Bickford) and stern flight commander Bingo Harper (Don Ameche). Among the frustrated fliers are Hallam Scott (William Eythe), an Oscar-winning actor who's sometimes unreliable about following orders Malcolm Brainard (Harry Morgan) a scratched pilot who wants back up in a plane, Cookie Cunningham (Kevin O'Shea), an Ace who thinks he's lost his touch, and Ed Moulton (Dana Andrews), the flight leader who tries to hold them all together. But when they finally cross planes with the Japanese at Midway, all rise to the occasion as fierce warriors.

Obviously pitched as a morale-booster, Wing and a Prayer probably succeeded as light entertainment back home, but if they showed it to sailors and Navy fliers in the Pacific, I can't imagine what the reaction would have been. This is the true-blue kind of patriotic film that's enjoyable both for itself, and to try and determine the propaganda reasoning behind some of its strange plotting.

This has to be the strangest take on the war in the Pacific since Air Force , that rousing show where one B-17 appeared to sink the entire Japanese fleet. Here we have the US Navy portrayed as acting like its own decoy, with aviators ordered not to engage the enemy so as to give the impression that we're cowards, and thus lull the foe into a false sense of security.

The tough-minded leads are given little to do but represent American determination. Dana Andrews simply personifies youthful integrity this was before anyone found out he could act. Telephone-joke Don Ameche is just fine as the Warner Baxter-style hardass commander. One wonders what kind of career he would have had if not typed as a grinning nothing in so many Fox musicals. In retrospect, he also reminds a bit of John Travolta's humorless officer in The Thin Red Line , if only because of his mustache and his attitude on deck.

Of all the studios, Fox seemed the most anxious to self-promote while entertaining during wartime. Movies are shown on Carrier "X", Betty Grable pictures, of course, and the hotshot pilot played by William Eythe, who has his Oscar stuffed under his pilot's seat, is the envy of his peers because he's kissed so many starlets in the movies. 1

There's plenty of action in Wing and a Prayer that combines real combat stock, with model footage nowhere as adept as Warner's or MGM's work. But you can't slight it for ambition - at one point we're shown a pilot's point of view flying through the flames of a burning enemy ship. One average bomb blows up a whole battleship as if this were a Popeye cartoon, a standard for any studio's movies made during the war. Hollywood scenarists definitely were working without the benefit of technical overseers - a heroic pilot is shown ramming his plane into a torpedo before it can strike the carrier (something I can imagine a Japanese flyer doing, but not one of ours, frankly), and the observing officers react like football coaches watching a well-performed play. There's a balance here between team-playing and showboat flying that isn't strongly stressed, until a nice ending that shows Ameche's character abandoning a lost flyer because the security of the whole carrier comes first.

I don't know if this is the first 'aircraft carrier movie' made ( 30 Seconds Over Tokyo? ) but it's a very interesting morale piece. Actor-spotters will enjoy seeing a baby-faced Richard Jaeckel ( The Dirty Dozen ) as an underage tailgunner. A young Harry Morgan (television's M*A*S*H ) makes a good impression too.

The DVD of Wing and a Prayer looks in top shape, but the transfer is a mite compromised by white highlights around dark objects on screen. These ring many images and outline the headlines in newspapers in white light. Overall it's not too distracting, but I'm told this is a result of digital processing done indiscriminately to improve overall contrast and picture punch. I think I'd rather let the 1944 picture look as it should instead. You might not even notice this flaw on your monitor. Otherwise, this is a fine transfer and a solid plainwrap disc, with just the expected trailer for an extra.

High-strung Lieutenant Carl Anderson (Richard Widmark) has to take constantly pop painkillers given him by soulful medic 'Doc' Jones (Karl Malden) to keep on going. His Marines, trapped on a post-Guadalcanal, post-Tarawa island, are pinned down by Japanese rockets and must go on a hazardous patrol to learn their location. His colorful squad consists of Sgt. Randolph Johnson (Reginald Gardiner), an interpreter, the cheerful Pvt. Coffman (Robert Wagner), sometimes jittery Corporal Conroy (Richard Hylton), psychotic Pvt. 'Pretty Boy' Riley (Skip Homeier), journalist Dickerson (Jack Webb), busted Pvt. Slattery (Bert Freed), tough guy Sgt. Zelenko (Neville Brand), green recruit Private Whitney (Martin Milner), and nice-guy Pidgeon Lane (Walter 'Jack' Palance).

Released in 1950, this Marine combat film doubtlessly was produced before the outbreak of the Korean conflict, and doesn't have the confused attitudes of the few War dramas made concurrent with that war. It attempts to be as true as possible to the fighting experience, and does a fairly good job of it, even if the gloss of Technicolor candy-colors everything in sight.

With some high production values and the obvious active participation of the military, The Halls of Montezuma shows an island landing a la The Thin Red Line with some very good archival color footage and some large-scale recreations. Lewis Milestone's battle techniques from his famous All Quiet on the Western Front are here used for a very un-pacifistic hymn to the Marine Corps, and the sparse score consists solely of patriotic standards. The theme is the high price paid to win a battle, with most of the interesting cast (practically every available Fox actor on the payroll) getting shot up or at least wounded. It's an ensemble piece where low-billed Jack Webb gets more screen time and more to do than top dog Walter 'Jack' Palance. Everybody's most-hated kid Skip Homeier (he who shot Gregory Peck in the back in The Gunfighter ) is practically a nutcase, and the show inadvertently gives the impression that the Marine Corps can use guys like that. Agonized teacher-turned-soldier Richard Widmark is shown to suffer from migranes and is constantly drugging himself, a detail that now seems loaded with '50s cultural significance but probably has plenty of truth behind it. You'd certainly have to get me hopped up on something, to go into battles like these.

The story is told straight, but with three or four flashbacks showing the soldiers at earlier times. This effective device was really abused later in the '50s, to inject females and romance into pictures like Away All Boats! , The Caine Mutiny , and especially Battle Cry . Women moviegoers were considered to have veto rights on what films the family saw. The posters for these pictures always had prominent insets with the female costars, peeking out from images of ships clashing or men in combat.

The freedom to 'get real' about the War experience shown in titles like Twelve O'Clock High is shown in the dialogue, where the enemy are called Japs and Nips even more stridently than during the war. The Japanese are first shown as a series of sinister expressionless faces. When captured, the enlisted men turn out to be whimpering cowards, and their officers death-obsessed fanatics. The general attitude toward them is shown when long-distance flamethrowers are used to incinerate an entire line of pillboxes, to the delight of our movie star Marine heroes. An actual color combat shot of burning soldier is intercut. There's nothing dishonest about this aspect of the movie, but it is a bit uncomfortable. I doubt The Halls of Montezuma opened big in Tokyo.

Big and colorful and with lots of good stars-to-be in the cast (boy, does Karl Malden look out of place!), The Halls of Montezuma is a way-above-average combat picture, made just before Hollywood began a revisionist backlash against the whole genre.

The DVD of The Halls of Montezuma simply looks great. It's obviously not mastered from original Technicolor elements but whatever they did use is in very good shape, with strong colors. The trailer included looks like a Marine Corps recruiting film, and has none of the silly text lines 'quoted' in the loudspeaker camp announcement scene in M*A*S*H .

Sensitive German Army Lieutenant Christian Diestl (Marlon Brando) doesn't understand the harsh attitudes of his peers and superiors, and undergoes a slow demoralization as the war proceeds in North Africa. Meanwhile, Singer Michael Whiteacre (Dean Martin) is drafted, and makes friends with Jewish-American Noah Ackerman (Montgomery Clift), who falls in love with whitebread New England girl Hope Plowman (Hope Lange) before shipping off to Europe. The soldiers on opposite sides suffer through their predicaments until their fates eventually cross paths at a concentration camp in Western Germany, near the very end of the conflict.

When a movie is described as anti-war, the joke now is that nobody can name a pro-war movie. In reality, all war movies are pro-war when it comes to being good advertising for the promised action, adventure, danger and camaraderie that filmed combat makes look so exciting. The real distinction in war movies is between conservative pictures like The Halls of Montezuma that are basically recruiting ads for the armed services, and liberal shows that purport to deliver the message that War is cruel and pointless and dehumanizing. Combat soldiers know this already, and movie fans nod thoughtfully while enjoying the dehumanizing action and violence. Taking the cue from war-memoir writers like James Jones, America spent twenty years interpreting the war in print. Attack! used gore and outrage and raised some eyebrows, and other films like From Here to Eternity and The Caine Mutiny had their rougher edges dulled by official pressure. Eventually the genre subsided into pure escapism based more on action themes than literary strength ( Von Ryan's Express, The Dirty Dozen ). Pretty much in the middle of the liberal movement came The Young Lions . Considered the Apocalypse Now of its day, this method-acting fest now seems just an overgrown curiosity, thanks mainly to Edward Dmytryk's bad direction.

Already responsible for ruining Raintree County , Dmytryk has the knack of shooting every scene so flatly that The Young Lions plays like a procession of dislocated closeups and unconvincing sets. The actors do well under the circumstances, and of course Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando are fascinating to watch, but the movie suffers.

The script is the real culprit, as it's really just one stock situation after another, lifting liberally from James Jones. Clift's ordeal by combat against his own anti-Semitic soldiers, followed by the Army's reprimanding of the officer who allowed it to happen, wastes half an hour by making you feel you're watching a dull remake of the Zinnemann film. The mildly 'sympathetic' German of earlier war films (oh, The Desert Fox for one) emerges full-blown here as a misunderstood Rebel Without a Swastika. We find out that our tortured German officer is really a nice guy who'd rather be skiing with his life-loving pals. I'd think that anyone in the German officer corps with Christian Diestl's ethical makeup would either have been give the iron boot, or would have learned to strongly suppress his tendencies, long before reaching the rank of Lieutenant.

In love with its own ironies, The Young Lions touches on big issues but doesn't tackle any of them. Clift's touching romance with Hope Lange spends an entire scene setting up an anti-semitic conflict that then evaporates. In the end, the show tries to grapple with the issues of the extermination camps. Our decent German hero is sickened to discover what's going on there, a revelation that sends him into the final stages of mental confusion. We get the required downbeat ending, and a nice commercial coda with Clift returning to his new family in NYC.

The Young Lions also represents two major career moves. It's Maximillian Schell's first American film, and he made an impression as an intellectual that started him off on a slow but steady rise to stardom. This is Dean Martin's first serious role after the Jerry Lewis breakup, and he represents a nice contrast with the method stars, being more of an unforced acting personality like Robert Mitchum than a trained talent. He isn't as in control here as he is in the same year's Some Came Running , but he's not at all bad, except in his drunk London scene. As for the women in the movie, Barbara Rush is both attractive and intelligent in her role, having successfully graduated from science fiction movies like It Came from Outer Space and When Worlds Collide. May Britt also does well as the promiscuous wife of Schell who seduces Brando. As Brando's French girlfriend, Lillianne Montevecchi seems to have tagged along with Dino from one of his last comedies.

The main complaint with the show is that it looks so cheap and flat, the same quality Dmytryk was somehow able to impart to the very expensive Raintree County . All of the money must have gone into the actors, because it's not in the production. Half of a scene in North Africa is stolen from (I think) The Immortal Sergeant , an older Fox film. Stock shots don't mix with the new CinemaScope lensing very well, especially those that have just been cut in flat and allowed to squash out horizontally. Germans drive around in US Army jeeps. Big parts of many exteriors play against rear projections and blank walls. The trailer makes special note of producer Al Lichtman's great career as a 'pioneer of cinema' . but a look at his one feature credit in the IMDB and you realize that he must have pioneered the secret of keeping the production budget for himself.

Fox's DVD of The Young Lions looks clean and neat, and spreads out nice 'n wide in black & white. This points up all of those production deficiencies but gives you a front row seat at all the good acting in view. The only extra is the trailer like the rest of the titles in the series, the package artwork is first-rate.

General George S Patton (George C Scott) manages to distinguish himself with a tank corps in North Africa, but is given a secondary position during the invasion of Sicily. Demoted and censured after an incident of slapping a possible malingerer, he spends half a year on the bench while other commanders get prize positions for D-Day. His old ally General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden) finally gives him another tank-spearheaded army, with which he tear-asses across France in record time, and then drives to Bastogne to rescue the GI's trapped in the Battle of the Bulge.

Patton exists pretty much outside the tradition of the Hollywood war movie, being more of a roadshow epic that nevertheless has a very non-roadshow concentration on documentary fact over fiction. Cinerama's The Battle of the Bulge had been such a fabrication that military celebrities refused to endorse it, but here, right in the middle of the Vietnam war, came a movie about a war hawk that played to the predjudices of audiences left and right, simply by using the contradictions already present in the quixotic Patton figure.

Having died very shortly after the war, Patton never had the chance to generate a postwar image of himself, or to become an unassailable father figure like Eisenhower. His love of classical warfare and his prima donna vanity do not at first seem to be compatible with his rough-edged character and his ruthless tactics. Writers Coppola and North eventually endorse him simply because his willingness to sacrifice all for victory is so compatible with the spirit of warfare itself. Patton makes no distinction whatsoever between his personal goals and that of the war he's fighting he's fascinating because he seems to personify the very concept of War. By keeping the conflict of the story at that level (Patton against everyone else, and himself too), Patton avoided being dragged into the current Vietnam mire, a clearheaded stance that unfortunately found a ready identifier in Richard Nixon, who screened the film at the White House directly before invading Cambodia. 2

Patton lets some full battles near the beginning color the rest of the film, and relies on montages of very well-staged fighting later on, to avoid being a repetitive, boom-boom action epic. Shot on credible locales, with only the lack of original Sherman tanks to keep things realistic, it plays faster than a newsreel even at three hours in length. The political battles between Patton and peer Omar Bradley (Karl Malden, even better than George C. Scott) are funny and involving. Patton's feud with Field Marshall Montgomery completely trounces the idea that the US and England were allies with uniformly common goals. Eisenhower is for some reason kept out of the picture entirely, remaining an unseen and uncriticized presence. With its semi-abstract opening, featuring the General lecturing us on how Americans relate to battle, and its low-key conclusion, with the same man prattling useless and inflammatory remarks against the Soviets, Patton is a thinking picture, probably the most thoughtful film on the politics of War ever made.

This is a non-special edition of the first disc of the two disc Patton set of a couple of years' back, and the feature has an identical high quality transfer. The image is just as true and sharp as the Dimension-150 theatrical prints, as can be seen by the perfect lines of the giant American flag in the first scene. At this low price it's an amazing bargain.

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
Guadalcanal Diary rates:
Movie: Good
Video: Good
Sound: Good
Supplements: Trailer
Packaging: Amaray case
Reviewed: October 28, 2001

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
Wing and a Prayer rates:
Movie: Good
Video: Good, with slight reservations
Sound: Good
Supplements: Trailer
Packaging: Amaray case
Reviewed: October 28, 2001

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
Halls of Montezuma rates:
Movie: Good
Video: Excellent
Sound: Good
Supplements: Trailer
Packaging: Amaray case
Reviewed: October 28, 2001

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
The Young Lions rates:
Movie: Good
Video: Excellent
Sound: Good
Supplements: Trailer
Packaging: Amaray case
Reviewed: October 28, 2001

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
Patton rates:
Movie: Excellent
Video: Excellent
Sound: Excellent
Supplements: Trailer, audio essay on the Historical Patton
Packaging: Amaray case
Reviewed: October 28, 2001

1. Eythe's character seems to have been an inspiration for Wild Bill Kelso in 1941 he checks the Oscar hidden under his seat like Kelso checks his squeeze-toy doll, and sings along to 'Deep in the Heart of Texas' while firing his wing-cannon to the beat.
Return

2. A connection which may have been simple coincidence but has by now snowballed into American History.
Return


The Halls of Montezuma

The Halls of Montezuma is a fast paced game of the Mexican War which takes you back to the era of Manifest Destiny. The Halls of Montezuma is a Card Driven Game, allowing players the opportunity to recreate the various events and actions in Mexico from 1846 to 1848. The historical cast of characters is here, from Doniphan to Arista, Scott to Santa Anna. Even Lee, Jackson, Beauregard and Grant make appearances.

Strategy card play allows you to move your forces, make events happen, activate the fleet, secure control of your lines of communication, and even invade Mexico with General Scott.

The outcome is never a foregone conclusion. Victory comes from driving Mexico's political will down to zero but each battle's outcome is in doubt - a few troops performing superbly can defeat many troops performing poorly. Mexico can achieve a quick sudden-death victory before the U.S. has declared war and can bring its force to bear.

Will Santa Anna arrive early and retake Tejas?

Can General Scott take Mexico City?

Play The Halls of Montezuma and find out!

Rules booklet
Deck of 110 Strategy & Action cards
One 22x34 mapsheet
Player aid cards
Quick Start card
Two 5/8-inch counter sheets

DESIGNERS Michael Welker & David Fox
DEVELOPER William Cooper
COUNTER ART Rodger B. MacGowan & Mark Simonitch
MAP ART Tim Schlief
CARD ART Mike Simonitch

HoM offers a single campaign scenario playable in two to three hours, given sudden death victory conditions. This makes the game ideal for an evening of friendly play as well as for tournaments and play-by-email.

If you enjoy the other CDG's, HoM brings you the Mexican-American War in a format that hearkens to the design elegance and playing time of We The People ™, the ground-breaking game by Mark Herman. HoM uses mechanics and cards to capture the excitement, tension, and uncertainty of this rarely simulated conflict from American history, the war that was a training ground for so many generals who would become fierce enemies in a later conflict.

Can Mexico emerge as a new North American power or will the United States fulfill its Manifest Destiny?


Casca: Halls of Montezuma, Tony Roberts - History

John A. Quitman is one of those American citizens who left his footprints across many different aspects of United States history, however, very few people today know his name.

He’s the type of man from the early 1800s whose life can be used to teach backcountry settlement, planter philosophy, and political machinations from Manifest Destiny through the election of James Buchanan. Those machinations include a rabid belief in state’s rights, the annexation of Cuba, and Congressional actions during the mid-1850s…a very turbulent time.

Quitman began life in New York and, after settling on a law career he headed to Natchez, Mississippi along with his friend John McMurran to see what the richest city in America had to offer two young blades. He quickly joined many different men’s organizations including groups against dueling and gambling. He and McMurran both married into the very wealthy Turner family by wedding sisters. McMurran and his wife lived at Melrose….I’ve written about it here. Quitman and his wife eventually settled at Monmouth one of the oldest homes in Natchez, and one of the most beautiful bed and breakfast inns there today.

If you haven’t guessed yet John A. Quitman is the owner of the hanky I posted for my wordless entry this week. The story goes that Eliza Quitman made the hanky for her husband and gave it to him as he left for war. Notice how large it is. Apparently the hanky wan’t only good for blowing his nose…..Quitman also used the hanky to signal his men on the battlefield. Doesn’t this make perfect sense? There were no cell phones or telegraph during Texas Independence or the Mexican American War. What better way for Quitman’s men to spot him on a chaotic battlefield? It sounds like a good story, but I haven’t actually found any hard evidence to support it. It is proudly framed and placed on the wall at Monmouth and holds a prominent place in the tour.

The Mexican American War was the first test of Manifest Destiny. It was caused by a desire Americans had to expand westward to the Pacific Ocean. Manifest Destiny did not sanction violence, but it did not take into account that hundreds of people were already living in the western territories. In 1835, the U.S. offered to buy California from Mexico for 5 million. It was refused. In 1845, 25 million was offered but refused. Another cause of the Mexican American War was the annexation of Texas. It was a slap in the face for Mexico….They were still stinging from the fact they had lost Texas to begin with. Borders became a hot-button issue and, Mexico threatened war. Without getting too wordy here once the war began Quitman was one of six brigadier generals apppointed by President Polk to command voluntary regiments. He didn’t let anyone down.

By the time Quitman was commanding men at war he had already studied at seminary, acted as a tutor in the classics at Hartwick Seminary, and served as a professor at Mt. Airy College. He had practiced law, served as a trustee of the academy and state university for Mississippi, and served in the Mississippi state legislature. For a time a quirk in state law allowed him the governorship, in 1836 he raised a body of volunteers to help the Texans in the fight for their independence, and as a “sideline” he owned four large plantations though they were not all developed and operating at the same time.
Once in Mexico Quitman seemed to be everywhere. He immedately reported to General Zachary Taylor at Carmago and was noticed when he fought at the Battle of Monterey when he successfully assaulted Ft. Tenerice before advancing into the city. During the siege of Vera Cruz Quitman led an assault against Alvarado along with the naval forces of Matthew Perry (yeah, that Matthew Perry). He was also at Puebla where his actions led to him being brevetted major-general and eventually he received a sword from Congress that is shown at Monmouth today. The sword is one of only fourteen swords ever awarded by Congress.

Quitman’s war contributions are best remembered from the Battle of Chapultepec where the castle was stormed on two fronts. Quitman eventually entered Mexico City by the Belen Gate. The picture posted below shows Quitman leading Marines into the city. Notice Quitman is missing a shoe.

The following is taken from The Aztec Club website which is the original organization of men who fought in the war. Quitman was their first president. At the website it states:

In his classic two-volume work, The War With Mexico (Macmillan Co., NY. 1911), Justin Smith, perhaps the pre-eminent historian on the Mexican War, wrote:

“When the first thin streak of dawn glimmered forth behind the gray volcanoes, and our cannon at Belen Gate garita were on the point of opening fire, a white flag and an invitation to enter the capital reached Quitman. First, making sure there was no deception, he advanced and after stopping about half an hour at the citadel he moved forward under a splendid sun to the grand plaza, which fronted the palace and cathedral, with [Persifor] Smith’s Brigade, the Marines, the New York volunteers and Steptoe’s battery.

As a triumphal procession the command looked rather strange. Quitman and Smith marched at its head on foot---the former with only one shoe and behind them came troops decorated with mud, the red stains of battle and rough bandages, carrying arms at quite haphazard angles.

No less astonishing looked the city, for sidewalks, windows, balconies and housetops were crowded with people. Except for silence, the countless white handkerchiefs and the foreign flags, it might have been thought a holiday. Before the palace, which filled the east side of the plaza, the troops formed in line of battle. Officers took their places at the front, and when Captain Roberts hoisted a battle-scarred American flag on the staff of the palace at seven o’clock, arms were presented and the officers saluted.

Soon, loud cheering was heard. A few squares away the commander-in-chief, escorted by cavalry with drawn swords, had reached Worth’s command, which had stopped at six o’clock by orders opposite the high ash trees of the Alameda. A clatter of galloping hoofs folllowed and in another moment, amidst the involuntary applause of the Mexicans, General Scott, dressed in full uniform and mounted on a tall, heavy bay charger, dashed with his staff and Harney’s dragoons into the grand plaza—his noble figure, gold epaulets and snowy plumes, resplendent under the brillant sun, fitly typifying the invisible glory of his unkempt and limbering army…

In stentorian tones the commander-in-chief appointed Quitman Governor of the city…”

You can see Major-General Winfield Scott’s official report here.

Some sources state that Quitman is the only American to ever rule from a national palace. Also, the actions of the Marines at Chapultepec is what earned them the line “from the halls of Montezuma” in the Marine Anthem (I wrote about "the shores of Tripoli" here).

Once Quitman returned to Mississippi he was governor once more. In 1856 he was named at the National Democratic Convention as a possible vice president nomination, but was not nominated. He served in Congress where he claimed states had the right to secede. He is also credited with being one of the first to bring up the idea of the Confederate States of America. Quitman’s work came to an end tragically after attending a dinner for James Buchanan. Poison was suspected after several men fell ill. Quitman lingered for sometime but eventually died from what some state was National Hotel Disease.


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Comments or corrections?

I haven't read the series myself, but I understand it has been re-launched under its third author. In June 2008, the 27th book in the series, The Confederate, was released.

Yeah, i have read several Casca books. Not in a long time, though.

I've read of few of them…back in the late 80's I think. They were ok 'fluff' reading.

I've seen these around but never picked one up. Cornwall and Jordan were my favorite historical fiction writers.

I read the one where the Sassanids burned him to death at the stake, but being immortal…

Yes, I read and enjoyed them back in high school. Good Pablum for the brain.

I liked the line from Panzer Soldier, where his gunner the History teacher wonders aloud about Napoleon's Retreat and the simple "No, it was colder"

I have most of the series and read a good protion of it some time ago. I think I bought the whole set for less than $10  USD at a half price bookstore.

I read them along time ago they were fun especially early on in the series.

I always felt a little sorry for Barry Sadler and of course his bizarre end.

I saw the series sell recently on Ebay for a bit over $400…..

I use his name, Casca, to play first person shooter games online. Seems to work as I die often, but always come back to life to fight again.

I just gave the entire series to a local used bookshop.

Some of Sadler's early descriptive writing was, to be
very blunt, bizarre…

The books were short, violent and fast-paced. None of that long drawn-out drama mush.

I love them, though many may snub the writing style as being unrefined.

Check out this older thread:

I loved the whole "Brotherhood of the Lamb" thing. Between that and the fact that Casca is immortal, it reminded me of the Highlander series that came out much later.

I have the entire run of Barry Sadler's Casca books, plus Paul Dengelegi's two "attempts".

The Sadler books were a lot of fun, quick reads with a lot of action and a few twists along the way.

The two Dengelegi books (Liberator and Defiant) were almost unreadable – poorly written, poorly plotted, poorly edited. I managed to finish both of them, but it was a hard slog.

I haven't purchased the Tony Roberts Cascas yet (Halls of Montezuma, Johnny Reb, Confederate, Avenger), but word is that they're better than Dengelegi's efforts, though not up to Sadler's standards, such as they were. Maybe I'll pick those up and have a marathon Casca session over the Christmas holidays.

I too read Casca back over 20 years ago. OK

I picked up the first 5 or 6 when I visited the States with my parents – I was 21 so that was 26 years ago. Fell in love with a young waitress called Shirley Wangle in Pheonix (at the Best Western I seem to recall) – never met up but ended up corresponding for a few years…………oh youth is so wasted on the young. Back to Casca (!) I thoroughly enjoyed them and followed the series in the UK up until about number 12 or so when he concentrated on modern times. Lost interest and got rid of them all except the first one which I read every few years.

I read almost all of them back when they came out. It was a great twist away from all the Mack Bolan clones. I really enjoyed them.

I was just talking about this series with my father in law and I when we were watching "King of Kings" during Christmas


New Historical Fiction, first books

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1DWWilkin

2DeltaQueen50

I am not sure if I understand exactly what you are looking for - new authors to you or authors that have just had first book released? Anyway, I have compiled a small list of historical novels that are fairly recent.
The Kitchen Boy 2003, Rasputin's Daughter 2006, and The Romonov Bride 2008 all by Robert Alexander - considered a series, but each book stands alone.

The Religion 2006 by Tim Willocks, about the seige of Malta by the Ottomans in 1565.

Beneath a Marble Sky 2006 by John Shors about the building of the Taj Mahal in India.

Temple Dancer 2006 and Tiger Claws 2008 also about India, also focusing on the Mogul Empire.

The Year Of Wonders 2001 by Geraldine Brooks is about a village that closes itself off when they are struck with the bubonic plague.
Geraldine Brooks has also written March 2005 about the American Civil War, based on the father from Little Women, and People of the Book 2008 which although I haven't read yet, get lots of good reviews here on LT.

Etta 2009 by Gerald Kolpan (first book published I believe) about Etta Place who was the companion to the Sundance Kid of the Hole In The Wall Gang.

I hope some of this is what you are looking for.

3brenzi

I love historical fiction. I would suggest these titles that I have recently read and loved:

A Thread of Grace- Mary Doria Russell
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams - Wayne Johnston
The Voyage of the Narwhal - Andrea Barrett
The Secret River - Kate Grenville

4pkw87

I loved The Blood of Flowers about an anonymous female carpet maker in 17th (or 18th?)-century Persia. I listened to the audio version, by the way.

I'm also just finishing The People of the Book (also the audio version). I especially like that its structure is a series of short stories within a longer narrative.

5AngelTaormina

6DWWilkin

7AngelTaormina

8TheFlamingoReads

9DWWilkin

10CarolynSchroeder

fodder for greed, our country's structure, etc. You'll learn a thing or two as well.

11avaland

I would recommend The Seamstress by Brazilian author Frances De Pontes Peebles which I just finished. I think it's coming out in paperback here in the states this summer. It is excellent.

12knitbusy

13Manthepark

14torontoc

15gwernin

If we are actually letting people recommend themselves on this thread, I will mention my two books (about to be three) set in 6th century Wales. See my profile for more information -) The second book is also on Member Giveaways now.

(and no, I don't usually do this. -)

16DWWilkin

REcommending yourself isn't really what I would regard as a great recommendation. Your books have been reviewed, but tell me some more about them. It seems you self published. Did you try to publish traditionally first? Scores of rejections and then went to Lulu? Or did you strike out right away for the challenge of self publishing?

Are you selling well? Because if your book is then a plug here is not as out of place as a book that has hardly any sales through other means I would think. Did you try to sell your books to such Historical publishers as McBooks press?

I too have a background in the SCA, and know that it is a resource for the medieval period.

17DWWilkin

18gwernin

16: (1) Well, it was a mention, not a recommendation -) I'll let people look at my reviews and draw their own conclusions.

(2) I didn't try the traditional route for various reasons, some of which I discussed on my author chat thread earlier this year. I self-published the first book as an experiement, liked the results, and have carried on that way. (That being said, I've recently been contacted by a small publisher who's interested in the series.) I'm selling well on amazon with virtually no promotion other than a few on-line reviews (links to reviews on my blog), with total sales now approaching 1,000 copies.

I'm currently involved in a series of Member Giveaways as a promotion, and I also have sample chapters available online on my second blog -)
I've been active on LT for the past year, and joined initially to catalog my reference library, not in search of book promotion sites -)

(3) In the SCA I'm a storyteller and bard specializing in early medieval Welsh material the first book partly grew out of that and then took on a life of its own, as these things sometimes do. As a resource the SCA has its pluses and minuses, but it's a great environment for hands-on research/experimental archeology!

19gwernin

20DWWilkin

If someone finds new historical fiction from early writers, I hope this is the place to list it.

21emvic

22SaraHope

Oook here are some recent debut historical novels that have gotten positive notice (i.e. made the NYTimes list or extended list)--obviously none of these are self-published:

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee (set in Hong Kong in the 1950s)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (set in Mississippi during the 1960s, told from the perspective of two black maids and one white woman)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (set in the 1940s and 1980s, as the main character, a Chinese-American, remembers his friendship with a young Japanese girl who was sent to an internment camp during WWII)

I second David Liss, though I've only read his first list.

23Cariola

24carolinemaks

25Mkarpovage

Crown of Serpents by (me) Michael Karpovage. I just released it last month. www.crownofserpents.com This technically isn't historical fiction I suppose since it is set in the present day, but its Prologue is in 1779 and the rest of the novel is completely based on true historical events with the Freemasons, Iroquois Indians, and military history. Let me know if you have questions.

26Cariola

27MikeBriggs

28ericae

I loved The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman set in gritty Victorian England, about a young woman who sells herself in order to save her baby, born with a remarkable defect. The medical stuff in the book is great, as well as the descriptions of the potteries--the factories where workers dig the clay and form it.

Also Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and also the author Hilary Mantel, especially her The Giant, O'Brien, also full of antique-ey medical stuff.

29Cariola

30roxieb

31Roman-fan

32William100

33Cascawebsite

For those who like action-orientated historical fiction, then I'd offer my stories in the Casca series. Although I've written 5 novels, the first in 2006, I think I'm still classed as a 'new' author. These books aren't yet available in high street shops, and can only be bought either on amazon.com or from my own website http://www.casca.net

The 5 novels to date (with another coming out in July) are:
Casca 25: Halls of Montezuma, Casca 26: Johnny Reb, Casca 27: The Confederate, Casca 28: The Avenger and Casca 30: Napoleon's Soldier.

Casca is the Roman soldier who speared Jesus on the cross and was cursed to immortality for that action. The series follows this immortal mercenary down through the ages. As a soldier he's present at many of the famous wars or battles of history.

34gwernin

35Cariola

36dskins

37KirbyMcCord

Historical Fiction is so broad, it is hard to respond to your question. There's Historical Romance, there's Historical mystery, there's revisionist history, and there are at least three kinds of classic historical fiction. Also, many people have particular periods of history in which they are interested.

I have to say that the Historical Romance does nothing for me, so I can make no recommendations.

Historical mystery can be classic whodunnits like Elizabeth Peters' series (which are great because you actually visit two times--Edwardian England and Ancient Egypt, and multiple cultures, including 20th century Islam), or culture oriented mysteries like David Liss' 18th century intrigues or Steven Saylor's Ancient Roman mysteries.

What I call revisionist history is the "what if" kind of story that revises actual historical events (Newt Gingrich), often through sci-fi/fantasy means like time travel (Harry Turtledove).

Classic historical fiction either involves only fictional individuals revealing culture, prejudice, etc. (Alcott, Stevenson), how fictional individuals affected history or are affected by history (Scott, Dickens, Henty, Hemingway, Wellman, Michener), or involve only actual historical figures (Shaara, Nevin, Crook).

My personal favorites tend to involve oddball situations and/or styles. For instance, Harold Schechter's series told from the point of view of young Edgar Allen Poe is wonderful (Nevermore, Humbug), although a few years old. He at the same time is able to poke fun at Poe's fantastical writing style while demonstrating a strong affection for it. Add in unusual personages from history like Davy Crockett or P.T. Barnum, and you get a wild ride. I just can't put these books down. Schechter's tales are mysteries, though, so if that's not your cup of tea . . .

William Dietrich's Napoleon's Pyramids is nice, as is Philip Kerr's Dark Matter.

38FrancisHamit

The Shenandoah Spy is technically my "first" novel (First published, not first written). And, being the more or less true story of a 17 year old girl, Belle Boyd, who became a Confederate Army spy and scout during the Civil War, it does provide a fresh perspective on the early part of the war and other personalities such as Stonewall Jackson, Turner Ashby and David Hunter Strother. Belle became the first woman in American History to be formally commissioned an army officer (Wrong army, but what the heck,)

I'm proud to say that I've just gotten another five star review for this novel, this one from Clark Issacs of "Clark's Eye on Books" . That makes 13 (and counting). You can read them all at BrassCannonBooks.net, where you can also order a signed copy from our virtual book signing.

Review copies are still available to qualified reviewers.

39DWWilkin

40gwernin

41DWWilkin

After reading Stormravens review of another book, I wander even more about anything that Clark Issacs touches. When your review is questioned you should be able to support the defense of what you meant to say or did say. Not wage war about the review.

Many people have thought to pop their own works on this page. I am alright with that if these are books that were published in the traditional manner. Self published works is not the way to go. If it were, I could easily put up ten books I've written and finished. But why? Just because I think they are good is no reason to foist them on the world. The process of submittal to someone willing to gamble their money on publishing and paying you for having written that masterpiece is the way things work.

That the internet has given a new dynamic doesn't mean it is a good a dynamic. Look at Eragon. Over-hyped and under delivered, but all of a sudden everyone believe they can write and publish a million copy book.

42GrantsIndian

43atimco

44sorell

I can't say enough about the book Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. It's excellent and is about a family in the South right after WWII. It's told from various perspectives and I found it to be an excellent book. The audiobook is also a joy to listen to.

I second and third everyone's recommendation for Year of wonders as well as all other nights.

45DWWilkin

46JohannaMoran

Random House is giving away 30 copies of my historical novel here on librarything. I hope some of you will request and win one. The contest ends November 28th. THE WIVES OF HENRY OADES debuts February 4th in the UK and February 23rd in the US.

47Larxol

48JohannaMoran

49lauraslibrary

Try Under this Unbroken Sky by Candian author, Shandi Mitchell.

American Rust by Philipp Meyer. Both books are debut novels.

50cnposner

Here is a book first published a long time ago, but recently reprinted after many years of being almost completely unobtainable. It is the author's first and only published work to date, written when the author was 14 years old.

The Green Bronze MIrror by Lynne Ellison

Karen is playing on the beach when she finds an ancient mirror buried in the sand. She looks into it, and is transported back in time to the Roman empire. Finding herself a slave, she faces many hair-raising adventures in her struggle to return to her own time.

51obie-1948

If I may be so bold as to suggest my own novel of historical fiction entitled, "A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the apostle". The setting is the 1st century Roman Empire, and the storyline follows conflict in the early church between Paul and the Jerusalem church headed by Peter and James, the brother of Jesus. The novel has received high praise from scholars for its historical authenticity. Here is a sampling of blurbs:

"a stunning fictional account of the early church … the most authentically historical novel ever written about the lives of the apostles … presents the apostles as real flesh and blood human beings … This is a story that will both shock and inspire . " From review by Professor Jeffrey Butz

"a powerful recreation of the world of Paul, James and Peter that pulls no punches … highly readable novel, based on contemporary scholarship … Paul comes alive as a complex individual … this book opens up the reality of the world of Paul and his contemporaries in a way no other work does … Real individuals, with passions and agendas, step on to the world stage." From review by Professor Barrie Wilson

"a compelling exploration of the Jewish and Gentile movements in the first century … A Wretched Man will help you to imagine your way into Paul's life and times … Holmen definitely captures the "feel" of first-century Roman territories … well-versed in contemporary progressive scholarship about Paul … these characters leap off the page and into our imaginations." From review by Christian education consultant Tim Gossett

The novel's website also contains a wealth of background historical information. www.awretchedman.com. Click on the blog button to sign up for a free giveaway.

52dkmarley

53joririchardson

Wow, this thread really attracted a lot of spammers.

If anyone is still reading.

I recently read Corelli's Mandolin, and it made it into my Top 10. It's amazing! I would definitely recommend it.

54DWWilkin

55CoreyHolst

56Violette62

57Gingersnap000

58dyarington

59audreyl1969

60PeggyLD

61MarkMcGinty

62DWWilkin

63MCliffordAuthor

>8 TheFlamingoReads:. & 9. The Coffee Trader looks SO great! I'm so glad you posted about it. I will definitely be checking that out soon.

Now, I would usually never recommend a book that I haven't read yet, but I'm sort of wanting to recommend TWO that I haven't read yet here. I just went to an "author chat" sort of a thing at a local library during a book fest that I was a part of last week. Two authors were there, each talking about their historical fiction novels that deal with iconic characters. I haven't had a chance to read either book yet (my book budget is entirely too small), but both books sounded so great and each author had so many interesting, insightful things to say, that I feel like I should at least mention them here.

They are Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin and The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, by Kelly O'Connor McNees. Alice I Have Been is about the real life Alice (of Alice in Wonderland) and her supposed relationship with Charles Dodgson (aka: Lewis Carroll). In The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, McNees tells about a period of time (the summer of 1855, I believe) that Alcott (author of Little Women) had journaled during, but had then later burned those journals and related letters. McNees was intrigued by why Alcott might have done this, so she mixes fact with fiction to create a new reality of what may have happened during that erased summer.

I think both books sound amazing and I plan to read both as soon as my budget allows! :)

64Cariola

65chattycathysmith

66CoreyHolst

67Cariola

65> I skimmed the rest of it before writing my review. It didn't get any better. Cranky Louisa, husband-hunting sisters, lots of anachronisms, dull characters, stilted dialogue, clichéd situations.

I used to be one of those readers who HAS to finish even a bad book, just in case it gets better. But there are too many good books and too little time in which to read them, so now I usually give them 50-100 pages, and if things don't pick up, I quick-skim the rest (if I can bear to).

That said, we all have different tastes in books. You're entitled to your opinion, and I to mine. I'm guessing that McCliffordArthur will make an independent decision.

68bettyjo

69hollysing

May I humbly suggest by debut novel, , a historical novel set in the 1920s. Crestmont is listed here on Library Thing and has gotten good reviews (you can check them out on Amazon if you like)
Thank you,

Holly Weiss
Some background on the book is on my website
www.hollyweiss.com

70varielle

71brainella

I'm really enjoying The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. It's very good. I also enjoyed My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young -- it's about WWII Poland and the Lebensborn program to take all babies fathered by German soldiers and give them to German families.

72MarysGirl

73hollysing

Reading The Whiskey Rebels and finding it very interesting. Two different characters live finally converge about 1/3 through the book.

74richardderus

I can't rave enough about Fatfingers: A Tale of Old New Orleans! I've reviewed it in my thread. post #95.

The author, Charlie White, is an LTer who sent me a copy of the book about two months ago, and per my custom I've read the book twice before reviewing it. I waited two weeks between reads to be sure I wasn't just in a giddy, I-love-the-world mood when I read it the first time, thus explaining why I was so amused and entertained.

Nope. It's the book. I really, really think y'all should read it, especially anyone interested in things Cajun and things picaresque. It's good stuff! It's set in the 18th C and takes the Seven years' War events from the Acadian, or now Cajun, PoV. Good stuff!

75Carpe_Librum

76CJWright

77hollysing

78DWWilkin

I started this thread awhile ago to get recomendations for a publisher who no longer needs them and has since joined us here on LT.

Somewhere along the way, we did have a little discussion about self-published work and recommending your own work. That is still a no-no and violation of the terms that LT operates under as far as I can tell.

I am sure there are great historicals by our members out there, but the trick i think to get discussion of them in a thread like this, is to have someone else speak about it. Not yourself.

Otherwise I am sure many of us could plug our own works.

Even were we to write and be as popular as James Michener, it would be in poor taste for a writer of that stature to plug their own book unless invited by the thread to discuss it. (I think JM is gone if anyone takes that idea literally.)

79Guitarguy

80Anley

Genre: FICTIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

I’m going to put it right out there: this book about Nazi atrocities should be required reading for everyone. Period. Frankly, it’s just that good, that informative, and mines some previously untapped sources to reveal facts that will shock, mesmerize, and overwhelm you — no matter how much you think you know about the Holocaust. In order to receive my highest rating of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, a book must be truly outstanding — heads and shoulders above the others I’ve reviewed. This book easily falls into that category. Not only is it meticulously researched, but poignantly well written, a real heart-rending page-turner. The author, by choosing to write it autobiographically in the first person, puts us right there in the death camps, even though he admits that a person “can describe what they saw but cannot CONVEY the experience.” Well, that might be the usual case, but this author comes awfully close and certainly did a hell of a job eliciting my emotions.
Our protagonist’s WW II assignment: to go undercover in National Socialist Germany in order to ferret out where they relocated their factories in order to avoid Allied bombing. Arrested for having a Jewish girlfriend, he’s then propelled on a nightmare journey from Dachau to Auschwicz, even as the love of his life is caught up in the system. I cannot begin to summarize the author’s brilliantly written account of those horrendous years in the death camps. With chilling descriptions, the narrative reveals atrocities worse than any I’ve ever heard. As the author so aptly puts it: “In five years, Auschwicz metamorphosed from a locus of terror into a universe of horror.” Nonetheless, like SCHINDLER’S LIST, it’s counterpart, A CARNIVAL OF LIES ends up on a high note of unparalleled courage along with a profound statement on the power of love to endure. In all honesty, the only thing I could take issue with in this novel was the title choice. To me, A CARNIVAL OF LIES seems a little light. I think the book would’ve been better served using the author’s own words, “Despotism of Darkness”, for a title. But that’s just me.
The book jacket tells us that the author, Dr. Vernon L. Anley, was educated in Australia and England and has traveled the world. He’s an expert on such things as linguistics and travel and his visits to Hitler’s death camps in Germany, Poland, and Austria tells me that’s where he was able to employ such meticulous research involved in order to produce such a compelling novel. My advice? Pick up a copy of this book right away. You won’t be sorry

Highly Recommended, reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews, 22 October 2010
Published by: OakTara Publishers ©2010
ISBN: 978-1-60290-228-2
Trade paperback, 226 pages
Oct. 2010
For more information and purchase details:


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