The Year of Our War
By Steph Swainston
The most exciting, original and important new fantasy novel to be published since China Miéville's PERDIDO STREET STATION. A breathtakingly skilful debut.A superb work of literary fantasy. In a truly original imagined world of breathtaking, sometimes surreal beauty, fifty utterly alien but disarmingly human immortals lead mankind in a centuries-long war.Jant is the Messenger, one of the Circle, a cadre of fifty immortals who serve the Emperor. He is the only immortal - indeed the only man alive - who can fly.The Emperor must protect mankind from the hordes of giant Insects who have plagued the land for centuries, eating everything and everyone in their path. But he must also contend with the rivalries and petty squabblings of his chosen immortals. These will will soon spill over into civil war.Steph Swainston has written an astonishingly original literary fantasy. She writes beautifully. Her novel places her in a tradition of writing typified by Mervyn Peake, M. John Harrison and China Miéville. This is a breathtaking debut novel of the finest quality.
The Year of the Ladybird
By Graham Joyce
A ghost story with a difference from the WORLD FANTASY and multiple BRITISH FANTASY AWARD-winning author of SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALEIt is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had.And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer.As with SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALE, Graham Joyce has crafted a deceptively simple tale of great power. With beautiful prose, wonderful characters and a perfect evocation of time and place this is a novel that transcends the boundaries between the everyday and the supernatural while celebrating the power of both.
The Young Wives
By Elaine Crowley
A wonderfully compelling saga of the lives, hopes and dreams of four young wives.Sheila Brophy's hopes and dreams are those of any young Dublin girl. She longs to fall in love. Fergus is older than her, in the British Army and fond of his drink, but he loves her and Sheila doesn't hesitate when he proposes although their marriage will mean leaving Dublin. In November 1961 Sheila finds herself and her twin baby girls with three other young women on their way to join their husbands stationed in Germany. The young women are plunged into a very different life from the ones they have left. They become friends, sharing their worries, secrets, disappointments and troubles. Elaine Crowley creates a community bound together by the special intimacy that comes when a group of people is thrown together and living far away from their homes and families.
You Can Run But You Can't Hide
By Duane Chapman
'In Dog We Trust'. The autobiography of cult hero Duane 'Dog' Chapman, the world's most successful bounty hunter.Duane 'Dog' Chapman entertains and inspires millions on DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, his top-rated TV show, but there is more to his story. From troubled beginnings and tragedy to triumph and transformation, he reveals all in this no-holds-barred memoir.Dog spent the early years of his life on the wrong side of the law. In YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE, he offers an inside look at his days as a gang member, his dark years of addiction and abuse, and how serving eighteen months in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit helped him recommit to his faith.The proprietor of Da Kine Bail Bonds in Hawaii, he also shares stories of some of his most dangerous and exciting bounty hunts, and the reasons why he brings such passion and commitment to his chosen profession.An incredible story of a man who, against all odds, turned his life around and went from ex-con to American icon.
By Kate Williams
The story of how Elizabeth II became queen.We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne. It seems to be the job she was born for. And yet for much of her early life the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold. She was our accidental Queen.As a young girl, Elizabeth was among the guests in Westminster Abbey watching her father being crowned, making her the only monarch to have attended a parent's coronation. Kate Williams explores the sheltered upbringing of the young princess with a gentle father and domineering mother, her complicated relationship with her sister, Princess Margaret, and her dependence on her nanny, Marion 'Crawfie' Crawford. She details the profound and devastating impact of the abdication crisis when, at the impressionable age of 11, Elizabeth found her position changed overnight: no longer a minor princess she was now heiress to the throne.Elizabeth's determination to share in the struggles of her people marked her out from a young age. Her father initially refused to let her volunteer as a nurse during the Blitz, but relented when she was 18 and allowed her to work as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. It was her forward-thinking approach that ensured that her coronation was televised, against the advice of politicians at the time.Kate Williams reveals how the 25-year-old young queen carved out a lasting role for herself amid the changes of the 20th century. Her monarchy would be a very different one to that of her parents and grandparents, and its continuing popularity in the 21st century owes much to the intelligence and elusive personality of this remarkable woman.
By Robert Hutchinson
Compelling account of the first 35 years of a magnificent and ruthless monarch.Henry became the unexpected heir to the precarious Tudor throne in 1502, after his elder brother Arthur died. He also inherited both his brother's wardrobe and his wife, the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. He became king in April 1509 with many personality traits inherited from his father - the love of magnificence, the rituals of kingship, the excitement of hunting and gambling and the construction of grand new palaces. After those early glory days of feasting, fun and frolic, the continuing lack of a male Tudor heir runs like a thin line of poison through Henry's reign. After he fell in love with Anne Boleyn, he gambled everything on her providing him with a son and heir. From that day forward everything changed.Based on contemporary accounts, Young Henry provides a compelling vision of the splendours, intrigues and tragedies of the royal court, presided over by the ruthless and insecure Henry VIII. With his customary scholarship and narrative verve, Robert Hutchinson provides fresh insights into what drove England's most famous monarch, and how this happy, playful Renaissance prince was transformed into the tyrant of his later years.
By David James Smith
Ruthless revolutionary; passionate womaniser; activist; hothead. Meet the young Mandela.Nelson Mandela has been mythologised as a flawless hero of the liberation struggle. But how exactly did his early life shape the triumphs to come? This book goes behind the myth to find the man who people have forgotten or never knew - Young Mandela, the committed freedom fighter, who left his wife and children behind to go on the run from the police in the early 1960s. But his historic achievements came at a heavy price and David James Smith graphically describes the emotional turmoil Mandela left in his wake.After meticulous research, and taking a lead from Mandela's trusted circle, the author discovers much that is new, surprising, and sometimes shocking that will enhance our understanding of the world's elder statesman. For the first time, we have evidence of a specific personal motivation for Mandela's fight against apartheid, and this book sheds light on the significant extent to which Mandela relied on white activists - a part of South African history the ANC has ignored or tried to bury. Sanctified, lionised, it turns out that Mandela is a human being after all, only too aware of his flaws and shortcomings. With unique access to people and papers, culminating in a meeting with Mandela himself, Smith has written the single most important contribution to our knowledge of this global icon.