The Shadow Of War Is The First Novel In Stewart Binns S New Series Which Will See A Book Release For Each Year Of The First World WarJune The Beginning Of Another Long, Prosperous Summer For Britain But Beneath The Clear Skies, All Is Not As It Seems The Chill Wind Of Social Discontent Swirls Around This Sceptred IsleShots Ring Out In A Distant European Land The Assassination Of A Foreign Aristocrat From That Moment The Entire World Is Propelled Into A Conflict Unlike Any Seen BeforeThis Is The Story Of Five British Communities, Their Circumstances Very Different, But Who Will All Share In The Tragedy That Is To Come All That They Have Known Will Be Changed Forever By The Catastrophic Events Of The Great WarThis Is A Story Of Love And Comradeship, Of Hatred And Tragedy This Is The Story Of The Great WarThe Shadow Of War, The First Novel In The Great War Series From Stewart Binns, Is A Thrilling Read And Perfect For Those Who Enjoy The Writing Of Conn Iggulden And Bernard Cornwell ReviewWhen I first started this book my initial reaction was what the hell , the books style seemed very bizarre, it was very much an outside view looking in on people and events Then slowly as I read the chapters I was drawn into the lives of multiple different families and communities, before i knew it i was hooked This book is still odd different, it s not like Stewarts previous series It feels very much like a documentary mixed into a fictional drama, yet it works, it works so well Anyone who reads my reviews and follows my blog knows I love Historical Fiction But what they don t know is that I m really not a fan of WW1 I find the horror and darkness of that war too hard to read, too emotional to take in without feeling my own version of Churchill s black dog read the book to understand that Stewart Binns has managed to portray the different strata of society without judging or demeaning any of them, and to cover in book one the lead up to and the early days of WW1 with passion and compassion, with energy and purpose, and to leave me feeling the emotion but not suffering from the horror It s all there contained in the pages, but delivered in such a way you can see and feel the passions of the different players, the struggles that sent individuals to war, the misconceptions of blame for the death toll and the passion to do all for family and country.Stewarts books always leave me with a sense of pride for my country, and this book is no exception, but this is tempered by the individual courage and the individual loss The personal tales that inspire and horrify in equal measure By the time I finished the book I felt entertained and educated, which for me form the key pillars of a great Historical Fiction novel.Once again Stewart Binns has managed to create something unique, entertaining and eye opening, I m very much looking forward to book 2.Recommended Parm The Shadow of War is Stewart Binn s newest novel, the first of several that will cover the years that span World War I as it pertains to Britain It takes place in a relatively short time frame, from June to December 1914, the months leading up to the start of the Great War In this opening novel, Binns introduces the reader to several characters of diverse social ranks, roles, and genders, and some of the key politicians of the era In the author s usual easy style of writing, he relays the facts that led up to the conflict, so this is very much a story of the war as experienced by his main characters.He has written a very factual fictionalized tale that gave me a glimpse into the era and how the war affected those directly or indirectly involved It took me several chapters to get into the book, but then it truly caught and held my interest It is truly a book that educates while entertaining, a talent of this bestselling author For those who would love to learn about the Great War, and Britain s role in it, then this is a good book to start with Very interesting and definitely recommended I was VERY interested to read the reviews on this novel More than a few speak of its bizarre style present tense, some folk couldn t get over the style and gave up, other s urge to read through it and keep going, to be rewarded by a great read I feel firmly into the first camp I started skimming within pages I could not connect with the characters or the story because of this weird third first person mixed style and found myself flipping to find out who published the book and who recommended it, while I did so I picked up on one random nit picking historical inaccuracy neither sniper s badges nor the school of sniping existed in 1914 which let further doubts creep into my head The author gets high praise, and has four previous novels to great acclaim and a further novel after this As a WWI historical author myself, I ll support Binns with three stars with a Marmite Rootbeer love hate warning you re either going to get this reading style, or you won t the good news is for some readers there s a five star read awaiting you. Realistic, gritty and completely absorbing Not the type of writing to win shelves of awards, but the battle scenes are mesmerising, the characters from all walks of the social spectrum were, for me, believably honest Whilst I was aware of the painfully turbulent times in our political history, this novel lays bare, how difficult this period must have been to live through, especially with the incredible poverty many had to endure My one criticism, and it is a small one for a book I would describe as a candidate for my favourite of 2018, would be Stewart Binns s unfailing defence of Winston Churchill While I will claim to be a fan of the great man, I am aware of his many failings Mr Binns however, appears to be totally unaware of any of these faults and throughout this story constantly blames all those around him It will be interesting to read his take on the Dardanelles fiasco in the second instalment, of which I cannot wait. I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review June 1914 the beginning of another long, prosperous summer for Britain But beneath the clear skies, all is not as it seems the chill wind of social discontent swirls around this sceptred isle.Shots ring out in a distant European land the assassination of a foreign aristocrat From that moment the entire world is propelled into a conflict unlike any seen before.This is the story of five British communities, their circumstances very different, but who will all share in the tragedy that is to come All that they have known will be changed forever by the catastrophic events of the Great War.This is a very hard book to review well as I am still not sure quite what to say about it.On the upside, after an initial struggle, I really did engage with the characters after about the first third of the book The chronicle of their lives before and during the war, their struggles and challenges in dealing with their new lives was quite captivating Also, the historical detail was excellent I could feel a sense of place while reading it, even though the Great War ended nearly 100 years ago That is an awesome skillHowever, that same attention to detail is also one of the downsides While, at times, the narrative was good, it did get bogged down quite a lot, almost like a textbook rather than a novel Also, the dialogue seem to suffer from the same problem Just felt like it was out of place, or out of kilter, to the rest of the book The other issue I had, and almost caused me to give up, was the writing style One reviewer described it like a voice over for a documentary and I feel that was the best description It took quite a while for me to get the feel for the style.Historically, a good story with decent characters and a sense of what happened But overall, it just didn t quite hit the mark for mePaulARH Had a lot of potential but started quite slowly Certainly picked up towards the end but at times it did feel that you were reading a text book. Would have been four stars, but way too much telling when showing would have been compelling. Shadow of War, is the start of The Great War series of books by this author which will see a new book for each year of the duration of the war The story opens as the unrest in Europe starts to escalate and during the summer of 1914, five British communities, are about to discover that the order of the old routine is about to change forever.With his usual skilful style of recounting history, the author has succeeded in giving a realistic portrayal of the effects of the first few months of the war and shows just how the different social groups adapted to living in uncertain times The ever changing tidal wave of political unrest is juxtaposed against the uncertainty of an increasingly difficult social situation and the communal feelings of both fear and insecurity acts as a palpable reminder of the uncertainty of impending war.The book initially gets off to rather a slow start, not because the book is uninteresting, far from it, but because as with any new series there are people and places to get to know However, as the individual stories start to coalesce, the narrative starts to both educate and entertain and a feeling of rapport with the characters starts to emerge.Of all the many books published in this centenary year of the start of World War One, it is difficult to know which one to choose My thoughts are, if you would like something that will take you gradually through the conflict year by year, then this book with its solid beginning is a good a place as any, to start.
Stewart Binns began his professional life as an academic He then pursued several adventures, including a stint at the BBC, before settling into a career as a schoolteacher, specializing in history Later in life, a lucky break took him back to the BBC, which was the beginning of a successful career in television He has won a BAFTA, a Grierson, an RTS and a Peabody for his documentaries Stewart
- 400 pages
- The Shadow of War (The Great War, #1)
- Stewart Binns
- 21 December 2019 Stewart Binns