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Beasts of War

Beasts of War: A Retelling of the Old English Judith by Sarah E Zilkowski is a genuinely gripping and mesmerizing tale of heroism. This retelling of the story of Judith follows a young maiden on her quest to save her beloved village from Holofernes and his thanes, who have pillaged and destroyed so many villages leaving devastation in their path. Judith, the protagonist of the story, is tasked by her Lord to infiltrate the enemy’s camp. She is their last hope at survival.

It is refreshing to read an adaptation of a historical tale focused on the strength of women and the importance of their role within specific periods in time. This is an integral theme within many modern pieces of literature, not often seen when referring to myths and legends, especially religious texts such as the Bible.

The omniscient narrator throughout the novel allows the reader to see the overall picture of what is taking place; although primarily focused on the movements of Judith, there are moments when we move away from her and see what is going on elsewhere, this is enhanced by short bits of italicized information provided as the inner thoughts of other characters. For example, ‘Then again, he thought, I suppose mine do too,’ this is from Lord Cyneric when he recognizes the sorrow in Judith’s eyes.

Throughout this tale, the imagery used is excellently written. It varies so much, from literal graphic phrases such as ‘Slaughtering and butchering’ to contrasting elements that emphasize the gravity of the situation, like when Judith’ stood in an open space’ but ‘felt crushed by her fear.’ Although readers will enjoy metaphors throughout the novel, which refers back to tales and beliefs from the Anglo-Saxon period, when the story is set, the use of her seeing wolves and eagles, which symbolized war, helps build the tension within the overall novel.

Beasts of War: A Retelling of the Old English Judith is a riveting novel that will grip readers from the opening pages. Historical fiction and war drama lovers will find this take on the story exhilarating. Women’s fiction readers will be overjoyed at seeing Judith’s vital role as the dramatic story unfolds.

Pages: 246 | ASIN : B09ML693YF

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Fate’s Final Destiny

Fates Final Destiny by E T McNamara takes the timeless ‘Boy next door’ love story to a whole new level. Not only do you get an emotionally captivating tale of how true love can stand the tests of fate, but a lesson in history as the characters navigate the difficult times of the Dust Bowl, Great Depression, and subsequent war that followed.

The story begins as we meet two close-knit, farm-owning families who live next door to each other in small-town Goodwell, Oklahoma. Readers get a look into all that goes into farm-life, and the dreams of a different future for some of the characters. We watch as our two main characters, Michael and Cindy, develop from children into teenagers and their neighbor-friendship turns into young love. A devastating event results in their physical separation, but they keep their love alive through love letters filled with hopes and dreams of their future. When a disapproving family member begins to secretly intercept the letters before the other receives them, they are both left heartbroken, believing the other has moved on with their life. Fate takes both characters on separate, interesting journeys- their paths almost leading back to each on several occasions, but the timing never seems to be right. The wonder of whether fate will ever work in their favor leaves the reader entranced in the story, rooting for their happily ever after.

Readers will enjoy this fascinating literary hybrid of part love story, part historical fiction. Readers with military ties will find solidarity reading through these turbulent stories. Getting a look into the emotions of soldiers making life and death decisions as they lived through war, and the subsequent mental and physical effects that stay with them, was educational, eye-opening, and will no doubt increase the understanding and empathy for all that serve.

Fates Final Destiny is an inspiring tale of love lost and the journey to find footing in an ever-changing world. This memorable book will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction, romance, and war drama.

Pages: 371 | ASIN : B098VZC135

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