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Alternative Realities, Bitter Defeat, Musings, News

Reviews like this make it all worth it


Buy this book. It's really rather good.

Buy this book. It’s really rather good.

Writers don’t write to get praise. Well, most writers don’t. They write because they feel the need to, and because they want to share their worlds with other people. That said, it bloody made this author’s day to get the following 5* review on Amazon.co.uk. Well and truly made up. Go buy it!

“Although it is highly appropriate that I’m writing this on 11 November, ‘Blaise Maximillian: Bitter Defeat’ is far from a conventional World War One narrative. The twenty chapters chronicle a series of episodes in Blaise Maximilian’s military career, following him through the horrors of infantry warfare in France and then into the realms of alternative history, for the ‘Bitter Defeat’ of the title refers to the victory of the German forces on St George’s Day 1923, after which Maximillian takes on a shadowy role for the intelligence services in occupied England. The horrors of war are presented vividly and in graphic detail, leaving the reader in no doubt as to the appalling nature of the experience for young men such as Ensign Maximillian. The author’s knowledge of martial arts gives the combat details an authentic feel; the violence is unsparing, and the descriptions of conditions on the western front are equally harrowing. It is no surprise that Maximillian emerges from the conflict a changed man, and there is ample material here to make readers reflect upon what modern military veterans may have gone through, and how they might be affected. Although much of the WWI detail reads convincingly, this is an alternative history narrative and the dieselpunk approach means there are some intriguing technologies introduced onto the battlefield as well as imaginative sequences exploring the dystopian postwar setting. It is these elements that justify the five stars, for despite some minor irritations – a few cliched phrases, repetitions and typos – the author has created a darkly memorable character and storyline that is crying out for further development.”

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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