Carol Powney

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Smashwords book reviews by Carol Powney

  • Shadowland on Sep. 15, 2012

    Shadowland is an excellent novel and in my opinion suitable for all ages, though intentionally aimed more for younger readers. Its author, C.M.Gray, combines a lot of well researched and accurate factual history, social and political, beautifully melded with the enduring legends of Britain in it's Dark Ages. A time when the Romans with their organised, controlling administration left Britain without notice to remaining Britons, tribal peoples such as the Iceni, to govern themselves and where warlike tribes, for example the Picts from Scotland, and Saxon invaders who took opportunities to gain land by destruction and conquer of its indigenous tribes. This story is a precursor to the Arthurian Legends. It begins with an ancient story teller, Usher, telling his stories of long ago, from the fireside of an inn or hostelry and surrounded by his audience. He tells of two boys, approaching teen years, Usher and friend Calvador, returning to their forest based village who find themselves surrounded and under threat from a pack of wolves, their only safety high up in the trees. Trapped by wolves, they witness a vivid attack and destruction of their village, their families and friends by unknown warriors whose sole aim is to kill all, bar a few children, Calvador's sister included, are then taken away as prisoners. Chris Gray, the writer, portrays clearly the boys helplessness to respond to what they see, their shock, grief, anger and resolve to follow and rescue Cal's sister and deliver retribution to as they discover the Pict murderers and their mysterious leader. Poorly equipped, without plan, but determination, they meet an older warrior, Meryn, who takes them under his care and protection. Little do Usher's listeners, or yourselves as readers realise they will be taken on a journey that is a precursor to the enduring legends of Arthur Pendragon, King of Briton. A journey that gives us descriptions of life, warrior training, of Pagan, Druid religion, nature and mysteries, battles vividly described, which portrays well the horrors of such and squeamish readers should be aware of this and prepared for. A story that has all the elements of a classic. This current edition I've read is well written, edited and free from the few typo's mentioned in earlier reviews. It should appeal to all ages but includes particular appeal to lads who need enthralling adventure to entice them and keep them reading. This is a book for lovers of historical literature and legend and with the recent changes in my opinion it is worthy of 5 stars, and I'm pleased to recommend it.
  • Yvonne: A Courtesan's Compulsion on Jan. 20, 2013

    Wow, I loved it, I hated it...I'm all messed up in my head. This is a deviously well thought out plot, well written, and edited. It is also a total mind-fuck, excuse my language but that is the only word that aptly describes what i have just read and the effect it's had on me. Yvonne, the privileged in wealth and social standing and as so often the case, deprived and needy emotionally, neglected by parents who send her to boarding school and subsequently a paid allowance and apartment in Paris to assuage their responsibilities and your left with a needy young woman. Now a courtesan but never a whore, to the man she is convinced she loves and hopes and believes loves her. Part of her yearns for exclusivity yet accepts he may not be a one woman man and she is a paid consort for whatever he wants of her...within reason. Here lies the crux of one problem. She takes a journey thinking she follows his instructions, which are ordered to the letter, but the events that occur to her for the slightest breach of these criteria set for her to adhere to and strictly will need an open mind by the reader to say the least. Sadistic punishments for the slightest infringement. She questions her treatment, people she crosses, an old school friend Lysette and lover. Each time she thinks she has found help, adversity follows. Then her training, humiliation, debauchery, debasement in so many ways, not least birch and then the terror of the piercings, at which point i was angry at her manipulation toward sexual slavery and I loved it and hated it...her state of confusion, fear, aloneness tore my compassion and even traumatized me at times that I had to leave the story for a break but couldn't walk away. I had to know what Lindsey Brooks had in store for his character, Yvonne. I'm still angry at her betrayal by all...it is not a satisfactory place to leave her in my mind and heart. I'm not happy and yes I would and will at some time read it all over again. I admired her journey, her new found courage but ill found trust and future. So why can't I say this is just a story, a fantasy, a character...I don't know, perhaps it is the quality of the writer that makes me feel for her this way. OK love it and hate it...it's good and I would like to give part of it a crap star rating but see the clever quality so give it it's due - 5 star. Oh and Mr Brooks you really are sadistic at times!
  • A Real Boy on Dec. 03, 2013

    This is a short story by J.L.Merrow, a take on the Pinnochio story of a wooden puppet, probably familiar to most children through the Disney film of that name. Yet this is a story that has similar characters, most main elements of the original story but with a twisted deviancy as to what grows with lies and the underlying sense of humour, laced with sarcasm that is both hilarious, clever and the telling of which is very British. I loved it, yet am also aware that there is a level that leaves me uncomfortable but that JLM has covered as well as can be by ensuring wooden boy becomes human young man. I loved Fairy Twinkerbell, should we ever have this as alternate panto I see dear Julian Clary as perfect for the role. Has to be a good four stars from me, has a good standard, and use of the English language, loved the alliteration...pummelled his pine nut prostate...and has been edited. I recommend it to adult BDSM readers who enjoy m/m story lines.(less)