Alistair Forrest


Brought up in the Middle East, schooled in the UK, exhilarating career as a journalist and editor, now full-time author of fresh historical fiction. First novel LIBERTAS published 2009 by Quaestor2000, second novel GOLIATH 2011, third SHAMASH under way.

Writing as Adam Fox, "Cell Wars - The Battle for Brian" is also available on Smashwords.

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Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 121,870. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Julius Caesar force-marches eight crack legions into Spain to subdue the sons of Pompey in the final, savage battle of a remorseless struggle for world dominance. But there is an unlikely hero who refuses to give in to the despair and horror of war, who refuses to accept that Roman cruelty and greed have changed his beloved hometown forever. This is a story of bravery, love, invention and hope.

Alistair Forrest's tag cloud

agrippa    caesar    eagles    julius caesar    mediterranean    pompey    roman army    roman galleys    romans    sicily    spain   

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Smashwords book reviews by Alistair Forrest

  • An Involuntary King: A Tale of Anglo Saxon England on Aug. 14, 2010

    When I began reading Nan Hawthorne’s introduction to this lengthy and gripping tale of Anglo Saxon England, I thought I was in for a fairy tale. An Involuntary King is a story honed from childhood with a friend, a hero named after Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia (no other connection apart from Hawthorne being a huge fan) and a princess-cum-queen nicknamed Sunshine. Throw in a dark and stormy suitor from across the sea and two fun-loving and slightly reckless Irish bards and you still might have your fairy tale. But there are no dragons, no trolls and elves, certainly no good faeries. If there is a question mark with An Involuntary King it would simply be in the names, Lawrence the reluctant king and his bride, Josephine. All others have typical Saxon, Gaelic or Celtic names. Their kingdom, bordering the North Sea, is a fictitious ‘Crislicland’ (I dared to pronounce this ‘Crelland’ for an easier read, an English trait don’t you know?) but the settlements and geography are real enough, located more or less in Lincolnshire and its surrounds. The name thing is a quirk that takes only as long as a few pages to discover that here is historical fiction that refuses to be constrained by pigeon holes - it is adventure, romance, intrigue, plotting, betrayal and war, the hint of fairy tale swiftly fading as we are engaged in realistic and exceptionally well researched eighth century Anglo Saxon England. Lawrence is an involuntary king only as long as it takes to marry his perfect bride and get to grips with ruling a kingdom beset with threats from within and without. Josephine, the queen, is pretty handy with a bow and strong of will, though her spirited self belief does lead her to make the odd boo boo, but hey, it helps a plot to have a few imperfections in otherwise perfect specimens. She’s a very good mother, too, even when the chips are down. Hawthorne is not afraid to take risks, particularly with the gay Irish mercenary O’Donnell who has a Scots lover but also has the hots for one of the bards, the dashingly handsome Rory. This, as well as battle and rape scenes, is handled sensitively. An Involuntary King is written by a woman but it is not just for women. Some men might want more cut and thrust, but Nan is not one for pandering to such demands. Death, mutilation, hanging and pillage are given just enough detail, so we move on. Characters are well formed, endearing or otherwise in appropriate measure. There’s humour, too. For example, Hawthorne has the shorter bard, explaining Rory’s unusual height for a Celt, saying: “There was a Norseman in the woodpile.” That I found laugh out loud hilarious, one of a number of little gems scattered throughout. There are shades of Robin Hood (the innocent unjustly treated but they still love the king and queen) and Richard the Lionheart (a bard singing outside King Lawrence’s cell to identify him and raise his hopes of rescue). This is a rich, enjoyable read, full of likely and unlikely heroes, nasty and/or crafty baddies, and some who fall in between, struggling with their motivation and usually fancying the lovely queen. And who can blame them? Well done Nan. More stories like this please, especially if carefree Irish bards have a central role. Read it and escape to another land…
  • Yeshua - Personal Memoir of the Missing Years of Jesus on Oct. 23, 2010

    The making of the Messiah We know the beginning and the end of this story; it’s the bit in the middle that has taxed scholars and believers for two thousand years. Stan Law’s take on the awakening of Jesus between age 12 and 30 in Asia Minor, India and Egypt is fascinating, educational and entertaining. It’s not a light read, immersing the reader in a raft of interconnected philosophies including Torah, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Buddhism, Zarathustra, Nirvana, Krishna right through to Time and Space and the power of positive thinking. These, and Jesus/Yeshua’s relationship with the narrator, Satya, are all threads in the weave that ultimately return him to his mixed-up Judeans. Inspired by the revelations of the psychic Edgar Cayce, Law has drawn on plentiful research and/or a deep spiritual awareness to bring us this enlightenment, though his use of modern vernacular (‘mom’, ‘dad’, ‘on the house’, ‘wow, ‘you’re kidding’ etc.) is courageous – as youths, Yeshua and Satya would have had their own teenage language but we have no way of knowing what it would have been. Will you get more than just a good read? Yes. Even more if you have a little faith – it might change your life for the better. But rest assured, Law’s excellent story is NOT preachy!
  • Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism on Nov. 20, 2010

    I've read the Bible several times (though not front to back) and I am an enthusiast of the Old Testament as history. Now there is a way to read and understand the OT as teaching. I am so grateful for Stanislaw's dictionary and his depth of understanding, especially in the extremely helpful examples he gives of understanding otherwise seemingly dry OT passages. I am using this largely as a reference work as I study the mindset of the author/s of Isaiah for my third novel set at the time of Hezekiah, and I'll keep using it for my own personal enrichment. This deserves wide recognition not only among the followers of religion but also anyone seeking inspiration and understanding. Excellent.