Empire’s Hostage by Marian L. Thorpe @rararesources @marianlthorpe #empireslegacy #bookreview #giveaway #blogtour

Paperback, 249 pages or Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published: July 16th 2017 by Arboretum Press
ISBN: 0994068123 (ISBN13: 9780994068125)
Edition Language: English
Series: Empire’s Legacy #2

To buy now, please click here. 

I am very pleased to welcome you to one of the last stops on the blog tour for Marian L. Thorpe’s second book in the Empire’s Legacy series, ‘Empire’s Hostage. Thanks so much to the author and publisher for the digital copy in exchange for my thoughts, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour. Please read to the end to enter the giveaway!

What’s it about?

Hostage ebook cover

For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe.

But not everyone there will welcome her.

As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

My thoughts:

This is the second book in the trilogy, and having enjoyed the first, ‘Empire’s Daughter’, I was very keen to revisit Lena et al. I already knew I would enjoy Marian’s writing; she has incredible attention to detail and the way in which she intelligently retells and mixes various cultural histories is superb.

I found it far easier to keep up with the characters this time and didn’t need to consult the directory at the start, as I did quite frequently last time! I was more invested in Lena’s character, particularly as the story went on, because, while I found it quite hard to reconcile her age with her thoughts and behaviour while she was in Tirvan, I realised while reading ‘Empire’s Hostage’ that I was wrong, and that she is only really learning to reconcile actions with consequence and the cynicism that comes with age is developing.

The plot is well paced, thoroughly absorbing and tense. Given the fragility of the truce, Lena is torn between her desire for knowledge and the need to be restrained in her interactions, despite finding people she both likes and admires during her restricted journey to north of the Wall. I enjoyed how Lena’s understanding of the world is shaken, fuelling her to desire to discover more, and how the restrictive nature of being a hostage, leads her to make shaky decisions with far-reaching ramifications.

I was glad this time of the guide to pronunciation in the appendices. There is a mixture of words fairly unfamiliar to me of Celtic and Scandinavian origin. The nature of song and stories in disseminating information and a hidden history is a real treat. It’s light on romantic interest, which is both realistic and refreshing as Lena stays true to herself. This is not to say that it doesn’t tug at the heartstrings though, because it often does.

I love her adventurous spirit, her intelligence, independence and her strength of character. She is the heroine I would have liked to have been, and certainly for young adults (and older) with an interest in cultural and military history, the Empire’s Legacy series promises to be incredible.

I’m very interested to know how Cillian and Lena will negotiate their new circumstances in ‘Empire’s Exile’ as I am loving this series; right up my street! Watch the blog in March, where I will be sharing my thoughts.

For lovers of adventure and keenly observed, well researched history, looking for a strong, bright and resilient heroine, I highly recommend the Empire’s Legacy series.


About the author:

Empires Hostage Author

Not content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer.

Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry.

Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

To connect with the author:




GIVEAWAY!! to Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

Enter here!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

For the rest of the blog tour, and lots of unique perspectives on ‘Empire’s Hostage, please take a look at the tour banner below:

Empires Hostage Full Tour Banner


Book Blitz for ‘Blue Skies Over Berlin’ by John Steinberg @rararesources @SteinbergStory #bookblitz #promo

Genre: Fiction / History / Mystery /Romance / World War 2 / Art
Pre-Order Blitz Date: 11th February 2020
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: 2QT Limited (Publishing); 2nd Revised edition edition (29 Nov. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1913071383
ISBN-13: 978-1913071387

Buy now:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Welcome to my blog for the blog blitz promotion of ‘Blue Skies Over Berlin’ by John Steinberg. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me.

Blue Skies Over Berlin Cover

What’s it about?

A young German woman, thinking she can escape her memories of wartime Berlin, moves to London in 1954 under her new name of Charlotte Brown. The offer of a prestigious job at the National Gallery leads her to believe that she can establish a new life in a city itself emerging from the ruins of war.

With her new identity, Charlotte hopes she has left Eva Schlessinger far behind . . . but when her job brings her into contact with a ruthless set of art dealers with dubious wartime connections, she fears they can see behind her facade. Priceless masterpieces start appearing at auction, stolen from murdered Jewish families by the Nazis, and she herself is implicated. At this point, Charlotte makes a solemn promise – one that will take her a lifetime to fulfil.

Blue Skies Over Berlin is a novel about secrets and guilt in an uncertain time, balanced by friendship and enduring love – and ultimately the need to make amends for just standing by.

About the author:


Born and raised in North London in 1952, John still lives in the city with his wife and three children. Privately educated, John left school after ‘A’ levels and completed a business diploma in what is now the University of Westminster, before entering banking.

He started training as an accountant but did not complete the course, choosing a position in his family’s furniture manufacturing business instead. John started his own mergers and acquisitions business in 1987, which he ran for almost 20 years before quitting to become a full time writer in 2007.

John has co-written and produced comedies for the stage and has created a series of books for children. “Previously, I had only been interested in comedy and finally started to write down the things I said or thought of. That led me to co-write and produce a play, In the Balance, and then W for Banker – which appeared at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. It was then I decided to quit the world of business in favour of writing full-time, and move toward more serious subjects. My first novel has taken two years to write and is the first in a series of books I am calling the ‘Steinberg Stories’.”


To connect with the author: