Honor

Thrones and Soldiers

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
372 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2019
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Author Biography

Francis Williams was born in 1991, in Sacramento California, where he's spent the majority of his life thus far. His family instilled a love of reading and writing into him at a young age, which he still has to this day. In his younger years, he submitted numerous short stories into writing competitions, always hoping to improve his writing ability. Ever interested in history, he has now decided to dip his toes into writing historical fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite

Honor by Francis Williams is an expansive tale set in the year 425 CE, sweeping the reader across the Territories of Europa with one family’s determination to find a better life. The collapse of the Roman Empire precipitated this decision when control of land and kingdoms was abandoned to those who could exert the most power. The resulting maelstrom led to a world of brutality and ongoing wars, where oppression and slavery were commonplace. In this environment, Hall ap Lugurix and his son Drysten commit to moving to Britannia, where they hope to establish a secure home. Just when it seems they may have found a possible future in the Kingdom of Ebrauc, having sworn to King Ceneus ap Coel, greed surfaces yet again to derail their plans and they are swept North to fight for their very lives. How they will survive remains a mystery right till the very climactic end.

Francis Williams’ Honor paints a very real picture of a period in history steeped in bloody violence and injustice. You can’t help feeling torn by what the characters endure, from the highs of being reunited with friends and family through to the utter devastation of losing a loved one to war. The principal players in the story are all real and relatable, and the relationships between them are crafted in a manner that evokes genuine empathy for their wellbeing. This is an epic book covering a significant number of minor and major conflicts, which makes it ideal for those not faint of heart. The end will certainly leave you breathless.

K.C. Finn

Honor (Thrones and Soldiers) is a work of historical fiction set in the time of post-Roman Britain and was penned by author Francis Williams. Set in the fifth century, after the Roman rule of Britannia has collapsed and left a disparate collection of smaller kingdoms to fight it out for supremacy, the stability of Britannia as a nation is at stake. We follow Hall, a former Roman auxiliary, who seeks to bring order to this warring land, but is resisted and attacked from all angles, including Picts in the north and Saxons invading from the east to take the island for themselves.

Author Francis Williams writes in a detailed historical style that fans of the likes of Conn Iggulden will most appreciate. Whilst the action and graphic content of the book is largely suitable for readers of all ages, it is penned in a complex style that gives a great deal of real history, educating as well as entertaining its audience. This produces a slow-paced but thoroughly well-researched novel that brings history to life in full color on every page. The plot follows a good chain of events to track the realistic political and military history of the time, pitting different races and cultures against one another in a fantastic battle for the island nation’s domination. What results is a fully fleshed-out journey where Britannia itself becomes a main character in the action. Overall, Honor (Thrones and Soldiers) is an accomplished work that historical fiction fans are certain to devour.

Christian Sia

Honor: Thrones and Soldiers by Francis Williams is a compelling, deftly written historical novel that explores a period following the disorder in the Roman province of Britannia. After the death of High King Coel Hen, the entire kingdom knows no peace, with frequent raids from barbarians coming from neighboring tribes. It is 425 CE and a former Roman auxiliary, Hall, Commander of the Fortuna, is sent to restore order in Ebrauc and provide a safe environment for the people. But a strong Saxon warlord has other plans and is currently uniting the tribesmen in preparation for an assault on the island. As if that isn’t enough to make Hall tremble, a Gaelic king from the West offers support to the Pictish tribes who intend to have their piece of the island. Do Hall and his son, Drysten, have what it takes to fend off enemies, both known and unknown?

I was pulled in from the very start of the story as the narrator introduces the characters — kings, noblemen, and clerics — and the brash and somewhat demeaning Bishop Germanus who thinks that heathens don’t deserve the attention of the king. The setting reflects a period when kings and bishops commanded together and when clerics used God’s authority to lord it over the common people. The story has strong plot points and the prose is elegant, filled with powerful descriptions and scenes that are focused, deftly written and that showcase the author’s gift for humor — and the humor bites at times!

Francis Williams is a gifted writer and he has what it takes to get the attention of readers. The characters are elaborately developed, each with a solid background, and in spite of the wide cast of characters, the role that each plays in the story comes out neatly. Honor: Thrones and Soldiers is a story of compelling historical characters, and what makes it stand out is how well it tells the story of an era. It is very entertaining, and the cinematic nature of the narrative will have a powerful effect on the reader.