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Paul Kearney

Paul Kearney fantasy author reviews(1967- )
Paul Kearney was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. He read Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Middle English at Oxford and was a keen member of the Mountaineering Society and the Officer Training Corps. He was also an enthusiastic and very bad rower. Kearney has lived in Copenhagen, New Jersey, and Cambridgeshire, but at present he makes his home a stone’s throw from the sea in County Down, with his wife, two dogs, a beat-up old boat, and far too many books. Read excerpts of his novels at Paul Kearney’s website.

A Different Kingdom: Rich with details and surprising maturity

A Different Kingdom by Paul Kearney

A Different Kingdom is a reprint of one of Paul Kearney’s first novels, first published in 1993. The good news is that this doesn’t read like an early novel in an illustrious career: it actually reads like something a well-practiced author would produce after a lot of hard work.

A Different Kingdom is set in the picturesque countryside of Ireland and the farm where Michael lives. Alongside this, perhaps on top of it or layered throughout it, is a fantasy world where other creatures live, creatures that seem to spring out of our own myths and legends. The fact that this other world is set in a landscape that has thrilled many (myself included) with beautiful myths and legends is just perfect. This is a book for dreamers.
When the wolves follow him from the Other Place to his family’s doorstep, Michael must choose between locking the... Read More

Hawkwood and the Kings: Best battle scenes in fantasy literature

Hawkwood and the Kings by Paul Kearney

Hawkwood and the Kings is an omnibus of Hawkwood’s Voyage and The Heretic Kings, first released in the mid-nineties to critical acclaim but limited commercial success. Paul Kearney is, to the detriment of readers of fine fantasy, one of those authors who ran into publisher difficulties. Had the publisher actively marketed the original releases of The Monarchies of God, the books would have sold well and would unquestionably be considered classics alongside other great adult fantasies like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Read More

Century of the Soldier: An excellent conclusion

Century of the Soldier by Paul Kearney

Century of the Soldieris the omnibus edition of The Iron Wars (1999), The Second Empire (2000) and Ships from the West (2002), and is the concluding volume of Paul Kearney’s re-issued The Monarchies of God. It is as compelling and readable as Hawkwood and the Kings, and while it does not enjoy five-star status with its predecessor, it is an excellent conclusion, and I stand by my statement in my previous review: any person who loves good epic fantasy must read these books.

In many ways, Century of the Soldier is a very different book from Hawkwood and the Kings. The first two thirds continue where Hawkwood left off, dealing with th... Read More

The Ten Thousand: Solid historical fantasy

The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney

The Ten Thousand is a historical fantasy which follows the story of two young men growing up in a very close approximation of the Greek City States known as the Macht. One has just lost his family due to war and the other has set off to find adventure as a soldier. Both of them end up enlisting in a large force of mercenaries bound for a larger empire. Their story is interesting; we follow them on their campaign through a foreign land peopled with races who aren’t human, but are close enough that they’re easily imaginable and not too fantastic.

Paul Kearney’s excellent world building is enhanced by his obvious knowledge of the historical period. The Ten Thousand seems realistic and it really draws you into the rough, violent world of a highly trained mercenary. Kearney’s writing is well-done, too, and the story moves at a nice pace. There are lots of different char... Read More

Corvus: A tale of war in all of its bloody horror

Corvus by Paul Kearney

I was introduced to Paul Kearney’s writing when I read The Ten Thousand, and I instantly loved the way Kearney does his brand of historical fantasy. His focus is on a Greek-like, Bronze Age civilization peopled by the Macht, a war-like civilization of city-states very much like the Greece of ca. 400 BC. In both The Ten Thousand and Corvus, Kearney uses ancient history as a broad structure for telling a tale of war in all of its bloody horror.

In Corvus, Kearney brings back Rictus, one of the leaders of the Ten Thousand, mercenaries who fought their way out of the Asurian Empire after their employer failed to seize its throne, and who are very loosely based on this world’s Ten Thousand, Greeks who similarly fought their way out of Persia. Rictus has a legendary stature in the cities of the Macht, and is... Read More

The Wolf in the Attic: Like reading two different books. I really liked one of them.

The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

Reading The Wolf in the Attic, by Paul Kearney, was like reading two different books. One of these books was a solid three-star read. The other was very familiar and ultimately unsatisfying, and would probably get a 2.5 star rating from me. I’ll explain at the end of the review how I came to the overall rating I chose.

Kearney’s other work is described as second-world epic fantasy and he is compared to David Gemell. The Wolf in the Attic is a departure for him. It’s set in 1920s Oxford, England, and the main character is an eleven-year-old girl named Anna.

Anna Francis, like her father, is a Greek refugee, forced to evacuate her home city of Smyrna after the Turk... Read More

More books by Paul Kearney

The Sea-Beggars — (2004-2006) This end of this four-book series will be published after Bantam (who dropped Kearney) gives the rights to Solaris. Publisher: The world is dying, forsaken by its Creator. Man schemes and plots and makes wars across it, forgetting that this turning earth does not belong to mankind alone. Another race once dwelled here. Some think they were the last of the Angels, banished to this world for a forgotten crime; others that they were demons imprisoned here by a disgusted Creator. Rol Cortishane’s quiet life is about to come to an end, for in his family runs the blood of this Elder race. Driven from his home, he seeks refuge in the ancient tower of Michal Psellos, where he is trained to be a killer of men, an assassin without pity. His tutor in murder is the beautiful and deadly Rowen, whom he loves without hope. THE MARK OF RAN is the beginning of Cortishane’s story. A tale in which he journeys across the breadth of this teeming, wicked world and finds a legendary Hidden City where the desperate and the dispossessed fight for survival. This is the first of the chronicles of Rol’s great voyages, and those of his compatriots; a band of outcasts who took to the wide oceans of the world when every nation of the earth set its face against them. Ussa’s Orphans they were called, the Beggars of the Sea…

The Sea-Beggars Paul Kearney review 1. The Mark of Ran 2. This Forsaken Earth The Sea-Beggars Paul Kearney review 1. The Mark of Ran 2. This Forsaken Earth

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsJohnny Fortycloaks — (2012) A chance encounter sends three orphaned children from a small village on a magical adventure greater than anything they could imagine. Soon, they must fight for their lives against the dizzying array of monsters and minions sent at them by the enigmatic figure known only as Jason as they follow him through the galaxy in a chase that spans centuries. Every planet brings them new powers and allies, but also a new struggle and fresh questions. Who is Jason? What does he want? And what exactly is this mysterious Johnny Fortycloaks and can they really trust him? The game of cat and mouse culminates in a return to Earth. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like the world they left behind. Not only must they find their footing on a world that is no longer theirs, they must also stop Jason before he can end the game once and for all.