Sunday, April 6, 2014

*Two Reviews*
"Cossacks In Paris" & "Clonmac's Bridge" by Jeffrey Perren!

Recently, I read two books by an author I've come to really enjoy.  Author Jeffrey Perren has three books on Goodreads so far, and I adore two of them (the third will be devoured soon, I'm sure!).  I'd like to spotlight this author and these two books today.

Jeffrey Perren is the author of the historical novel Cossacks in Paris.

He wrote his first short story at age 12 and went on to win the Bank of America Fine Arts award at 17. Since then he has published at award-winning sites and magazines from the U.S. to New Zealand.

Educated in philosophy at UCLA and physics at UC Irvine, he lives in Sandpoint, Idaho.

~ Connect with Jeffrey Online ~

The first book I read and reviewed from Mr. Perren was Cossacks in Paris.  I really enjoyed this book, and would love to share it with you!

Cossacks In Paris

~Published: November 25th, 2012

~Publisher: ClioStory Publishing

~Length: 389 Pages

~Genres: Historical Fiction, Adult, Cultural

How far can one man go for his freedom?

Rebellious Breutier Armande, a rising young civil engineer in Paris, is drafted into the Grande Armeé on the eve of Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign.

On a scouting mission in St. Petersburg he meets Kaarina, a Finnish mathematician and daughter of the counselor to Tsar Alexander I. The pair soon fall in love. But Kaarina is betrothed to Agripin, a vicious Cossack and a favorite of the Tsar.

When she refuses him, Agripin kidnaps her, aided by Kaarina's envious twin sister, Kaisa. At a time of Europe's brief, uneasy truce Breutier deserts Napoleon's army and the Tsar's employ to reclaim Kaarina. Dodging the vengeance of the world's most powerful rulers sends Breutier on a perilous quest to hunt down the era's most ruthless Cossack.

Interweaving the characters' personal dramas with the epochal events of the following two years forms the core of the story. Historically accurate, the novel climaxes at the moment when, for the first time in 400 years, foreign armies invaded France, leaving behind Cossacks in Paris.

~ 4/5 Roses ~

Cossacks in Paris is a very simple title, for such a deep book. Between the political conflict, personal conflict, human drama, and following true world-changing history, this book is certainly one you get lost in. It sucks you in and keeps your attention throughout the book, not letting up until the very end. 

Mr. Perren did a fantastic job with this book. He takes his readers on an amazing adventure that puts them up close and personal with the main ringleaders of the War of 1812. He forces you think about this intense dramatic event as something more than just random, distant facts on a piece of paper. He makes it real, and truly makes you feel as though you're experiencing the events fold out in real time.

More than just the events, are the people involved. The descriptions of the characters and their personalities are fantastic, and I loved learning about each one. Mr. Perren did an excellent job in describing them all, and it's obvious he put a lot of effort and time into every detail of this book. I very much enjoyed reading from several different points of view, and seeing an epic conflict unfold from various angles. 

While reading this book, I told my husband many times how "It feels like I'm reading a documentary!" When I say documentary, I mean one of those really good ones- the kind you actually like watching, and one that keeps you completely enthralled. This book is just that, and I think even better- a film would be hard pressed to beat the entertainment and craftsmanship of this book.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone who enjoys historical novels. This isn't one that will bore you at all- it will have you biting your nails, feeling the emotion of the characters, and the tension created by Napoleon and Czar Alexander. 

*I was given an eBook copy, from the author's publisher, to read in exchange for an honest review.

After enjoying Cossacks In Paris so much, I was more than willing to read and review Mr. Perren's newest novel: Clonmac's Bridge.

Clonmac's Bridge

~Published: March 24th, 2014

~Publisher: ClioStory Publishing

~Length: 422 Pages

~Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adult, Contemporary, Medieval

A maritime archaeologist recovers Ireland's earliest bridge near Clonmacnoise Monastery - only to find it intact after 1,200 years underwater.

What could account for this astonishing longevity - and why are his colleagues and the Church desperate to stop him finding out? And why is his consummate love his greatest enemy?

Griffin Clonmac will go through hell to find out.

~ 4/5 Roses ~

An exciting adventure full of mystery, danger and history, Clonmac's Bridge takes us to several areas of the world, as an archaeologist fights to uncover the truth. 

I loved connecting with these characters, while experiencing their enthusiasm and passion for history. With the feisty and independent Mari, and the quirky, passionate Griffon, this story comes to life, and captures you completely. Their swirling relationship was sweet, and I loved the changes Mari went through, as she found a new level of independence from her past and her father.

Jeffrey Perren is a very talented author, easily taking his readers on grand adventures, while teaching them something along the way. This book is a wonderful example of his skills as a storyteller, writer, and history enthusiast. 

I would recommend this book to any fan of historical novels - if you think it sounds interesting, then I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I plan on reading it again, several times, and look forward to future books from Mr. Perren. 

*I was given an eARC copy of this book, from the author's publisher, to read in exchange for an honest review. 

~To see my UnPlugged Review of Cossacks In Paris, please visit our UnPlugged blog!

What do you guys think of these books??  Do you enjoy historical novels?  Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and as always:

Keep Creating!! :D