ARC REVIEW: Eternal War: Armies Of Saints – by Livio Gambarini

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Title: Eternal War: Armies Of Saints
Author: Livio Gambarini
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
First published: June 5th 2015
Finished reading: January 25th 2016
Pages: 184
Rating 3,5qqq

“Life is filled with doing terrible things and those who want to survive definitely have to do the worst of them.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Acheron Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

myrambles1reviewqqqEver since my Latin classes and visiting Rome twice (and Pompeii once) during high school I have been in love with Italy and its history. Being lucky enough to have lived in Southern Italy during three months has only deepened that connection… So when I was asked if I wanted to read a historical fiction/fantasy story both written by an Italian author (Livio Gambarini) and set in medieval Florence, I immediately said yes. I was lucky enough to receive an English translation published by Acheron Books, which really enabled me to properly enjoy Eternal War: Armies Of Saints (my Italian unfortunately is less than mediocre). The mix between fantasy and historical fiction is well done and I liked the fact that the story was set in Dante’s Florence. The story keeps switching between the material and spiritual world and this can become a bit confusing in the beginning, but once I got used to it the connection was actually quite interesting. Both Guido and Kabal are intriguing characters and the worldbuilding (especially the fantasy elements) is very imaginative. If you like the genre, I would definitely recommend reading this book.
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The war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines has been taking its toll on many families, but still their seems to be no end in sight. The conflict seems to go deeper than the two sides realize, as the spirit world seems to be involved in their war as well… Spirits have been guiding over their respective families during centuries, both protecting them and improving their own status in the spirit world. We follow Guido Cavalcanti and the spirit that guides the family, Kabal, as they both try to save the family from being completely destroyed. Guido is both a warrior and a poet, but due to a trick under the spell of the daughter of his enemy. He is determined to marry the girl he loves, but Kabal knows better and tries to both stop Guido from making a mistake and save the city… Will he be able to succeed before it’s too late?

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Eternal War: Armies Of Saints is without doubt a very intriguing read that mixes the historical and fantastical elements perfectly. I admit it takes a while to get used to the constant switches between the material and spiritual world, but once I did I really enjoyed this read. I do wish my Italian would have been good enough to read it in the original language, because I have the feeling Livio Gambarini‘s prose could have been appreciated even better in Italian… But I can’t deny I enjoyed the world he created in his novel and the idea of spirits guiding their families and living lives of their own. Recommended if you want to read an interesting historical fiction story with a fantasy twist.

WWW Wednesdays #75 – January 27th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading Confessions by Kanae Minato earlier this week, and although it’s an intruiging read I’m not sure if I actually like the writing style so far. I’ve also finally picked up my last TBR jar pick, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. So far it looks really promising!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings, which means I’ve finished my first series this year! I enjoyed this sequel just as much as the first book and I would really recommend it.
* I then finally picked up I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, a book I absolutely loved. Kudos to the author for raising awareness to what war veterans are going through and doing that by writing this beautiful story in the process!
* The last book I managed to finish was my pending ARC Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. I loved the general plot and worldbuilding behind this story and it was really interesting, but it was quite a slow read and I did have some minor problems with it. More in the review!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I loved the first book in the Veronica Mars series, so I’m probably going to read the sequel Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas next. I have also been thinking of finally picking up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken… Although I might read Defending Jacob by William Landay first. Last but not least, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider is my new TBR jar pick.

WWW Wednesdays #74 – January 20th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

wwwjan20th2016currently

I’ve started reading my pending ARC, Eternal War: Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini yesterday. It’s a historical fiction/fantasy read and I’m really enjoying it so far! I’ve also finally picked up The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings… I have been wanting to read this sequel for too long now so I’m glad I finally did.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. People kept recommending this book to me and I have to say it was just as good as I thought it would be. Minor complaint: I NEED a physical version because the creative layout doesn’t look nearly as good on my kindle. 😦
* I then finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which turned out to be quite a slow read and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I would. It’s more about the family history than it is about the missing girl… And somehow it didn’t manage to convince me completely.
* The last book I managed to finish (I DNFed Death Of Secrets by Bowen Greenwood) was The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas. Finally a good mystery read and a new series I can add to my favorites list!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I might try to read I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios next, although I’ve heard mixed things about it… Confessions by Kanae Minato is also still on my list as well, but I might read Defending Jacob by William Landay first since I’m in the mood for mystery/thriller reads. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick…

Friday Finds #69 – January 15th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at A Daily Rhythm and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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Continue reading

WWW Wednesdays #73 – January 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

wwwjan13th2016currently

I finally picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and so far I’m absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to continue reading it later today! Looks like this is one of those books that is actually worth the hype around it…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. A very good middle grade story that has a good mix of fantasy and scary elements and I really liked the prose.
* I then finished All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this historical fiction novel. Such an original, beautifully written and emotional story!
* I was in the mood for another crime read so I picked up Confessions Of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson. It’s the first time I read a Patterson YA novel, but I flew through the pages and it was a really entertaining read.
* Afterwards I decided to read Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl since it has become a tradition to reread at least one or two Roald Dahl books a year. He is one of my favorite childhood authors and I always love rereading his work. This is not my favorite, but still good.
* The last book I finished during the read-a-thon was Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid.  I can’t say I was impressed by this one. It wasn’t terrible but there were some parts that really bothered me…
* The last book on this list, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, was not as great as I would have thought either. It’s definitely a dark, twisted and disturbing read with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending, but it took me a long time to actually finish it and I didn’t like the characters…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC waiting for me: Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. This book set in the 13th century is a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and I’m really looking forward to it! I really should read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings as well, so I can at least start finishing all those poor neglected series… Although I will probably read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng first. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick.