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Spanning vistas from majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and barren plains in the north to sweltering deserts, raging seas, and rain-soaked shrublands in the south, The Bulls of War is the first book of E.M. Thomas's epic Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones.
Follow this sweeping tale of an empire on the precipice of war with its hated rival, a fragile truce teetering on the edge of a sword. Watch as tens of thousands of troops stand at the ready, only an order away from battles on a scale unseen in centuries. Beware as some factions within the Imperial capital fight to keep the peace, while others shirk no scheme, murder, or terror in their quest to trigger war - a war some fear could rend their divided empire apart.
It is in the midst of this dangerous game of brinksmanship that Generals Tyghus and Kyrus soon find themselves. Against a backdrop of deceit and suspicion, of blood and tears, of power and glory, their friendship is put to the ultimate test as they struggle to save their country, themselves, and those they love - all while battling their own tortured pasts.
A red-blooded epic, The Bulls Of War delivers a rousing, large-scale adventure that marks the best of its genre. To read it is to turn the last page and feel as though you have returned battle weary from another time. An ambitious debut that’s big on grandiose emotions like patriotism, treachery and love, Thomas ably manages to avoid the prescriptive travelogue style of far too many shield and sword epics through refreshingly uncompromising prose and a meticulous eye for detail. Mixing historical and melodramatic fantasy elements it’s not a cursory read but it doesn’t feel overly drawn out, with action and intrigue finding an equitable balance.
A great read in any genre must go beyond its lead protagonists and this where Thomas really comes into his own. Tyghus and Kyrus come from hardened stock, but a host of powerful auxiliary characters creates a rich tapestry of players that are hard to forget and a measure of intrigue that proves wholly enthralling.
A deeply layered and exhilarating read that ensnares the imagination, The Bulls Of War proves a remarkable debut and is recommended without reservation.
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E.M. Thomas is an author of two novels - an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun).
E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth - while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.