Paul Kearney was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, in 1967. He went to a local grammar school, and then to Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Middle English and was a keen member of the Mountaineering Society and the Officer Training Corps. He was also an enthusiastic and very bad rower.
Shortly after leaving Oxford, he went on a solitary climbing trip to the Isle of Skye, and it was after tumbling off a mountain there that the character of Michael Riven first came to him. The first half of The Way to Babylon was composed shortly after, and taken up by the literary agents Campbell, Thomson & McLaughlin. Richard Evans at Victor Gollancz bought the book, and Gollancz then published Kearney's next seven books, including the Monarchies of God series.
In the eight years subsequent to the publication of The Way to Babylon, Kearney 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.
Paul Kearney was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, in 1967. He went to a local grammar school, and then to Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Middle English. Shortly after leaving Oxford, he went on a solitary climbing trip to the Isle of Skye, and it was after [...]
Paul Kearney is really one of the best writers writing at the moment. He is not only technically proficient but he’s also wonderfully entertaining, rarely leaving us with a dull moment or place to put the book down to sleep. Hawkwood’s Voyage, in whichever form you read it, is a must read, and belongs on the shelf next to authors like Steven Erikson and George R. R. Martin.
When a power-hungry fanatic wins himself a highly influential religious position, threeresistant kings must fight a brutal war merely to maintain their thrones.
"There seems so little to say about this book. The story is developing, and that seems to be this books sole purpose. It seems a little more like a companion book or a novella than its own standalone book, but well written nonetheless. The story is captivating, if minimal, the fight scenes are brutal and vivid, if contrived. If you liked the first book, then The Heretic Kings will only make you want to read more of it."
Very rarely does an author manage to leave you heartbroken while still allowing you to have enjoyed the book you’ve read. Steven Erikson managed it in ‘Deadhouse Gates’ and Paul Kearney manages it in his book ‘The Ten Thousand.’ I have just finished reading the book, and feel both dispirited and glad for having read it.
It is twenty-three years since a Macht army fought its way home from the heart of the Asurian Empire. The man who came to lead that army, Rictus, is now a hard-bitten mercenary captain, middle-aged and tired. He wants nothing more than to lay down his spear and become the farmer that his father was. But fate has different ideas. A young warleader has risen to challenge the order of things in the very heartlands of the Macht. A soldier of genius, he takes city after city, and reigns over them as king. What is more, he had heard of the legendary leader of the Ten Thousand. His name is Corvus, and the rumours say that he is not even fully human. He means to make himself absolute ruler of all the Macht. And he wants Rictus to help him.
"I can’t recommend a book like Corvus highly enough. Kearney writes with knowledge, not only of the craft of writing, but of the craft of war, and history, and military might. He brings a realism to the story that doesn’t bore, but rather grips you and reminds you of the bloody mess of war. There are characters who are the pinnacle of honour and those who are the scum of the earth. You’ll love and hate, cheer and cry, and be shocked by what happens. And you’ll love it."
Death comes easily in a Kearney book. Nobody is excused the end of a spear or blade, except maybe Rictus who – having read all three books now – stands up as the one character who Kearney maybe set apart to survive. Characters that you immediately fall in love with or root-for are left rotting on the ground with very little preamble or memory. The Kings of Morning may not be the greatest in this series of books, but it is an able conclusion to a wonderful story of a nations rise from barbarism.