Related to: 'A Brief History of the Martial Arts'

Robinson

Christ's Samurai

Jonathan Clements
Authors:
Jonathan Clements

The sect was said to harbour dark designs to overthrow the government. Its teachers used a dead language that was impenetrable to all but the innermost circle of believers. Its priests preached love and kindness, but helped local warlords acquire firearms. They encouraged believers to cast aside their earthly allegiances and swear loyalty to a foreign god-emperor, before seeking paradise in terrible martyrdoms. The cult was in open revolt, led, it was said, by a boy sorcerer. Farmers claiming to have the blessing of an alien god had bested trained samurai in combat and proclaimed that fires in the sky would soon bring about the end of the world. The Shogun called old soldiers out of retirement for one last battle before peace could be declared in Japan. For there to be an end to war, he said, the Christians would have to die.This is a true story.

Robinson

A Brief History of Khubilai Khan

Jonathan Clements
Authors:
Jonathan Clements

His grandfather was the bloodthirsty Mongol leader Genghis Khan, his mother a Christian princess. Groomed from childhood for a position of authority, Khubilai snatched the position of Great Khan, becoming the overlord of a Mongol federation that stretched from the Balkans to the Korean coastline. His armies conquered the Asian kingdom of Dali and brought down the last defenders of imperial China.Khubilai Khan presided over a glorious Asian renaissance, attracting emissaries from all across the continent, and opening his civil service to 'men with coloured eyes' - administrators from the far west. His life and times encompassed the legends of Prester John, the pinnacle of the samurai (and, indeed, the Mongols), and the travels of Marco Polo.

Constable

The Art of War

Jonathan Clements
Authors:
Jonathan Clements
Robinson

A Brief History of the Samurai

Jonathan Clements
Authors:
Jonathan Clements

'Clements has a knack for writing suspenseful sure-footed conflict scenes: His recounting of the Korean invasion led by samurai and daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi reads like a thriller. If you're looking for a samurai primer, Clements' guide will keep you on the hook' Japan Times, reviewed as part of an Essential Reading for Japanophiles series From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior. The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years. Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world.

Robinson

A Brief History of the Vikings

Jonathan Clements
Authors:
Jonathan Clements

'From the Fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord.'Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade, raid and invade along the coasts of Europe. Their influence and expeditions extended from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles were as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. But were they great seafarers or desperate outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the last pagans or the first of the modern Europeans? This concise study puts medieval chronicles, Norse sagas and Muslim accounts alongside more recent research into ritual magic, genetic profiling and climatology. It includes biographical sketches of some of the most famous Vikings, from Erik Bloodaxe to Saint Olaf, and King Canute to Leif the Lucky. It explains why the Danish king Harald Bluetooth lent his name to a twenty-first century wireless technology; which future saint laughed as she buried foreign ambassadors alive; why so many Icelandic settlers had Irish names; and how the last Viking colony was destroyed by English raiders. Extending beyond the traditional 'Viking age' of most books, A Brief History of the Vikings places sudden Scandinavian population movement in a wider historical context. It presents a balanced appraisal of these infamous sea kings, explaining both their swift expansion and its supposed halt. Supposed because, ultimately, the Vikings didn't disappear: they turned into us.

Adrian Selby

Adrian Selby studied creative writing at university before embarking on a career in video game production. He is a Tolkien fanatic and an online gaming addict, and lives with his wife and family on the south coast of England. His debut novel Snakewood is an epic and inventive fantasy about a company of mercenaries and the assassin trying to destroy them. You can find Adrian on Twitter, tweeting as @adrianlselby.

Alex Rawlings

Alex Rawlings has been fascinated by languages and determined to learn as many as possible for as long as he can remember. He was born and raised in London, where he spoke English and Greek at home, studied German, French and Spanish at school, picked up Dutch, Afrikaans, Hebrew, Italian and Catalan on the side, then studied Russian and German at Oxford University, where he was named Britain's Most Multilingual Student in 2012 after being tested for fluency in all those languages in a competition run by Harper Collins. Since then he has studied many more, including tricky ones like Hungarian and Serbian, and has lived in five different countries, teaching languages, coaching learners, and organising conferences and workshops around the world for language enthusiasts. Alex's writes his practical advice and detailed observations on language learning on his popular blog RawLangs.com, and has also contributed to online and offline publications by the British Council, the European Commission, the Guardian, the Evening Standard, and to the blogs of several language learning companies. This book was conceived in Russia, planned in Hungary, written in Spain, and published in London. Alex travels the world speaking and learning new languages with his Hungarian dachshund, Zoltán.

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco. He has traveled to all of the locations in this novel, but he is only big in Italy.

Angus Watson

Angus Watson is the David Gemmell-Award-nominated author of Age of Iron. As well as writing epic fantasy, he's written hundreds of features for newspapers including The Times, Financial Times and Telegraph, and the latter even sent him to look for Bigfoot in America. He lives in London, but you can find him on Twitter at @GusWatson or find his website: www.guswatson.com.

Bamber Gascoigne

Bamber Gasgoigne won scholarships to Eton and Cambridge, and a Harkness Fellowship to Yale. He presented television's University Challenge for 25 years and has written several books, including The Treasures and Dynasties of China, A Brief History of the Great Moghuls and A Brief History of Christianity.

Brandy Colbert

Brandy Colbert was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri. Her debut novel, Pointe, won the 2014 Cybils Award for young adult fiction and was named a best book of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, and more. She was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for spring 2014. She is also the author of Little & Lion, which was a Junior Library Guild and a Book of the Month Club selection, and Finding Yvonne. Brandy lives in Los Angeles and works as a copy editor.

Cath Staincliffe

Cath Staincliffe is an award winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV's hit series Blue Murder. Cath's books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.

Chris Bunch

Chris Bunch is a Vietnam veteran and served as a patrol commander and combat correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He has written for the underground press, outlaw motorcycle magazines and Rolling Stone.

Don Mann

Don Mann (CWO3, USN) is the author of the national bestseller Inside SEAL Team Six and a former Navy SEAL. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida.

Elizabeth Singer Hunt

Elizabeth Singer Hunt is best known as the award-winning author of the SECRET AGENT JACK STALWART chapter book series for younger readers. The 14-book series has been named a 'must read' for boys by the British Education Secretary, serialized by BBC Radio, and featured on Virgin Atlantic Airways' international flights.Elizabeth lives in California with her husband and two children, and is an advocate for the Eco-Soap Bank, a public health nonprofit working to save lives in rural Cambodia.

Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is a black belt martial artist, a former corporate strategist, and action movie aficionado. Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. Lee is the award-winning author of the YA science fiction novels Zeroboxer and Exo; Jade City is her adult debut.

Ian W. Shaw

Ian W. Shaw is the author of six books: The Bloodbath, On Radji Beach, Glenrowan, The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay, The Rag Tag Fleet and Murder at Dusk. The Bloodbath was nominated for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted in the Local History category. Ian is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and holds postgraduate degrees from Monash University and the University of Michigan. After ten years as a secondary school teacher, Ian worked in the Commonwealth public service and private enterprise for three decades, and is an expert on security issues. He lives in Canberra.

Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asian history, including biographies of Empress Wu, Admiral Togo, the statesman Prince Saionji and Coxinga, the Japanese-born 'pirate king'. He divides his time between London, England and Jyväskylä, Finland, and his website iswww.muramasaindustries.com.

Kate Furnivall

Kate Furnivall didn't set out to be a writer. It sort of grabbed her by the throat when she discovered the story of her grandmother - a White Russian refugee who fled from the Bolsheviks down into China. That extraordinary tale inspired her first book, The Russian Concubine. From then on, she was hooked.Kate is the author of eight novels, including The Russian Concubine, The White Pearl and The Italian Wife. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and have been on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Keigo Higashino

Keigo Higashino is the single bestselling, best-known novelist in Japan and around Asia, with numerous television and film adaptations of his work appearing in several languages. He's the author of The Devotion of Suspect X, which was the finalist for the Edgar Award for best novel, and Malice, among many others. He lives in Tokyo, Japan.