A spellbinding tale that traces four steadfast protectors of humanity in a changing world.

The Honorable Knight

From the The Fellowship of the Ancient Covenant series , Vol. 1

Donahoe tells a story of friendship and courage spanning the ages in this debut adventure novel.

A Navy SEAL, a mercenary commando, a Mossad operative, and a CDC agent don’t seem to have much in common at first, but Ian, Jacques, Serena, and Desiree go back a long way. Almost a millennium, in fact. When they first meet in Jerusalem, their visions of saving the world center on the First Crusade. Ian is a humble farmer who longs for the honor of knighthood, Jacques a spoiled son of wealth and means who dreams more of glory than of helping common people, Serena a blacksmith’s daughter with strong opinions and few prospects besides marriage, and Desiree a nurse who knows her worth more than those around her. But their quest is far greater than they realize, and they are soon approached by a mystic Covenant, a group dedicated to saving humanity however it can, and which includes even the Magi present at the birth of Jesus. Gifted with supernaturally long lives, a pull toward those in need, and even the occasional miracle, the four turn against the Crusades to defend the Holy Land. Today, with their diversity, skill, and friendship even greater assets than before, they strive for peace for all, defending the world against terrorism and biological attacks. The greatest strength of this first installment in a series lies in its use of both the past and present. The dichotomy of medieval adventure story and modern military thriller makes each new chapter a joy to read. And while the characters already are three-dimensional and well-crafted in each timeline, the addition of knowing where they came from in the distant past and where they will land in the future infuses new depth, making the nods to how they’ve changed (and how they haven’t) a real treat. Finally, the details of both timelines feel genuine and well researched without becoming dry, and the plots are dynamic and page-turning, making the story a truly rich journey, with plenty to look forward to in future books.

A spellbinding tale that traces four steadfast protectors of humanity in a changing world.

Pub Date: May 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944337-04-9

Page Count: 346

Publisher: Mill Creek Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2016

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Less bleak than the subject matter might warrant—Hannah’s default outlook is sunny—but still, a wrenching depiction of war’s...

HOME FRONT

 The traumatic homecoming of a wounded warrior.

The daughter of alcoholics who left her orphaned at 17, Jolene “Jo” Zarkades found her first stable family in the military: She’s served over two decades, first in the army, later with the National Guard. A helicopter pilot stationed near Seattle, Jo copes as competently at home, raising two daughters, Betsy and Lulu, while trying to dismiss her husband Michael’s increasing emotional distance. Jo’s mettle is sorely tested when Michael informs her flatly that he no longer loves her. Four-year-old Lulu clamors for attention while preteen Betsy, mean-girl-in-training, dismisses as dweeby her former best friend, Seth, son of Jo’s confidante and fellow pilot, Tami. Amid these challenges comes the ultimate one: Jo and Tami are deployed to Iraq. Michael, with the help of his mother, has to take over the household duties, and he rapidly learns that parenting is much harder than his wife made it look. As Michael prepares to defend a PTSD-afflicted veteran charged with Murder I for killing his wife during a dissociative blackout, he begins to understand what Jolene is facing and to revisit his true feelings for her. When her helicopter is shot down under insurgent fire, Jo rescues Tami from the wreck, but a young crewman is killed. Tami remains in a coma and Jo, whose leg has been amputated, returns home to a difficult rehabilitation on several fronts. Her nightmares in which she relives the crash and other horrors she witnessed, and her pain, have turned Jo into a person her daughters now fear (which in the case of bratty Betsy may not be such a bad thing). Jo can't forgive Michael for his rash words. Worse, she is beginning to remind Michael more and more of his homicide client. Characterization can be cursory: Michael’s earlier callousness, left largely unexplained, undercuts the pathos of his later change of heart. 

Less bleak than the subject matter might warrant—Hannah’s default outlook is sunny—but still, a wrenching depiction of war’s aftermath.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-57720-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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