Defender of the Realm by Corey Holst
(Action/Advenure Historical Fiction)
Defender Of The Realm is a rousing historical-based action/ adventure. In England during the 12 th century, your entire way of living, including your occupation, the person you marry, and your social class are all handed down to you by your parents. When a local merchant unwittingly becomes a hero during a fierce attack, his life and the lives of several others are about to be turned upside down.
The castle-town of Dansford is one of many such outposts on the Welsh frontier charged with the protection of English subjects by the authority of King Henry II. For Lord William Marleigh, the smooth operation and protection of Dansford is only half of his problems. The other half is seeing that his son, Stephen, settles down and marries a girl of proper standing. But Stephen isn't ready for that kind of life and on a whim, introduces the hapless merchant, James, as Lord Marleigh's son, to his betrothed.
But the practical joke goes awry when further plots against the stability of England are exposed and Stephen is diverted to London. James is out of his league and going out of his mind as the wedding draws near. Whether he is exposed as an imposter or whether Stephen returns before the wedding and sets everyone straight is anyone's guess. But James knows that one way or another, it will all be settled when they return to Dansford.
Defender Of The Realm is an exciting and often humorous ride through England of old that breaks down the social barriers of class distinction by examining what truly makes one noble.
Defender of the Realm - Reviews
Rob Krabbe ***** A Great Adventure!
The book Defender of the Realm, by Corey Holst is not only a wonderful glimpse into historical period and culture, a time when legends were made, but is also a great story. The book started off interestingly enough, giving me a taste of castles and kings, great characters and adventurous tales set in the middle ages. Then as it warmed up it pulled me deeper and deeper, and I had a hard time setting it down. By about half way through, I just plain had to finish it.
The characters in the story were well developed, and so interesting that I now want to know what the rest of their lives were about. It left me satisfied, and yet wanting more. The story was full of exciting times, tense suspenseful events, romance, and humor, and yet also people that you just want to get to know. I am by nature a people watcher, because people are just plain entertaining, and Holst's book allows us to get to know a cast of characters that both come alive and invade our hearts as if they were loved personalities in our own lives. I almost hated to turn the last page, as if to say goodbye to new friends, and am looking forward to any sequel or series that Holst may write, so I can read more about them.
It's been a while since I read a book that left me ignoring the phone, email, and TV, but this was just plain good fun to read. My son, who also loves a good adventure tale, has let me know, having seen me trapped within the pages of this book, that he has dibs on it next.
Jennifer Driscoll ***** An Exciting and Funny Book
I really enjoyed this book. It was exciting with a lot of humor thrown in. It actually made me laugh out loud! Excellent job on the writing and I look forward to the sequel.
Ray Wiese ***** I Couldn't Put It Down!
First let me say that this isn't my normal type of read. I'm more into Koontz and Cussler and so I was somewhat reluctant to even pick this book up, but am I glad I did. From the moment I started reading I could not put it down. The story was so interesting and the characters so well developed that I found myself wishing I could become part of the story. For anyone who enjoys a rousing adventure with a touch of humor I highly recommend this book and am really looking forward to the sequel.
M. Hass "Devon" ***** Couldn't Wait
I had purchased Defender of the Realm to take with me on an upcoming camping trip, something to pass the long nights with no TV. I decided I would get a small start at bed time a few nights prior to leaving, that proved to be a mistake. The book read so easily and kept my interest to the point I failed to put it down. A good adventure, with characters that pull you in to the story. I read until very late the first night, and finished it the second. I ended up staring at the top of the tent for hours wishing I had a sequel!
Roxanne Rosas ***** Wonderful Characters
I could not wait to get home from work each night and keep reading this book. The characters are so wonderful that I wanted more after reading it. The story is great and has some really funny moments. If there's a sequel I will totally but it!
Jessica Baxter *****
I really loved this book! Not only could I not put the book down, I felt myself squirming right along with James. It was a classic tale of adventure without the stuffy, classic feel. Very well written!
Joshua J. Harris ***** For the Adventurer
Let's be honest here. In a world filled with people who obsess over vampires that glitter in the sun and boy wizards with scars, it is nice to finally read something that is actually rooted in history. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a fantasy now and then. However, the adventure stories that I get most enjoyment from are those that truly examine a way of life. This novel is one of those books. Holst delivers a fast-paced yet easy read about a cobbler named James. His redundant life of shoes quickly turns into a life of swords, shields, and even crowns. For the historians, holst also includes incredibly interesting historical material about castle life and defense in the middle ages (all without sounding too didactic). It is a story of love, vengeance, sacrifice, and suspense without being diluted with unnecessary or outrageous combat. Holst focuses on the stress and tribulations associated with life in the middle ages while also simply telling a great story. I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. In the meantime, I think I'll read it again.
Michael R. Roach ****
Though not usually my "cup of hemlock" as it were. this was an entrancing read. Its research and details are second to none, and the style captures what we think of as the Middle Ages flawlessly. It's entertaining, interesting, and immerses the reader in the period and characters with both depth and much tongue-in-cheek humor. Bravo!
Jennie Snyder ****
I must admit that I do not usually read historical fiction set in the medieval period. However, reading Corey Holst's Defender of the Realm made me rethink my reading preference. My interest in history initially pulled me in. However, as the story unfolded, I found so much more than a historical account of the period.
The novel mixes adventure, action, and even humor in just the right combination. The rich detail and compelling narrative drew me in and didn't let go. In the process, I was treated to an adventurous trip that took me through the struggles of daily life to the heroic battles of the period; through castles, and fields and towns. Highly recommended for readers looking for an engaging story and richly-drawn characters.
Annette Holst *****
Fantastic read. Great modern style of writing dialog, but with all the historical background settings and events. Characters are vivid and real: the ones you love and the ones you love to hate! Very exciting and visual battle scenes. Feels like you're watching a movie while reading the book. Great for anyone who likes historical fiction, action/ adventure. Perfect for young adults.
About the Author:
Corey Holst is a native Southern Californian. He graduated Cum Laude from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in Theatrical design and has been working behind the scenes in live theatre for over twenty years. Defender of the Realm is his first novel but he is already working on the follow up story. Corey resides in Orange County with his wife and daughter.