War & Military Action Fiction Reviews From BookViral

A BookViral Review Of Chains of Nobility by Brad Graft

Reviewed by Julian De La Motte

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  • SIN: ‎ B07CN6TWQ6
  • Publisher: ‎ The Sager Group LLC (24 April 2018)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 470 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN: ‎ 0999633813
  • Genre: War & Military Action Fiction


The BookViral Review:

We should be grateful to the writer Brad Graft for shining a  bright light upon this often neglected and relatively unexplored period of history. The three volumes of The ‘Brotherhood of the Mamluks’ [of which this is the first] is a vivid and illuminating account of perilous journeys and encounters, ranging over the vast area of the Russian Steppe, central Asia and the Middle East in the troubled years of the mid thirteenth century, where the very different cultures of the Mongols, the defenders of militant Islam and the European Crusader States turned it into a troubled and bloodstained arena in which they ceaselessly clashed and fought in pursuit of their own very separate objectives and agendas. 

Book One covers the period of 1236 to 1239, from the  Russian steppe to the military fortress of Hisn Kayfa in Turkey. It is focussed upon the life and very difficult times of the adolescent boy Duyal who is violently snatched from his nomadic pastoral homeland amongst the Kipchak people in the Upper Volga river country by Mongol raiders. We then follow his difficult progress from Nomadic herder to a highly skilled Mamluk warrior and defender of Islam, and his journey is not an easy one! He is purchased by a high ranking Kurdish Prince and trained and honed in all the arts of a warrior by a brutal and pitiless instructor against whom he eventually rebels. To reveal more of all that befalls young Duyal would be something of a spoiler. Suffice it to say that Graft weaves an exciting web of a story that is interspersed with gem like facts and insight that so often many writers of historical fiction fail to mention. For Graft, a former U.S. Marine, does not simply talk the talk. He has also walked the walk in his creation of an intriguing and believable  world., His superb eye for detail is tribute to the fact that he spent weeks researching and living with Nomadic herders in Mongolia; which makes his accounts of facets of their tough world; of slaughtering and preserving meat or of sheltering from the hostile elements, all the little details, all the more believable.

‘Chains of Nobility’ is an engrossing, compelling and highly readable blend of fiction and fact [much of it learnt the hard way] of a relatively unexplored period and place and is an excellent introduction to the following two volumes. It is highly recommended to the discerning reader of historical fiction.

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