Friday, June 6, 2014

G333 Book Review of Vienna's Last Jihad by C Wayne Dawson

Name of Book: Vienna's Last Jihad

Author: C Wayne Dawson

ISBN: 9781490426341

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: Vienna, Turks, culture, ideas from enemy, siege, war, 1683, family, sacrifice, creative problem solving, conflict, mysteries, open-mindedness, adventure

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

Brash and brilliant, twenty year old Mathis Zieglar, Professor of Languages, faces an agonizing choice: should he fight the Turks who take his family hostage and move to destroy Vienna? Or should he betray his army to save his kin? Vienna’s Last Jihad is an historical novel set against the 1683 siege of Vienna.

Europe is balanced on a knife’s edge while Mathis, the man who holds its fate in his hands, struggles against powerful enemies: Father Sistini, a Jesuit who brands him a heretic and drags Mathis’ fiancée off to the Inquisition; a xenophobic city mob, who wants him dead for protecting a Hungarian soldier; but most dangerous of all, Captain Tyrek, a Muslim chieftain who will kill Mathis’ family unless he spies against his own army. One by one, Tyrek’s agents murder Mathis’ closest associates in an attempt to isolate him. As 138,000 Turks grind down Vienna’s 15,000 defenders with no relief in sight, Mathis’ only chance to save family and country is to use his ability to speak Tartar and the knack he learned as a child to leap, whirl like an unwinding mainspring, and strike.

The 1683 siege of Vienna was an historic turning point in the struggle between East and West. Had the defenders failed, the invaders would have gutted Central Europe in a rampage of mass slaughter and enslavement.
Vienna’s Last Jihad is a novel of 99, 600 words and will appeal to those who enjoy the military action of Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series and the mystery suspense of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.

Characters:

The main characters include Mathis who is best described as intelligent, creative, adventurous, open-minded, experimental, impatient, and is good at coming up with solutions in a tight spot. Mathis comes from a loving family and serves as a translator due to his experience with Turks. Magda is Mathis's fiancée and she is high spirited, brave and has talent when it comes to herbs and how to make people feel better. Other characters include Tannenberg, Mathis's sidekick, then the gypsy boys whom Mathis helps and isn't afraid of asking for help, the Turks who have their own culture and are determined to play cat-and-mouse game, the commanding officers that either love or hate him and others. While I did enjoy the adventure, I really think that the characters need a little more work to make them more distinguishable from one another.

Theme:

Be open minded to new ideas

Plot:

The book is written in third person narrative from Mathis and others characters' points of view, at least from both heroes and villains' points of view. Although I liked the characters, at times I had a hard differentiating who's who, or how they fit in. This is also an interesting adventure book in my view, how Mathis went from being a professor to a hero, and how important small actions are as well as importance of being open-minded towards ideas no matter where they come from. If one remains static, then that person ultimately loses.

Author Information:


C. Wayne Dawson writes for The Williamson County Sun, and has written for History Magazine, Focus On Georgetown, The Georgetown Advocate, and SAFVIC Law Enforcement Newsletter. In 2012, he founded Central Texas Authors, an author’s marketing collective.
He was an Adjunct Professor of History for ten years at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where he created the Chautauqua program. There, he enlisted scholars, government officials and activists to discuss and debate social policy before the student body and the media.
In 2009, the students of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society honored him with the Glaux Mentor Teacher Award for bringing the Chautauqua program to Mt. SAC.
He currently lives in Georgetown, TX with his wife and two dogs.
For more information please visit C. Wayne Dawson’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Opinion:

If I rated books in halves, I'd rate it 3.5 actually. What I really enjoyed is the attention to historical detail as well as to different cultures in Vienna as well as the message that the book gives and that the author chose to enlighten his readers about something many are probably not familiar with. What I felt that the author should have worked upon more is making the characters more individual because at times I had a hard time remembering who's who, and there are some characters that aren't listed in the character sheet, unfortunately. There is a minor mistake: the author gives dates for almost every chapter, thus the book goes chronologically, but at one point, Chapter Twenty, to be exact, the date is July 23rd, 1683 when in fact it should have been somewhere in August. I also had some difficulty understanding the skull game that seemed vital to the book.

Buy the Book



This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, May 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Friday, May 23
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, May 29
Review & Giveaway at Closed the Cover
Friday, May 30
Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please

Friday, June 6


4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for catching the time sequence issue; I am taking steps to correct it.

    ReplyDelete

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