When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Welcoming Thomas J Berry and his book - Fire and Ash - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Thomas J Berry and his book - Fire and Ash (Gifts of the Gods: Book Three) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde).

I'm delighed to share a review with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

Fire and Ash - Gift of the Gods By Thomas J Berry

 Five men and women in Ancient Greece are set on a dangerous journey of self-discovery during the bitter conflict of the Peloponnesian War.

While mighty Athens struggles to rebuild after a devastating campaign abroad, the feared warriors of Sparta prepare to deliver the final blow in a decades long war. No one is safe anymore as the conflict shifts across the Aegean to the shores of wealthy Persia. Old colonies, once loyal to Athens, are eager to rebel and the Great King is willing to pay anything to regain his control over them. These coastal plains set the stage for massive battles and heartbreaking defeats. This time there will be only one true victor.

The news coming out of Sicily ripples across the cities of Ancient Greece like a thunderbolt and it is left to the poor and desperate to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. One young mother is suddenly faced with a horrible tragedy and struggles against all odds to make a new life for her family. An eager boy looking for adventure enlists in the new Athenian ranks but finds life on campaign a lot more than he bargained for. A Spartan officer in the twilight of his years struggles to adapt to a young man's army and an exiled Athenian strives to earn his way back into the graces of his beloved city. The harem girls in a Persian court meet a handsome foreigner and one risks everything for a chance at love.

As the conflict between Athens and Sparta builds to a final showdown, five men and women struggle to come to terms with their changing world. What will they find in the ashes when peace finally comes?

Book Title: Fire and Ash

Series: Gifts of the Gods, Book 3

Author: Thomas J Berry

Publication Date: 10th October 2020

Publisher: BookLocker 

Page Length: 450 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 You can purchase a copy of this book via -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:


Now for the review - 

Athens versus Sparta – the greatest sailors against the greatest warriors!

I was a little apprehensive when I agreed to read this novel because I had not read the other two books in the series, but I was assured that this would not be a problem because Fire and Ash stands very firmly on its own two feet. Thankfully, that was indeed the case.

Fire and Ash is a story that gripped me from the very first page. The story is set during the final years of the long and bloody Peloponnesian War, so be prepared for battles on land and at sea. The author does not shy away from the horrors of war, but neither does he dwell on it, which I thought was an approach that worked really well, and the battle scenes were tempered with lighter, more domestic moments.

What I thought made this book so great was that the author has chosen to tell both sides of the story. This allows the reader to see things from both the Athenian side and the Spartan one. I thought this added a great deal of depth and a sense of realism to the narrative.

The era that the author portrays is vividly describe. This is the kind of novel that envelops you, it wraps you up in history. At times, it is like I was there, witnessing these events first hand. I confess, I certainly lost myself between the pages, and the hours flew by as I read this book. Although this book is rather long, coming in at 450 pages the non-stop action kept the story moving, and I became so wrapped up in the story that I could probably have read another 400 pages quite happily!

I really enjoyed this novel, and I will certainly be looking out for more books by this author.

Thomas J Berry

Thomas Berry received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University. He takes pleasure in extensively researching both historical fiction and non-fiction stories. In his spare time, he enjoys long distance running and has completed several marathons. He currently lives with his wife and children in New Jersey. You can learn more about Thomas and his historical novels at his website,

You can connect with the author via these platforms - 




You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour -

That's it for now.

Till the nex time.

Take care Zoe

1 comment:

Mary Anne Yarde said...

Such a fabulous review - I am so glad you enjoyed the book.

Thank you so much for hosting today's tour stop.