Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Iron Duke: Review and giveaway

I'm very excited that Galaxy Press decided to give me and my blog a shot about reviewing some of their titles (as you will remember me mentioning it HERE.

I was given the opportunity to read the book "The Iron Duke" by L.Ron Hubbard, one of his original fiction works published in 1940 in the FIVE NOVELS MONTHLY magazine. 

About Stories from the Golden Age:
 America in the 1930s and '40s Pulp fiction was in its heyday and 30 million readers were regularly riveted by the larger-than-life tales of master storyteller L. Ron Hubbard. For this was pulp fiction's Golden Age, when the writing was raw and every page packed with a walloping punch. 

About the Author: 
L.Ron Hubbard was born March 13, 1911 in Tilden, Nebraska but spent his formative years in Montana. Son of a United States naval officer, by the age of 18 he had traveled over a quarter of a million miles around the world. Upon is return in American, he enrolled in the George Washington University and became an aviator. He kept traveling and writing about his discoveries but it wasn't until 1934 that he affirmed himself as pulp fiction publisher. Between 1934 and 1950, he wrote more that 15 million words of fiction in more than 200 classic publications under 15 other pseudonyms.

 Synopses of The Iron Duke: (from book flap)
American arms merchant Blacky Lee is wanted by nearly every government in 1930s Europe - especially the Nazis. They want Blacky's head for selling them dud weapons, prompting his rapid and illegal escape across the Balkans to the kingdom of Aldoria with his business partner in tow. Aldoria is well chosen. Years before, Blacky discovered he was the spitting image of the country's Prince Philip, learned the archduke's speaking voice and memorized the royal family tree just in case. When Blacky brazenly impersonate the leader, things go surprisingly well.....that is, until he finds himself caught in the middle of a Communist plot to rig elections and take over....what will happened? Which choice will he make? 

My review:
 As thrilled as I was to be able to read and review a book, this exact kind of book written over 50 years ago worried me a little for the language that would be used. As English is only my second language, I'm not 100% familiar with archaic terms or old sayings, so I was afraid the book was going to be full of them, that I would have trouble understanding things thus getting frustrated and not finishing the book :( 
But I was pleasantly surprised by how easy was to get through the pages and I also found an handy glossary on the back of the book that explained the terms I wasn't familiar with....made me feel so much better that I wasn't the only one needing the explanations! 
And I was able to finish the book in less then 3 days taking breaks; it could be easily be finished in one breath all in one day, I just don't have the luxury to do that with family and all XO 

Speaking of surprises: the ending is breath taking!!! I didn't see it coming even when I thought I totally got the characters and what they were thinking! Still believable and in line with their behaviors through the book, just unexpected. 

 I must confess that I totally fell in love with 2 out of the 3 main characters. 
Blacky Lee, of course, everybody loves him. He's handsome, always so confident. And he knows is too! But he always show a glimpse of humanity underneath his arrogance and conspiring mind. 
Countess Zita, the woman of the story. So strong and determined, but so vibrant and full of emotions. She's the one that will surprise the reader the most. Continuously! 
The only character that I didn't care for is Stub, Blacky Lee side kick. Honestly I think he could as well be totally missing from the story and the book wouldn't lose any quality. Some readers might argue that he's like a conscience for Blacky Lee, someone to keep him with the feet on the ground when his mind is too busy making strategic schemes. But I personally find him weak and uninteresting, with such a small personality and not thoughts of his own that all he can do is to follow Blacky Lee around in every trouble he find with envy and anger. No matter how bad the situation become, he wouldn't leave the friends side of his own will. I find his figure pretty pathetic. 

 This novel, in my opinion, had everything: action, history, politic and romance. Just the right mix. I felt several life morals where passed to me from L.Ron words in a very inspiring way. 
Mainly, that no matter what, if you really really want something so bad, it's worth to risk everything you have for it. 
Another point is that if you love someone with all you heart, then you should trust them enough to let them go too. 
And finally, not matter how bleak the situation might seems and how much conjectures and angles to look at it with no way out, things have simply a way to work themselves out when you least expect. Simple things that we need to remind ourselves daily and I'm glad this author wrote this novel to remind me that through his words and characters.

The giveaway:  {The Iron Duke book and Audio set}

You must be 18 and older to enter this giveaway.
Open to US Residents ONLY. Sorry, international peeps!
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway with 2 mandatory entries and 7 optional entries with the possibility to tweet everyday for 2 weeks..... that's about 24 chances to win!
Contest will run from April 2nd 2013 and will end April 16th 2013.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

Thank you for this great giveaway Lu!

TheEclecticElement AT yahoo DOT com

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

I'm big on murder mysteries so I'd love to read The Carnival
of Death!

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