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Anvil of God

(The Carolingian Chronicles #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  370 ratings  ·  87 reviews
It is 741. After subduing the pagan religions in the east, halting the march of Islam in the west, and conquering the continent for the Merovingian kings, mayor of the palace Charles the Hammer now wants the throne. Only one thing stands in his way - he's dying.

Charles cobbles together a plan to divide the kingdom among his three sons, betroth his daughter to a Lombard pri
Paperback, 440 pages
Published July 26th 2013 by iUniverse
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  370 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Sep 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
Objectively I don't think this is too horrible of a book, but I rate books subjectively, based on how much I personally enjoyed them. This one I only made it about a third of the way through before I decided this is not for me. This was for 3 reasons:

1) the sex. I can take a little bit of sex, but so far there's been at least one lurid sex scene in every single chapter. At least nothing's been rape or BDSM or anything terrible but honestly, I can do without it.
2) the paganism. I understand that
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Imagine you're under water; swimming low, along the bottom of a pool. You push off the floor, slowly rising till you break the surface and you take that first breath, filling your lungs to capacity. That's how I felt finishing Anvil of God... like I'd been released from another world.

Honestly, this is the kind of book I dream about stumbling over. An engaging narrative, J Boyce Gleason's startling debut brought 741 brillian
Tom Swift
Got bored with this one.
The Lit Bitch
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

This book took me entirely by surprise. I was expecting a book full of religious rhetoric about the early barbaric invasions. But I was thrilled to discover this book was so much more than that!

Obviously it has a lot of religious references but it’s not necessarily dense or thick with it. The novel is more about politics and rights to the throne than religion.

There aren’t many fiction books that are set in the Carolingian era which falls around the barbarian invasions. I thought this b
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
My rating would actually be a 3.5 if this were available. This book was strange but compelling. I knew very little about the time period --Charles Martel [The Hammer], 8th century France. Mr. Gleason has certainly done his historical research, creating an interesting story, much based on true events. I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

Charles Martel plans to divide his kingdom among his three sons--two Christian, one pagan and plans to marry off his daughter, Trudi, to the son of the
Richard Myers
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A fantastic account of the age of Charles Martel. The characters are very well described and the action is nonstop. I can’t wait for the next book to come out! I recommend this book to everyone.
Michelle Miller (True Book Addict)
I was so glad to be offered this book for review because I have not read any historical fiction surrounding the Carolingian dynasty. I am pleased to say that Anvil of God was a terrific introduction to the era. Gleason's impeccably researched novel takes us into the heart of the time period and tells us an exciting and interesting tale of a time when Christianity was striving to quash Paganism and warfare was a constant.

Struck with the reality that he is dying, Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Once more in the mood for a historical fiction novel, I'd started this and couldn't stop. Eighth century France is a time period I'm not too familiar with so this was a fascinating read. I've heard of Charles Martel and the Merovingian Kings, but never read too much about them. Will definitely make up for that. Game of Thrones has nothing on this tale of the real-life disaster of naming three sons as heirs to different parts of a vast and blood-stained empire. Add to this volatile mix an ambitio ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was first notified that I had won this book I can honestly say I wondered why I even requested it. I mean a period piece that takes place in AD 741. Not the kind of book I read. Then it arrived and I decided now or never and I could not put it down. When I had to put it down all I could think of was the book. It is a mix of fact and fiction. The characters are so well written they just jump off the pages. My favorite characters are Sunni, Trudi amd Pippin. It amazed me how easy it was to ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway! #GoodreadsGiveaway
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
*Sexual Content Warning*
The author's writing mechanics were fine. Any error made did not hinder my reading. The water, land and moral battles were too many and too long. The pagan rituals were too protracted. There was too much sexual content.

Charlemagne has interested me for a long time. This book is about his ancestry, a good place to start learning about Charlemagne and French history, wouldn't you say? The story takes place in the eighth century when religions, sects and cults were in flux i
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
The first book in the Carolingian Chronicles series, Anvil of God is a sweeping tale set in 8th century France. Mystical, full of suspense, action and family intrigues, J. Boyce Gleason weaves a fascinating tale much of which is based on true events. Historical fiction aficionados are in for a great treat ruffling through the pages of this compelling book.

In Anvil of God, Charles Martel, the Hammer, is dying and wanted to ensure the continuation of his legacy by dividing his kingdom among his th
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
J. Boyce Gleason’s first book of The Carolingian Chronicles ‘Anvil of God’ brings the birth of the Carolingian dynasty to epic life. It is 741 AD and Charles Martel’s life is coming to an end and he must divide his holdings among his three sons. His daughter, Hiltrude, has been promised to the Lombard prince, but she turns to her stepmother to regain her own power. Charles the Hammer’s eldest son is a pawn of the Church, his middle son would like to spend more time with his girlfriend, and his y ...more
Timothy Lunney
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Anvil of God is raw, lusty and violent, probably like the real Carolingians about whom this historical novel was written. If you are a prissy academic, or someone who is put-off by graphic sex and violence, then you might not enjoy this novel. If on the other hand you can appreciate historical fiction that is lush and vivid, then you'll love this book. I'll admit that I was at at first shocked by the first graphic sex scene and was tempted to put this book aside. That would have been a mistake. ...more
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
Talk about well made plans going in all the wrong directions. This book gives a great respect to life in the mid 700's, it's daily struggles for power and survival not only within a country and religion, but within a powerful family. The women in the book take full control of the only form of power women had in those days, by using the heart of the man to gain control of most any situation. But for me the character that brings the most power to the table is Pippin he is the brother to watch. Mak ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An exciting historical novel depicting the struggles for power in Western Europe during the 700's. Filled with murder, betrayal, pitting brother against brother, pagan against Christian, this book is based on a detailed research of the rise of Charles Martel and his lineage and the part they played in the formation of the countries in this area. I look forward to the next installment of this saga.
Sarah Ellis
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
it's been awhile since I read such a good book that every time I got up through the night (many times MS issues) the only thing I wanted to do was read! I loved the story soo much! It kept me on the edge of my seat until the last sentence!! Wish I knew when the next one was coming out!!
Missy Nelson
Very good! Really enjoyed it. Different kind of book for me. I would recommend this book. I won this book on Good reads thank you
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
Well-written and very nicely fleshed out, but not my type of story. I tend to shy away from books where you need a genealogical diagram and map to follow what's going on.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good to see this time period brought to life. Looking forward to the next installment.
Tony Parsons
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
740 AD. Charles “the Hammer” Martel (father, mayor of palace), Carloman (Charles eldest son), & Pippin II (Charles’ 2nd. son, Herstal, mayor of palace) were ganging up on Maurontus (rebel leader), & his men.

741 AD Quierzy, Narbonne. Charles returning from battle met with Bishop Boniface.
Hiltrude “Trudi” (Charles’ daughter) a tomboy wanted to be beside her father in battle.
She had trained beginning at a young age & was quite capable.
But she is also quite mature & is the marrying
Jesse Presgraves
I went into this book knowing that I was going to probably have to brush up on my history as I hadn't learned much about the time period in which this was set. This was one book that while I didn't hate it, I didn't really love it either. Trudi was, by far, my favorite character because I could relate to her very well. She doesn't really enjoy the typical womanly things of the time and instead chooses to learn to sword fight, dress more like a man when she can, and take charge of her own destiny ...more
Christina Weigand
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anvil Of God by J. Boyce Gleason is an exciting journey through history. A true story set in the Carolingian dynasty a time period that I am only slightly familiar with. The political manueverings of the Charles Martel, his three sons and one daughter offer a thrilling ride and interesting insight into this particular time in history. The religious overtones provided the seasoning for this tantalizing story. The characters of the three sons and the daughter are well portrayed as they pursue thei ...more
Kathy Heare Watts
The church, a dying king, power and battles within the royal family. Betrayal, love, honor and more.

I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it to my local library.
David Edmonds
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Good historical fiction is one of my favorites. I taught this era in my German classes and had great hopes for a book about Charlemagne and his family. My expectations were too high; this wasn't about the history, this was a potboiler. Light on character, heavy on thrusting and slashing.
Chellie Campbell
Excellent read - couldn’t put it down!

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you’ll love this book. Great characters caught up in warring factions after the death of Charles Martel 1200 years ago. Lots of action and romance, too.
Matt Bracy
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very fun read about a time and place that are meaningful to me. Well constructed with engaging characters. My only criticism is that the sex scenes are too graphic and frequent, rising to gratuitousness. Nonetheless I’m looking forward to the sequel very much.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Historical fiction is my favorite read. I couldn’t put this book down. So good. I highly recommend to anyone interested in this time period.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
I found this book to be a pleasant surprise. Set in very early times with lots of history. I look forward to reading more by this author. Even enjoyed the authors notes in the back.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was ok. I think I need more context to understand....or care, about the characters. The author didn't make me care enough to want to read the sequels.
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With an AB degree in history from Dartmouth College, Gleason brings a strong understanding of what events shaped the past and when, but writes historical-fiction to discover why. Gleason lives in Virginia with his wife Mary Margaret. They have three sons.