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Anvil of God (The Carolingian Chronicles #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  225 Ratings  ·  70 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 has one final ambition-the throne. Only one thing stands in his way-he is dying.

Charles cobbles together a plan to divide the kingdom among his three sons, betroth his daughter to a
Paperback, 440 pages
Published July 26th 2013 by iUniverse
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Historical Fiction 2013
57th out of 372 books — 2,431 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jan 21, 2014 Erin 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
The Lit Bitch
Feb 06, 2014 The Lit Bitch 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
Oct 10, 2014 Bob 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
Michelle (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
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
Nov 27, 2013 Jane 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
Oct 18, 2013 Sam 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
Timothy Lunney
Sep 04, 2014 Timothy Lunney 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
Nov 04, 2014 Linda 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
Khamneithang Vaiphei
Dec 05, 2013 Khamneithang Vaiphei 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
Nov 14, 2013 Star 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
Jan 23, 2015 Martha 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 Shelley 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.
May 30, 2014 Aaron rated it really liked it
Fans of medieval historical fiction will find this to be a refreshing new topic that doesn't seem to be covered in the field all that often. This book centers around the birth of the Carolingian line of rulers in France ... will the Kingdom of the Franks. As the book opens, readers find themselves in the middle of a battle where Charles Martel, grandfather of the future Charlemagne, as he takes on some rebellious pagan liege lords. The areas he rules in the name of the Merovingians kings is made ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
Anvil of God by J. Boyce Gleason hooked my attention immediately and was a thrill to read! The synopsis should be enough to inform a reader that Anvil of God is a complex novel considering that there are three brothers, one daughter, war and betrayal. The book opens with a diagram of genealogy which is also an indication of a complex story; Anvil of God, rich with history, lives up to reader’s expectations of an epic novel. Gleason wrote a richly historical and historically accurate novel that I ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. Every once in awhile, I come across a book where when I read it, I start thinking about just how many the book would appeal to. "Anvil of God" is one of those books that is going to appeal to so many different kinds of readers. This book has great characters. It has great historical detail. There is adventure, battles, and romance all set against the backdrop of a quickly changing world. I really enjoyed this family saga. This is the first book in a planned series and you can definite ...more
Lorna Holland
Jun 27, 2015 Lorna Holland rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full review now available on my blog:

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There were so many characters and places (many with awkward or similar-sounding names) that by the end of the book I still didn’t have everyone straightened out in my mind! It was also a slow-burner. I didn’t really get into it until the end and I think a lot, especially at the start, could have been cut. It was quite long (440 pages) and no
Sarah Crabtree
Jul 12, 2014 Sarah Crabtree 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!!
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
On the surface, this isn't precisely the kind of historical fiction I'm drawn to, a medieval tale of fathers and sons, conflict and war, a kingdom divided. But after seeing one rave review after another for this one, I jumped on the chance to review it, and I'm so glad I did.

Opening in 741, the novel follows Charles Martel (grandfather to Charlemagne) in his last days. Dividing his kingdom among his three sons Carloman, Pippin, and Gripho, Charles thinks to quell rebellion and infighting. Instea
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.
Jeremy Reppy
Feb 14, 2016 Jeremy Reppy rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable work of historical fiction. The author has done a good job of taking the known facts about the life and death of Charles Martel and the succession battle that followed and bringing the story to life, adding in plotlines and characters to fill in the gaps in the historical record and imagine what might have happened. The book contains political intrigue, love, war, divided family loyalties, and religious conflict. Anyone interested in this period in history should find this ...more
Jul 30, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads. This is book one of the Carolingian Chronicles and it has won an Independent Publishers Award. This book is historical fiction. It takes place in 741 and Charles the Hammer has one thing left to do, get the crown. Since he is dying he plans to divide the kingdom among his three sons, and have his daughter marry another prince. After he dies the whole plan falls apart. His daughter does wish to marry and the sons are all fighting as to who should have the crown. Th ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Anvil of God is the first installment of J. Boyce Gleason's Carolingian Chronicles about the descendants of Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) in medieval France. This is not an era I am familiar with, but I do enjoy historical fiction and I was certainly not disappointed.

Mr. Gleason has obviously done a great deal of research. The characters and locations come alive in his hands in a way that only occurs with a strong knowled
Jenny Q
Nov 20, 2013 Jenny Q rated it really liked it
Well this was a rip-roaring Carolingian good time! It's pretty much nonstop action and drama as Charles Martel (Charlemagne's grandfather) faces the end of his life and attempts to ensure his legacy remains intact by dividing his Frankish realm between his three sons: Carloman, Pippin, and Gripho. Of course, this creates a world of trouble after his death as all three sons have different ideas as to how to consolidate their power and finally turn the realm into a kingdom, as was their father's w ...more
Frishawn Quinn
Nov 28, 2013 Frishawn Quinn rated it really liked it
J. Boyce Gleason's Anvil of God, is a wonderfully penned and fantastically blended mix of historical truths and creative license.
Like most, I am aware of the great and terrible exploits of Charlemagne. Until this read however, I was not at all familiar with the those higher up in his family tree.

In fact, what readers are presented with in this read is family drama at its best.
We have a dying ruler, Charles the Hammer, who is trying to do what he deems best for his family and his realm by dividin
Nov 29, 2013 Patty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Anvil of God takes place in a period of history about which I know very little. The time period is pre-Charlemagne and the plot deals with many issues from the fight between Christians and pagans, brothers warring on each other, power, lust and love. It begins with Charles Martel (Charlemagne's grandfather) and his second wife, Sunni. Charles is committed to working with the church and relies on his childhood friend who has risen far in its hierarchy - Boniface - but he does not make his decisio ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Bookworm rated it really liked it
Taking place during the European Middle Ages, Anvil of God is a historical novel that is rich in historical details. The story revolves around a few main historical figures, one being Charles the Hammer, who ruled as Mayor of the Palace. Charles wants to rule the throne, but he is dying. Before his death he divides his territories between his three sons and arranges a marriage for his daughter, Trudi, in order to secure one of his borders. The problem is that Trudi has fallen in love and decides ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Martel founded the Carolingian dynasty and was the ruler of medieval Western Europe. He and his descendants, called Carolingians laid the early foundations of what would come to be the kingdom of France. The lands north of the Pyrenees were being collected and won by the Merovingian kings with the assistance of their mayors of the palace.

Charles Martel was the illegitimate son of Pippin II, a family who had reduced the Merovingian kings to mere figureheads. Their family became hereditary
Nov 13, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
I am always a reader for a series and so I was immediately drawn to Anvil of God as it was first with more to come. I know very little about the history of this time period but just to give the book a frame of reference the father of Anvil of God, Charles "The Hammer" Martel, was the grandfather of Charlemagne.

In many ways, Anvil of God, is the story of a family. The older son who overcompensates to immolate his father, the youngest son who is directionless, careless and a bit of a brat, a spoi
Nov 02, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
8th century Carolingian history is unfamiliar to me. I'm glad I read this amazing story.

Gleason did his research. The story is unforgettable. Basically, Charles the Hammer dies and leaves his vast empire to his three sons. His has promised his daughter in marriage to a man she wouldn't chose as a husband. Trudi is her name, in my opinion, she was the best of The Hammer's four children. She was a sword yielding, fighting individual- don't mess with her.

The three sons, two Christian and one paga
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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.
More about J. Boyce Gleason...

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