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Quill of the Dove

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Quill of the Dove is a blend of literary fiction and a political thriller. Framed by contemporary events in the Middle East, the novel covers two distinct time periods: 2007 mainly in Europe, the Palestinian Territories and Israel and Lebanon from 1975 to 1982.

The opening chapter takes place in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus. French journalist Marc.Taragon is at th
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by MiroLand
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Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ian Thomas Shaw, and Guernica Editions for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

New to the world of Ian Thomas Shaw, I jumped at the opportunity to read one of his books, which mixes some powerful political drama surrounding the Middle East with some heartfelt emotional growth by his protagonists. In a story split between two time periods, the reader is introduced to two journalist
Rebecca McNutt
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm always glad to support Canadian authors as a Canadian author myself, and I really appreciate Shaw offering me the chance to read Quill of the Dove. This is a really impressive work of historical fiction, reminding me vaguely of films such as The Killing Fields, Not Without My Daughter and The Year of Living Dangerously. With a great balance of drama, political intrigue and scenic descriptions, Shaw crafts an excellent and unforgettable tale that immerses readers into earlier years and a worl ...more
Geza Tatrallyay
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Drawing on his extensive experience and knowledge of the Middle East, Ian Thomas Shaw has crafted an exciting political thriller of intrigue and romance. As his protagonists reach toward a peace that might have been, they battle the in-grown political, religious and tribal forces that are the root cause of this instability. In the process, Shaw succeeds in bringing to life the horrors the inhabitants of this war-torn region have been living through over numerous generations. This is definitely a ...more
Kasa Cotugno
A better than usual thriller set in the middle east by an author who knows it from the inside. Set in two volatile time frames, this page turner also follows a romantic mystery that kept me guessing.
Darryl Greer
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Canadian author, Ian Thomas Shaw’s first foray into the world of fiction is aptly titled "Quill of the Dove". French journalist, Marc Taragon has spent thirty years of his working life reporting from the world’s trouble spots, particularly in the Middle East, always presenting a balanced view to his readers. As a young journalist he covers the Lebanese Civil War, a multifaceted civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990 resulting in 120,000 fatalities and an exodus of approaching one million displa ...more
Jerry Levy
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was kind of reluctant to read this book because I rarely read political's just not my genre. In fact, the last one I tried to wade through, I couldn't get past the third chapter. This one's different though in that it intertwines the personal with the political. That appealed to me because amidst the turmoil of the Middle East, the book includes a Canadian woman’s quest for identity, trying to figure out who her father is.

The novel opens with a prologue describing a nightmaris
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ian Thomas Shaw writes with the intensity and the scorched vision of nation states in crisis evocative of the late style of John le Carré. Quill of the Dove is a searing portrait of lives caught in the imbalance of a fractured Middle East where no one, not even, say a 'quiet Canadian' can remain untouched by the bitter legacies of the conflict for long.
sarah  morgan
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Middle East. Many have attempted to write novels about it, and many others have written simplistic B-grade movie plots about it. But to understand the complex geopolitics, tribalism, and religious antagonism of the place and write a compelling thriller, well, that’s just brilliant. And that is exactly what Ian Thomas Shaw has done in his new novel, The Quill of the Dove. 

Shaw was once a Canadian diplomat and aid worker in the Gaza Strip, so he comes to the subject with a great deal of knowle
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Quill of the Dove is not something I would normally read, but it sounded interesting. It's well written and the characters are engaging. Overall, I got lost somewhere in the narrative. Unfortunately, I did not connect with this story. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly plotted, bursting with suspense, and populated with characters one cares about immensely, Quill of the Dove is easily one of the best novels I've read in recent years. Shaw proves himself resoundingly as a master of the political thriller.
James Fisher
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A political thriller that spans decades of love & hate in the Middle East. Confusing at times (as Middle East politics can be), the reader's perseverance is rewarded by the end of the novel. ...more
Alexandra Karb
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. Although a work of fiction, the author’s knowledge of the Middle East and its history allows him to paint a very realistic picture of the people, their conflict, and the impediments to peace. The characters are very vivid. There is a mystery throughout, and the interweaving of a love story with modern issues and historical background is fascinating. The story also illustrates the very real dangers and sacrifices journalists make to report from conflict zones.
I loved thi
Jana Vasilj
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Quill of the Dove is a novel that both delights and instructs. With its intriguing, fast-paced and riveting plot it takes the reader on an adventure into the world of entangled Middle East politics, a tapestry interwoven of intricate and insidious political games, and tragic stories of ordinary people showing extraordinary valour and endurance. The literary technique of shifting timeframes, as well as a multi-layered plot keep the reader in a delicious state of suspense. Definitively, a book of ...more
Cora Sire
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quill of the Dove is a gripping political thriller driven by memorable characters, both noble and nefarious, whose destinies are inextricably determined by war zones and conflicts. Spanning the Middle East, Europe and Canada, the novel delivers a fascinating quest for truth and love that illuminates the legacies of violence in our complex world. - Cora Siré, author of Behold Things Beautiful.
R.A. Abell
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quill of the Dove is both a fast-moving historical novel and a fascinating and compelling view into the shadow world of Middle East politics and violence in one of the most fragile of democracies—Lebanon in the 1970s and the new millenium.

Well researched, intense, and believable, Shaw's novel does not shy away from exposing the shifting alliances, tribal jealousies, and foreign meddling that created this tragedy. Nor does it provide cover for the continuing aggression of State players who are h
Amanda Hale
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend Ian Shaw's Quill of the Dove. A gripping political thriller, it is driven forward by a cast of richly drawn characters entangled in a welter of battle and intrigue spanning more than 30 years of Middle Eastern warfare from 1975 to 2007. Shaw's breadth of knowledge on his subject is truly impressive, as is the structure he creates to tell the story, always maintaining a breath-taking tension between two time periods. A vivid snapshot prologue is the hook that keeps the reader e ...more
Arianna Dagnino
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With a firm but agile hand, Ian Thomas Shaw navigates his readers through the intricacies of Middle Eastern politics, identifying Lebanon as the arena in which the Israelo-Palestinian conflict merges with and keeps kindling the tensions and divisions that are still tearing the whole region apart. With the gripping pace of a spy story and the complex multi-perspective offered by a well-experienced observer, Quill of the Dove spins a tale where individual destinies and the desire for peace and rom ...more
Alicia Miller
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019, netgalley
This is a very well written story, but just not for me. The author’s extensive knowledge of middle eastern history, politically speaking, definitely shows in this book. The characters are strong, I just didn’t connect with any of them. The story is gripping and has a mysterious element to it. Overall, the plot was interesting and well done, especially since the author uses dual timelines to tell the story.
Norman Hall
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Quill of the Dove" compels you to believe that the power of love and a determination for pace will triumph against hatred, betrayal, and brutality. While vividly painting the horrors of war, the novel also places on its canvas the power if human goodness, yet keeps the reader uncertain to the end as it slowly reveals the hidden truths between the characters and realpolitik.
Norman Hall, author "Four Stones".
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this well-written story with a compelling plot and interesting characters. The author's knowledge and description of the Middle East conflicts places the reader in the story watching from the sidelines as characters we grow to care for take a stand and fight for peace.
K.R. Wilson
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ian Thomas Shaw's Quill Of The Dove is an intricate, humane, deeply informed political thriller about an ambitious plan for Middle East peace and the events that shaped it thirty years earlier in the fractured Lebanon of the 70s.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quill of the Dove, a fast paced time-shifting work of literary fiction, enters the confusing world of Middle East politics as framed in Lebanon in the 1970’s and early 2000’s. The protagonist Marc Taragon is a hard hitting but balanced reporter who uses his reputation and friendships to develop a peace initiative with an Israeli politician and a Palestinian leader. This is a second novel for Ian Thomas Shaw whose experience as a diplomat and development worker in the Middle East takes this work ...more
Beej Jeffery
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It rooted my belief that the starting point for peace is empathy and the common people, when given the chance, can rise above the petty narcissisms of their political leaders and reach out to their neighbours". The last paragraph of the acknowledgements at the end of the book and for me, the most moving in the entire work. That is in no way a criticism, for this book engages the most difficult of subjects: peace in the Middle East in our time.

There is no question that Ian Thomas Shaw is an auth
Hadi Atallah
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ian Thomas Shaw's content was exceptionally creative, his protagonists all lead by example. Sometimes Taragon, Marc and Bronstein had to get in the trenches and work side by side to empower other secondary characters to equip and encourage one another. I can tell that the author loved that challenge of it!

The context was never altered. Everything portrayed in the Lebanese war was pretty much the same and that is truly wonderful. Ian's words expressed the love to explain them his own way, with hi
Caroline Vu
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A page turner. Great read !
May 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
The plot was intriguing: A political journalist - a war reporter - from France agrees to be interviewed in Cyprus by the Canadian Marie Bolvin, who seeks the truth about her past. Peace negotiations and the Middle East are in the focus, and I like the Net Galley idea of offering this thriller for a review. Alas, I did not really get interested in the story, and eventually decided to opt out. I might try and restart reading this book at a later date. Right now, I've put it back on the shelf. Mayb ...more
Ursula Pflug
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Quill of the Dove brims with heartbreak and love for a troubled region. We so soon forget even recent history, and Shaw's inclusion of the Phalangist massacre in Beirut from the point of view of a French journalist offers insight into current Arab-Israeli conflicts; this novel is both timely and needed. Shaw's characters are memorable and his sense of place, steeped in personal experience, is powerful; the scent of orange and olive groves lingers long after the last page is turned.”
Sarah Brainard
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2020
Brian Norman
rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2019
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2019
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I am a Canadian novelist, who writes both under the pen name Con Cú (owl in Vietnamese) and my own name of Ian Thomas Shaw. My pen name was derived from a nickname given to me by a Vietnamese friend, whose stories about Vietnam and coming as a child to Canada inspired my first novel, Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. For the last 34 years, I have worked as ...more

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