Review: The Shadow of War by Stewart Binns [The Great War #1]


“The Shadow of War is the first novel in Stewart Binns’s new series which will see a book release for each year of the First World War.

June 1914: the beginning of another long, prosperous summer for Britain. But beneath the clear skies, all is not as it seems – the chill wind of social discontent swirls around this sceptred isle.

Shots ring out in a distant European land – the assassination of a foreign aristocrat. From that moment the entire world is propelled into a conflict unlike any seen before.

This is the story of five British communities, their circumstances very different, but who will all share in the tragedy that is to come. All that they have known will be changed forever by the catastrophic events of the Great War.

This is a story of love and comradeship, of hatred and tragedy – this is the story of the Great War.

The Shadow of War, the first novel in The Great War series from Stewart Binns, is a thrilling read and perfect for those who enjoy the writing of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell.”

Goodreads Description

Thanks to Goodreads and Penguin Books for the copy! 🙂

I didn’t get very far into this before giving up. I thought this was going to be a really awesome series, but as I started reading the Shadow of War I just felt like I was being lectured to by someone who was pretending not to lecture. I felt like the novel was a history textbook trying to be fictional. It was really difficult and uncomfortable to read.

There were so many characters, titles, regiments, places, battles etc thrown around in the first twenty or so pages . It was almost impossible to grasp anything. There were too many backstory facts every time a character was mentioned.

I loved that it opened in Wales, because I’m Welsh and I haven’t come across many books set in Wales. There’s even a bit in Newport (where I live)! So that was interesting, but the way the characters were depicted made me cringe, and again, I felt uncomfortable.

I spent most of the time I read this, uncomfortable. And confused.

I think this book is meant for WW1 history buffs, not the average joe.


Quality of Writing: 1 out of 5

Enjoyment Level: 0 out of 5

Emotional Depth: Can’t rate since I didn’t really get far enough in

[Goodreads Rating: 1 out of 5]

Have you read this one? What did you think? If not, is it on your TBR?


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