The Poet’s War – Francis O’Neill

Happy release day!

Thanks to Smith Publicity for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review

THE POET’S WAR – Francis O’Neill (Releasing August 25th, 2020)


Book Description:

It is Europe’s darkest time in near memory. American warrior poet Alistair Stears, thrown into Italian WWI through his mother’s love for an Italian colonel, experienced a convoy of the dying through burning provinces of Italy in the terrible retreat of 1917. It brought from him the great English poem of the Italian war.

One war later, all gracious things await destruction, knowledge is burned, thought coarsened, manners trashed, perverted faith and truth follow the dictators’ flags—vultures to grace. Stears is a famous poet now, married into German-Italian nobility and determined with his wife to fight the Axis powers. He risks everything to protect Italy and all else he loves. He finds that the bravest and fiercest resistance may be the rightness of a poem, the closing of a letter, the welcome of guests, the embrace of a bride, faith toward a fallen friend–and that it may also come from the barrel of a gun. Spanning both world wars, The Poet’s War finds loyalty, patriotism, war, deception, intrigue, romance, love, and death swept up in a maelstrom that spans generations and changes Europe forever.

My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

Who here is a fan of historical fiction? Alongside all the thrillers I read, historical fiction is a close second for favorite genre. When an author clearly does their research for their time period it makes it feel all the more authentic and creates the perfect atmosphere to transport the reader. Francis O’Neill brings us to WWI Venice in THE POET’S WAR and introduces us to some very well-developed and memorable characters.

We are introduced to Alistair Stears. A young man that is on a trip from Rome to Venice as he assists his mother in moving her home. When in Venice, he meets a woman who feels is the love of his life, but once WWI breaks out his world is changed forever. After the war, he marries another woman and together they try to fight the Axis powers to defend their beloved country of Italy as the time period slides into WWII.

With our main character being a renowned poet you should anticipate some beautiful prose within this novel. There is plenty of that present and the vocabulary the author utilizes is extravagant and fits with the characters perfectly. That being said, it did make some of the parts drag a little bit and some descriptions felt a little overdone. If you’re a reader that craves intricate details that creates a crystal clear picture in your mind, then this is one you need on your TBR. If you’re a reader that wants the details to continue the story and have more focus there, then I can see this having a couple lulls for you as well. However, I would definitely pick up more from O’Neill, now that I know what to expect from his writing I think I will enjoy it a whole lot more.


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