Monday 28 May 2018

Breaking The Foals by Maximilian Hawker @MaxHawker #BlogTour #BreakingTheFoals @unbounders Guest Review @dtcrafts

The Troy of myth was a real city and it was called Wilusa. This is its story... Hektor's life of privilege is forever changed when a man, allegedly possessed by the sun god, inspires revolution among the oppressed people of Wilusa. For Hektor, son of the city's despotic ruler, social equality contradicts every principle he has been taught. And his obsession with duty is alienating him from his own young son, Hapi, with whom he has a fractured relationship. But when Hapi's life is threatened, Hektor is compelled to question his every belief as he rebuilds his relationship with his child through the breaking of a foal. As Wilusa collapses into political violence and the commoners rise up, Hektor must finally decide whether to defend the people and lose his identity, or remain loyal to his irrational, dangerous father.

Breaking The Foals by Maximilian Hawker was published by Unbound in paperback on 26 April 2018.

I'm really pleased to host Day One of the Random Things Tours Blog Tour today and delighted to share a review, written by guest reviewer Debbie Tomkies

Debbie Tomkies is a Classics graduate, textile artist and designer. She enjoys reading, gardening and all manner of crafts. She is the proprietor of DT Craft & Design, a writer for Knit Now magazine and author of three books. She also teaches and enjoys research into textiles, in particular, historical dye practices. 
Her work can be found at    Twitter @dtcrafts

Guest Review by Debbie Tomkies
Hawker’s novel is an interesting tale of a father caught between duty and parenthood. As heir to the throne of Troy, Hektor lives in a world of privilege, yet he comes to realise that privilege comes at a price. His duty to the gods, the people of Wilusa and the Wilusian code of honour, find him torn between salvaging his relationship with his son, Hapi and fulfilling the expectations of him that come with his status. 
The book gets off to a steady start, carefully setting the scene and giving the reader an insight into the main characters and the roles they will play. The writing style is a little unconventional, switching between first person present tense, narration and including Hektor’s thoughts, differentiated in italics rather like literary ‘speech bubbles’. For those who like a more narrative style this may take a little getting used to. 
As the story picks up pace, we appreciate the careful grounding we have been given in the early chapters (‘tablets’) as it enables us to focus on the relationships, the politics and the nature of the society our characters inhabit. We understand better the internal conflict faced by Hektor as he tries to keep happy the parents whom he repeatedly disappoints by failing to embrace fully his destiny but still be a father to his sickly son who, being a bastard, is barely tolerated by the king and his wife. 
The horse motif is consistent throughout and leads us along, offering parallels to Hektor and Hapi’s relationship and Hapi’s coming of age without becoming a heavy-handed or over-used metaphor. 
When Hektor achieves his ‘enlightenment’ the tale quickly gathers momentum and we see how he becomes a man who finally works out how to balance both duty and parenthood. Through a simple act of humanity he is able to orchestrate a sea change in attitudes between the wealthy (the ‘deserving’ or ‘shinies’) and the commoners of the lower town, uniting the two groups against a common foe, the neighbouring people of Sethan. 
As the book reaches its dramatic conclusion we are left with a feeling of positivity, of a world that has been changed forever by Hektor’s willingness to learn and change. 
With the use of rich description, careful development of a society complete with a unique mythology and language Hawker has worked hard to create a believable world in which to place his characters. The story is engaging and, whilst a little slow initially, once it gets up to speed, the plot quickly unfolds and reaches a very satisfying conclusion.

Maximilian Hawker is a 30-year-old writer who lives in Croydon, South London, with his wife and two daughters. 
He is author of the novel Breaking the Foals. 
An alumnus of Kingston University, he has a postgraduate degree in English Literature and has worked in education, editorial and design. 
Currently, he works in frontline children's social care for Croydon Council, providing a service for care leavers and also runs a YouTube channel for looked after children and care leavers called formeR Relevant, which he aims to eventually promote at a national level. 
He has had poetry and short stories - occasionally nominated for awards - appear in publications run by Dog Horn Publishing, Kingston University Press, Arachne Press and Rebel Poetry, among others. 
He also aims to see the word 'asparagi' added to the English Dictionary, as its absence troubles him

Twitter @MaxHawker
Facebook Author Page

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