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Lion of God: The Complete Trilogy

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"The Jewish people do not forgive. . .we do not forget." It is the year 2000, and with the new millennium has come the fresh promise of peace in the Middle East. But when a pair of IDF reservists are brutally lynched in the West Bank town of Ramallah--the graphic imagery of their final moments broadcast around the Western world. . .all hopes of peace are shattered. As Isr "The Jewish people do not forgive. . .we do not forget." It is the year 2000, and with the new millennium has come the fresh promise of peace in the Middle East. But when a pair of IDF reservists are brutally lynched in the West Bank town of Ramallah--the graphic imagery of their final moments broadcast around the Western world. . .all hopes of peace are shattered. As Israel mourns her dead and America attempts to salvage the peace process, the Mossad is tasked with finding and bringing to justice those responsible for the butchery, activating a Kidon team led by a young assassin known only as Ariel. . . The "Lion of God." But as the hunt narrows, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. And vengeance far from the only agenda in play. . . The Lion of God Trilogy represents an expansion of Stephen England's best-selling Shadow Warriors universe, and this volume includes all three previously-published individual episodes now compiled into a single volume.


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"The Jewish people do not forgive. . .we do not forget." It is the year 2000, and with the new millennium has come the fresh promise of peace in the Middle East. But when a pair of IDF reservists are brutally lynched in the West Bank town of Ramallah--the graphic imagery of their final moments broadcast around the Western world. . .all hopes of peace are shattered. As Isr "The Jewish people do not forgive. . .we do not forget." It is the year 2000, and with the new millennium has come the fresh promise of peace in the Middle East. But when a pair of IDF reservists are brutally lynched in the West Bank town of Ramallah--the graphic imagery of their final moments broadcast around the Western world. . .all hopes of peace are shattered. As Israel mourns her dead and America attempts to salvage the peace process, the Mossad is tasked with finding and bringing to justice those responsible for the butchery, activating a Kidon team led by a young assassin known only as Ariel. . . The "Lion of God." But as the hunt narrows, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. And vengeance far from the only agenda in play. . . The Lion of God Trilogy represents an expansion of Stephen England's best-selling Shadow Warriors universe, and this volume includes all three previously-published individual episodes now compiled into a single volume.

30 review for Lion of God: The Complete Trilogy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Hildreth Jr.

    Stephen England is a top-notch storywriter, and part of what makes his works so captivating is his attention to detail and research. That ability is on full display in LION OF GOD, a Shadow Warriors prequel short-story trilogy that originally began life as a spin-off of Russell Blake's JET series. With an end to Amazon's Kindle Worlds project, England repurposed it as solely a Shadow Warriors work, and it still holds its weight in water as a thriller. England manages to expertly capture the world Stephen England is a top-notch storywriter, and part of what makes his works so captivating is his attention to detail and research. That ability is on full display in LION OF GOD, a Shadow Warriors prequel short-story trilogy that originally began life as a spin-off of Russell Blake's JET series. With an end to Amazon's Kindle Worlds project, England repurposed it as solely a Shadow Warriors work, and it still holds its weight in water as a thriller. England manages to expertly capture the world of espionage, paramilitary special operations, and international intrigue. We get to see the extremely complicated relationship between the United States and Israel through a historical backdrop, tradecraft in play, and a covert operation gone horribly wrong. Original characters (such as the Kidon team leader, Ariel) are just as fleshed out and believable as Shadow Warriors mainstays David Lay and "Sergeant Black." A certain paramilitary officer also manages to make a cameo along the way in a nice nod to England's core readership. Fans of the spy action thriller will be pleased with this work. Definitely recommended reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    UNDERTAKERS WIND. “The dirtiest actions should be carried out by the most honest men.” ― Michael Bar-Zohar "Given the choice, why does a man choose the life of an assassin?" "Well it was that, or the priesthood." - SPECTRE. The fundamental problems of the Middle East can trace their genesis to one conflict. The Israeli – Palestinian wars. Let it be said that this dispute has driven many to the brink of madness, or at the very least, despair. For more than half a century, death has hung over the “ UNDERTAKERS WIND. “The dirtiest actions should be carried out by the most honest men.” ― Michael Bar-Zohar "Given the choice, why does a man choose the life of an assassin?" "Well it was that, or the priesthood." - SPECTRE. The fundamental problems of the Middle East can trace their genesis to one conflict. The Israeli – Palestinian wars. Let it be said that this dispute has driven many to the brink of madness, or at the very least, despair. For more than half a century, death has hung over the “Promised Land”, blowing away lives like a fallen tree leaf caught in a breeze. Hundreds of thousands of people have died over the power to determine whether Israel flourishes or perishes for some of the shoddiest reasons imaginable. Whether it be because of genuine historical resentment, religious/ethnic fanaticism, a self-righteous belief that history is on one’s side or a combination of all three, the fact of the matter is that peace isn’t going to come to the region in our lifetime, not with many of the surrounding countries and terrorist groups mandating officially or otherwise, the elimination of the Jewish people and the nation that they reside in. One author who has been fascinated by this problem is Stephen England, amazon superstar and one of the kings of indie thriller fiction. Having reviewed multiple books written by him, for those not in the know, Stephen is an outstanding writer. The Masamune of spy fiction, he’s a true craftsman, lovingly conceptualizing plots that are sharper, more cutting and devastating upon impact than many of his more famous peers in mainstream published fiction. Having read and reviewed every book in his epic Shadow Warriors spy novel series, I was surprised when he decided to write a genre – bending thriller trilogy. Three novellas that are a historical fiction cross – over espionage drama saga. Focusing on the start of the Intifada in 2000 -2001, the story concerns one big job in the life of Ariel, a Kidon of Mossad and his fellow government assassins as they attempt to unravel a mad plot that has a good shot at destroying the country they serve and protect. Throw in a narrative that blends outstanding real world detail with an insightful historical commentary, Lion Of God is perfect for those who want to go back to a “simpler” Pre – Daesh time where things seemed to be a little more certain in hindsight. Now to the review. What happens when you must take an eye for an eye? The novel begins with an immediate introduction to Ariel, the hero of the story. He’s conducting a hostage rescue mission, capping hostiles with his trusty Jericho 941 and infiltrating the target area. Assaulting it with his team, we learn that the mission is a training one and that Ariel and his fellow Kidons are in a kill – house located in the Negev desert. We then briefly cut to the West Bank where a Guardian Journalist is covering the Intifada protests. While moving through the crowd with his hired local fixer, he notices a strange car with Israeli plates near a police station. In Tel Aviv, Station Chief David Lay is finishing up his tenure in Israel and mulling over the terrible thing he’s seen. Across town, the IDF Chief of Staff is panicking, having just been informed that two of his reservists have been detained in the Gaza strip by Fatah, with a mob gathering around the police station they’ve been detained in. We then cut back to Ariel who is called out of an after action report to begin preparations for a mission to rescue the two reservists. Unfortunately, the call came too late, and after being sent flying through a second floor window, the reservists are stabbed and bludgeoned to death by the mob. This causes the Israeli government to justifiably blow a gasket and begin shutting down the peace process via air strikes. A conference is then convened. A target is identified and Ariel’s team is dispatched to France with marching orders. After one false lead, they then corner their target in his residence on the Island of Elba, shooting him with Heckler and Koch USP 9mms. But what was meant to be a mission of vengeance turns out to be only the beginning of a journey that takes the most famous government assassins in the world, from the slums of the Gaza Strip to blood drenched desert of Iraq, Ariel races to prevent what could become the next Shoah. But as the bodies pile up and the seconds tick down to zero hour, only one question remains. Can even the greatest warrior not be broken by a war without an end? In terms of plot, the three Lion OF God novellas are an outstandingly written trip back in time. In many ways, it is like a historical fiction plot for people who dislike or are turned off by the usual historical fiction novel subjects like Ancient Rome or the medieval period. By focusing on a more recent historical event which has had little coverage in recent years, the author breathes life into an important and forgotten part of world history, resurrecting it for his readers in vivid, detail. And from this starting point, England creates his own shadow history, focusing on a battle in the covert war Israel has run since its founding. The resulting story feel fresh, fast paced and yet as insightful as a more conventional historical fiction story, if not even more so. Lion Of God drags the reader into a world where at that moment in time, nothing was ever the same, and death had only just begun to sharpen its scythe for the new century. Action and setting? Since 2011, England has written about death and her servants, men whose tools of the trade have one final result upon use, and has thus, gained considerable experience in portraying killing as it should be. Devoid of stylistic baggage and full of the brutality that comes with taking lives for a living in the real world. From the violent takedown of a Palestinian terrorist’s fortified Mediterranean mansion, to a wild surveillance operation on the Israeli border and a climactic, chaotic gun battle through the Al – Anbar governate of Iraq, Lion of God has all the thrills of a contemporary spy novel, but with double the brutality and uncertainty. No tropes and conventions are concrete in Stephen England’s work. The man loves to subvert and twist them in equal measure. Many people die along the way as Ariel attempts to survive his assignment at work, and some of them are the ones you would expect to remain standing in an ordinary spy thriller. Unfortunately for you readers, Lion Of God isn’t written by an author who does ordinary. Research? Top notch as usual. The author is renowned among the indie published thriller market for his fanatical attention to detail, and his ability to cram that detail into a story without screwing up the narrative flow. And Lion Of God is one of the stellar examples of England’s skills. Everything from how the Kidon assassins do their logistics, to the actual method of assassination are covered with great accuracy. Even the historical event that begins Lion Of God is recreated vividly. Many writers and readers believe too much detail in a thriller novel is a bad thing. Bullocks. The right amount of detail enriches the narrative and Lion Of God, despite being three novellas has a complex, rich storyline that educates as much as it entertains. Characters? For brevity’s sake, I’ll only focus on a few. First, Ariel, the titular Lion Of God. A child of Haredi Jews, he incurred the wrath of his family in becoming the warrior that you see in the story. Ariel is everything you would come to expect in a fictional Israeli government assassin, calm, cool under fire and gleefully cynical from living in a part of the world that crushes every last drop of idealism out of its residents. But what makes him stand out is that he’s a realistic portrayal of a government assassin in spy fiction. Some writers fall into the temptation of exaggeration, trying to make a copy of either James Bond or Mitch Rapp. England however, took a different approach. Ariel is the sort of fellow who is more likely to exist in real life than a James Bond or Mitch Rapp. Due to England’s understated characterization, of a competent badass who isn’t bulletproof, Ariel comes off as a more realistic killer than Mitch Rapp or Scott Harvath could ever hope to be. Next, we have Tzipporah. She’s the female Kidon who has been assigned to Ariel’s team and as Ariel’s hatchet – lady, she should be considered the deutertagonist of the tale. Tzipporah is a very tough customer and a dab hand with a sniper rifle. She also manages to make a particularly classic spy fiction trope, the honey trap, fresh once more in a scene that averts many of the stereotypes relating to the convention. And as a bonus, for those readers out there who have concerns with vulgarity and good taste, what Tzipporah does involving tranquilizers ensures that any delicate sensibilities will not be put under strain. But what makes Tzipporah great is her rapport and chemistry with Ariel. The camaraderie and genuine respect they have for each other goes a great deal in humanizing two otherwise stoic killers. Finally, we have CIA Station Chief Tel Aviv, David Lay. A jaded intelligence officer, Lay is counting down the hours before he can slink off back to the USA to get another chance reconnect with his wife and daughter. But fate has one final job in store for him, one that forces him to break out his hard-won skills at office politics and power plays. After being violently cultivated as a de – facto temporary asset for Mossad, Lay is forced to juggle professional and personal loyalties like his life depends on it. His story arc, despite being devoid of gunfire and having only one moment of violence, is perhaps the most compelling of Lion Of God, due to the accurate portrayal of the tension that can exist in the interactions between two intelligence services. Even if said intelligence services are allies, there are individual interests to be considered, and Lay’s attempts at making everyone happy and avoiding getting thrown in a jail cell for a treason charge provide the sort of tension and thrills akin of the office politics of John LeCarre. Constructive criticism? Not much I guess but maybe some of the secondary characters could have been developed a bit more. But due to the size of an average novella and because this is a stand alone project, certain limitations in the format would have made such a thing difficult so the author should be commended for working well within the limits of the format. So, Lion of God. My verdict is this. Bored to death of the garden variety historical fiction fare? Love spy novels but believe they should be more complex and insightful? The Lion Of Gods trilogy is the novella for you. With its fresh subject matter that brings the reader on a journey through an event that defined the Middle East, and a plot that will impress even those readers who aren’t spy fiction enthusiasts, Stephen England continues his reign as one of the kings of indie spy thriller fiction, with this departure from his ongoing series. While it’s unlikely that Ariel will be seen again, this peak into a day in his life is sure to keep your blood pumping long after his final target drops dead.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Nichols

    I knew when I read the first scenes in the first book, I'd have to read them all, and I'm glad I did. It's been refreshing to dip my foot into reading material I don't normally read. I appreciated the linear telling as well as the little excerpts along the way from various points of view. The tension, the political wrangling, betrayals, back-stabbing, the cost of war to a man's soul, all intriguing and realistic in the telling. The loyalty to country and to the team remained central throughout. I knew when I read the first scenes in the first book, I'd have to read them all, and I'm glad I did. It's been refreshing to dip my foot into reading material I don't normally read. I appreciated the linear telling as well as the little excerpts along the way from various points of view. The tension, the political wrangling, betrayals, back-stabbing, the cost of war to a man's soul, all intriguing and realistic in the telling. The loyalty to country and to the team remained central throughout. The only trouble I had with the books was the constant changing of tense from past to present. Even the occasional omission of a word or misspelling didn't hinder my enjoyment. Well done, Mr. England. I will be reading more of this series and recommend it highly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steven Hatfield

    An INCREDIBLE accurate fiction Mr Stephen If you were not in Israel at the time this story took place your review of the events in Ramalla would l d fool anyone. It happened basically just as you have written. I have no knowledge of the tactical events afterwords, however I am 99 percent you are accurate there as well. What a terrible terrible event this was, however this is the real world in this region..You write very well, this story needed told. And you told it very well Thanks for that. Steven

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cao

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is confusing that why a clique of Palestinian close to Arafat would like to unleash a slaughter on a peace conference attended by their own faction. Shouldn't the Rejectionist Front a more likely perpetrator? In the mean time, the Israelis in the story brusquely deemed Egyptians and Jordanians unreliable, which is an enough abrupt vehicle for the plot, methinks. It is confusing that why a clique of Palestinian close to Arafat would like to unleash a slaughter on a peace conference attended by their own faction. Shouldn't the Rejectionist Front a more likely perpetrator? In the mean time, the Israelis in the story brusquely deemed Egyptians and Jordanians unreliable, which is an enough abrupt vehicle for the plot, methinks.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Silvertip

    A very good telling of the problems confronting Israel's existence as a nation. Author has definitely done his research into the area and the attitudes of people on both sides of the problem. The characters and plot are well developed and told at a very good pace. A very good telling of the problems confronting Israel's existence as a nation. Author has definitely done his research into the area and the attitudes of people on both sides of the problem. The characters and plot are well developed and told at a very good pace.

  7. 4 out of 5

    judith napier

    I like mystery. Had a hard time getting into this. Abbreviations I don't know, and some language terms. But I also want to support Christian authors. And this has a lot of action. So I recommend. 😃 I like mystery. Had a hard time getting into this. Abbreviations I don't know, and some language terms. But I also want to support Christian authors. And this has a lot of action. So I recommend. 😃

  8. 4 out of 5

    MR CHRISTOPHER

    Super read I really love the work of Stephen England, he always pulls you into the action by making the characters and story line so believable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Wolf

    Not my normal read but I really enjoyed. Fast paced, well written book. If you like action, I highly recommend.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lucy D. Roederer

    Terrific Story! . Would appeal to anyone interested in the complexities of the Middle East. This was an exciting read from start to finish.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Neylon

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fred Kingery

  13. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  14. 4 out of 5

    James Sloughfy

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Mackenzie

  16. 4 out of 5

    martin miller

  17. 4 out of 5

    Charlene A. Weil

  18. 5 out of 5

    Duane E Gilchrist

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brian Anderson

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Reed

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janette Watkin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Mcquage

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  24. 4 out of 5

    R Melli

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gerald M Olson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Battaglia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gary Zajic

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dewitt

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Horne

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