The Shadow of War, Paperback

The Shadow of War Paperback

Part of the The Great War series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The Shadow of War is the first novel in Stewart Binns' 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 seem - as 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 for ever 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.

Praise for Stewart Binns: "Anyone with even a vague interest in Britain and the Great War should read Shadow of War". (Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill). "A fascinating mix of fact, legend and fiction ...this is storytelling at its best". (Daily Mail). "Stewart Binns has produced a real page-turner, a truly stunning adventure story". (Alastair Campbell). "Once again Stewart Binns has managed to create something unique, entertaining and eye-opening". (Parmenion Books). "Unarguably heart-warming ...will leave any reader with a sense of British pride". (Goodreads). "Truly a book that educates while entertaining, a talent of this best-selling author". (Historical Novel Review). Stewart Binns began his professional life as an academic.

He then pursued several adventures, including a stint at the BBC, before settling into a career as a schoolteacher, specializing in history.

Later in life a lucky break took him back to the BBC, which was gthe beginning of a successful career in television.

He has won a BAFTA, a Grierson, an RTS and a Peabody for his documentaries.

Stewart's passion is English history especially its origins and folklore.

His previous Making of England series: Crusade, Conquest, Anarchy and Lionheart, were published to great acclaim.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: First World War fiction
  • ISBN: 9781405915175



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Reviewing this book on Remembrance Day, and the centenary of the First World War, is somehow fitting. Stewart Binns doesn't disappoint, either. <i>The Shadow of War</i>, the first in a series about the Great War (I'm presuming he will be releasing one for every year of the conflict), is a strange combination of historical fact and moving fiction, written in the present tense. That the style and content work is all down to the author's skill. I have read similar descriptions of the atrocities of trench warfare before, and come across some of the fictional devices many times previously - Cockney lads, lesbian nurses (what is it with lesbian nurses in WW1 fiction?) - but I was still engrossed.The first year of war, leading up to the famous 'Christmas truce' between the Germans and Allies in 1914, is told from the point of view of various characters, from all walks of life. Some worked better than others for me, but the narrative is shared out fairly equally. From Winston Churchill, here First Lord of the Admiralty under Asquith, to a group of Lancashire weavers, the reader passes with them from a summer of peace into the shadow of war. Harry Woodruff and Maurice Tait are two Colour Sergeant Majors from London, replete with dialogue full of rhyming slang, who fought in South Africa but are still unprepared for the Western Front. The three Thomas brothers from Wales have their peaceful lives torn apart by the actions of their sister Bronwyn, while the wealthy sons of the Duke of Atholl must leave Blair Atholl Castle in Perthshire for the horrors of war. Being a northern lass, Burnley weavers Tommy and Mary Broxup and Mick and Cath Kenny seemed more 'real' to me than Churchill himself, with his family nicknames and brooding depression!The whole saga is well paced, bringing the reality of war to life through the (mostly) made-up characters. Shocking, tragic and even comic in places, I look forward to reading part two next year.

Also by Stewart Binns   |  View all