Author: George Steger

*Blog Book Tour*: Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder by George Steger

Posted Wednesday, 5 February, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsSebastian's Way by George StegerSebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder by George Steger

[Book One of The Sebastian Chronicles series]

[Book Two: Sebastian’s Will: The Torchbearer] releasing 2014

[Book Three: Sebastian’s World: The Gift Giver] releasing 2015

[PREQUEL: The Horse Master] releasing 2016

Read a full description of the Sebastian Chronicles series.

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Author Connections: Facebook | Site | Blog

Converse on Twitter: #SebastiansWayTour & #Charlemagne

Published by: iUniverse, 3 October 2013 | Page Count: 370
Available Format: Softcover | E-book

Read an Excerpt of Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder from the authors site

Read an Excerpt of Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder from the authors blog

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on “Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by HFVBT, in which I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author George Steger in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curiosity Inspired Reading:

Whilst watching an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? involving Cindy Crawford’s ancestry (Series 4, E6), I learnt far more about Charlemagne than I ever dared hope possible! And, the fact that Ms. Crawford is directly related to him was an unexpected joy in seeing revealed! Whomever made the ancestral chart for her which unfolded like an ancient scroll is a master of their craft and field! I would love to have one for my own heritage as a keepsake! Whilst she was first being given this ‘key’ (a rather unexpected key!) to her past, it was revealed that Charlemagne was not the man everyone presumed he was based on what they knew of his military career and tactics. That there was more to Charlemagne than the world realised and that she should feel honoured to have him in her line!

This episode reaffirmed how little I know about certain pockets of historical remnants of life-changing proportion. There are certain epochs of history where rulers and conquerors alike have quite literally changed our world view as much as the map in which the world alights! Charlemagne never felt tangible to become acquainted with given his arc of life to research. When I first learnt of the blog tour surrounding this particular book, I felt as though I was being given my own ‘key’ and ‘gift’ opening the door to history and to the man of whom very few understood on a personal level. My curiosity you see, led me to the story of Sebastian (a name I always have appreciated!) as a gateway into the world of Charlemagne!

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Book Synopsis:

In a dark age of unending war and violence, one young warrior opposes a mighty king to forge a new path to peace…

During the savage Frankish-Saxon wars, the moving force of his age, Karl der Grosse, King Charlemagne, fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer. But in the long shadow of war and genocide, a spark of enlightenment grows, and the king turns to learned men to help him lead his empire to prosperity.

One of these men is the unlikely young warrior Sebastian. Raised in an isolated fortress on the wild Saxon border, Sebastian balances his time in the training yard with hours teaching himself to read, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life during an age when such pastimes were scorned by fighting men. Sebastian’s unique combination of skills endears him to Charlemagne and to the ladies of the king’s court, though the only woman to hold his heart is forbidden to him. As the king determines to surround himself with men who can both fight and think beyond the fighting, Sebastian becomes one of the privileged few to hold the king’s ear.

But the favor of the king does not come without a cost. As Charlemagne’s vassals grapple for power, there are some who will do anything to see Sebastian fall from grace, including his ruthless cousin Konrad, whose hatred and jealousy threaten to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. And as Sebastian increasingly finds himself at odds with the king’s brutal methods of domination and vengeance, his ingrained sense of honor and integrity lead him to the edge of treason, perilously pitting himself against the most powerful man of his age.

This fast-paced adventure story brings Charlemagne’s realm to life as the vicious Christian-pagan wars of the eighth century decide the fate of Europe. Filled with action, intrigue, and romance, Sebastian’s Way is a riveting and colorful recreation of the world of Europe’s greatest medieval monarch.

Author Biography:

George Steger

A native of Louisiana, the author followed a long tradition of young men from the Deep South by seeking to improve his prospects in the military. From a green second lieutenant in the famed 101st Airborne Division to battalion command in Vietnam, Colonel Steger spent most of the rest of his military career in four European tours as an intelligence officer and Russian foreign area specialist, working on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. He traded sword for plowshare in a second career in academia and is now Professor Emeritus of history and international affairs at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The motivation to write Sebastian’s Way came from his experiences in both war and peace, from fourteen years in Germany and Eastern Europe, and from his love of teaching medieval and other European history courses.

Steger is an avid hiker and trail biker, and much of the story of Sebastian came out of time spent in the woods and fields of eastern Kansas. In memory of Mary Jo, his wife of many years, he and filmmaker son Ben spent a recent summer trekking across Spain on The Camino de Santiago, one of Europe’s oldest pilgrimage trails. He lives and writes in rural Kansas and has four other grown and gifted children.

For more information please visit George Steger’s website . You can also find him on Facebook.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comDelving into 8th Centurion history:

I must confess, the very first page of this novel, begins by giving my impetus for reading the book: how would a ruler as heralded and ruthless as Charlemagne be turnt into a formidable man whose strength was not merely wielded from the bloodshed of his battles? To evolve through a change of mindset and heart by the influences of those closely tied to him in confidence is a story I felt had the merits of etching into the deepest forays of my mind! 

Steger launches you into the very heart of the story, but eclipsing pleasantries and edging you right into the everyday ‘now’ of Sebastian’s life! If I weren’t sweltering in an early onset of Summer’s wrath, I’d be keen to have a Spring bolt electrifying thunderstorm outside my window to entertain the atmosphere I am drinking in by text! Although, I am always concerned whilst engaging into a tome of military history, I was pleasantly surprised that the tactical deviations are tempered by a sociological transcription of the age. I appreciated getting into the internal mind of the characters, both major and minor combined, as it allowed me to step through an invisible time portal. Given the distance is greater than 1,200 years between then and now, it’s the descriptive nature of Steger’s writing which gave the visceral experience more depth in meaning!

He even goes as far as to include proper entitlements for each chapter section, as well as giving a reader like me a fathering of a chance of catching on to the dilemma of Charlemagne’s relationship with Sebastian via a proper Prologue! I have always been a bit of a bookish geek in this one regard, where I simply adore inclusions such as these as they lay way to a sturdier foundation than most. Historicals which dip into the realm of biographical fiction, need to stand tall on the merits of the writer’s ability to divert one’s mind off where one sits as the book is read in order for the fuller effect to take. Steger has blissfully launched himself on a platform of quality story-telling interspersed with bang-on brilliant dialogue and narrative!

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Sebastian's Way: The Pathfinder by George StegerMy Review of Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder

Whilst reading of the conditions of the siege and aftermath at Adalgray, it was in Steger’s description of Sebastian’s mother (Ermengard) which reflected back an image of a recent excursion on a nature trail whereupon I rather unexpectedly ‘found’ my errant flying red-shouldered hawk! The hawk had re-emerged on the opposite side of the cypress trees (as I had been walking in tandem at the water’s edge as the hawk had squawked from the upper boughs) settled rather stealthily on a branch with a crisp view of the world at large. I, however, was startled by the hawk’s piercing eyes and encompassing logic of place. Ermengard’s keen telling of her emotional state and of the situation at hand, reminded me of the hawk. Acutely aware and bold in tenacity to take-on what needs to be done!

I commend Steger’s cleverly bold descriptions of emotional angst which are a happy diversion from the general inclusion of more elicit language! I am thankful to see a writer champion the merits of a story, told through strong declarations of speech without having to wallow at a level that is not readily befit literature. His words ache and arch back to a time where thought was put before impulse, and where conversation was both hearty and logical. Likewise, there are only a flittering amount of grisly details which had I blinked would have missed completely! I was quite comfortable in his guiding hand as I dared myself the will to read each chapter with post-haste excitement to see what further revelations I could indulge in! A few page turns further, and I was bemused with the enlarging back-story of Charlemagne’s main nemesises!

To see Sebastian first as a grown man reformed in the knowledge of warfare attempt to sway a King’s mind towards diplomacy, I was thankful to be given the chance to see the passageways which led to his transformed heart. I am always keen on sociological understandings of a person’s psyche insofar as what attributes of their beliefs and ideals lead them to make the choices they endear throughout their lives. To understand how they absorb the tragedies around them and the horrors of living in an age in a consistent state of war is the better way of drawing out empathy and compassion for history.  To understand rather than to presume and to be mindful of the time in which the men lived to counterbalance the knowledge of today. This is how Steger presents his hero to his audience, by engaging us in the lifepath of his character.

Heimdal proved to be Sebastian’s guiding light by speaking the truth in which Sebastian was at first blind to see. I had to speculate whilst I first was introduced to Heimdal, if its his direct influence which led Sebastian to be bold to think he could change Charlemagne’s heart as well. To open Charlemagne’s eyes to the truth of war and the truth of how man ought to endeavour to live. His counsel with Heimdal and a pivotal experience during the siege overtook Sebastian’s spirit and his resolve to seek a different solution that would run counter against convention. His humanity and his insight were blessings, but I would suspect at the time in whence he lived they would be viewed as weaknesses. Attalus on the other hand was the retired warrior who agreed for Sebastian to apprentice under him, to garnish his own bones of wisdom. Remnants of his advice were like orbs shining back on the opening Prologue. Attalus is a man who dimensionally has a keen place in Sebastian’s life as with Heimdal, those who teach us the most are generally the ones of whom cross our paths serendipitously!

Yet Heimdal and Attalus was only one of the men who encouraged Sebastian to see past what every warrior took as a mark of measure for a warrior’s life. He internally strove to circumvent the order of the day with the balance of a man of faithful mindfulness. Instead of accepting the reality his eyes would observe, he bolted himself to the idea that perhaps not every path towards succession of power was meant to be laced in blood. The barbaric camaraderie of the age was taxing on Sebastian, as he took no pleasure in the joy of a hunt or kill when it came to battling foe and enemy. He’d rather seek out a point of leverage or alternative course of action where lives could be spared but power could be restored. In many ways, my heart was with Sebastian as he struggled to find his footing both as a young lad and as a young man, who had strong shoes to fulfill from his father and uncle.

The Pathfinder is an apt sub-title acknowledging that Sebastian was meant for a greater purpose than merely taking up spear, lance, and arrow as a warrior. Seeking a path towards redemption for the loss of the soul’s of men he was directly or indirectly responsible for having shed, this installment garnishes a full respect of the years in which Sebastian was schooled and apprenticed. The proving grounds for how he would come to think and process the quick-step action of the battlefield and the ruminative thoughts which pulsed through him when he was taking an accord of a difference against King and country. Despite his stature, his greatest strength was forged in the pure belief that if a man worked hard and endeavoured to understand what he was first ignorant of; true progress could be reconciled.

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In gratitude of Mr. Steger’s writing style:

I dare thought it might not be plausible to settle into a thick slice of historical suspense such as a story of Charlemagne, until I was given the chance to read Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder! A book which lives up to the virtues of historical fiction by etching into our mind’s eye the very inclinations and notions of the age in which Steger’s central figure lived and breathed. It was an age of boldness and an age of religious upheaval. The battle to control the power of the land and the power of the people was not forged through mediation. It was a time which bespoke more of war wounds and proven allegiances based on leadership in the field. To approach the narrative with a slight hesitation of what the context would reveal to me, gave me a bit of an edge once I was ensconced! My nerves melted with each word and paragraph I hungrily drank in to see where the author was taking me next. His ability to light the story from within the heart of the narrative itself is a gift.

One character who gave me a bit of a lasting impression, save Sebastian, was Attalus, and it wasn’t too far afield into the story where I surmised the author had a similar inkling! Attalus was a character who took me by complete surprise, and I am thankful I had the chance to meet him! And, the continuation of his story is one I long to consume!

I pray I shall have the chance to watch the evolution of the Sebastian’s story as the next volumes in this chronicle start to release! For each installment brings us closer to the fullness of Sebastian’s intuitive nudges of enlightened grace.

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Virtual Road Map for

“Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder” Blog Tour:

Sebastian's Way by George StegerFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Be sure to scope out
Bookish Upcoming Events
to mark your calendars!!
As well as to see which events
I will be hosting with:
Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTMy second half of this showcase will be
my Author Interview with George Steger!

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Reader Interactive Question:

I am quite curious, dear hearts, if you have read stories about Charlemagne prior to discovering this one, what drew your eye for Sebastian’s Way!? What is it about Charlemagne do you feel allows his popularity and his legacy to continue to be spotlighted in modern society? What role do you feel he plays in our conjoined history? Do you recommend other fiction or non-fiction accountments of his life? Which century or era do you readily drink in? What captures you the most?

{SOURCES: George Steger photograph & biography, Book Synopsis, and Book Cover were provided by HFVBT and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.


Posted Wednesday, 5 February, 2014 by jorielov in 8th Century, Anglo-Saxon History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Charlemagne, Debut Novel, Feudal Europe, Frankish Warriors & Warfare, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Military Fiction, Sebastian