Promo and buy links

The Mallory Saga, a deeply personal history of one family’s struggles during the French/Indian/British war for control of the American continent.

Clash of Empires swept me along into a brutal frontier war of honor and vengeance.  Rob Hagar Bayliss – author of The Sun Shard and The Dead Gods

Bennett shows understanding and sympathy for a disappearing world in this tale of war-torn frontier America

SJA Turney – author of the Marius Mules series, The Ottoman Cycle and Tales of the Empire

A storming triumph – war, love, honor, betrayal and loss, Clash of Empires has it all! C.R. May – author of Sorrow Hill, Nemesis and Fire & Steel

A enthusiastic response to Clash of Empires:
“WOW!!!!!! I am not an author, editor, publisher or historian, just a fan of history and historical fiction,,,,,,just finished Book 1, cannot wait for Book 2 and 3, when might we expect them? Loved the book so much decided to head to Fort Necessity National Battlefield in a few weeks for a day visit….nice work…looking forward to more….fast!!!!”

“Historical novels like this help bring the past alive in a way textbooks simply can’t.”

“Well written entertainment with well developed interesting and varied characters. After a slow start, the pace and flow picked up and was very good throughout. The story was well researched and well told.”

“Couldnt put it down. Love the time line. Wonderful blend of true history with some fictional characters”

Available on Kindle, paperback, Kobo and Nook


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11 Questions from Meghan Holloway

 With Paul Bennett



Born in Detroit, MI, now living in Salem, MA.  I’ve always been a student and reader of history.  My earliest recollections of that interest are having discussions with my Dad about WWII and of borrowing from the library a copy of Heinrich Schliemann’s book on Troy.  Movies such as Spartacus and Ben Hur also fueled my desire to know more of how we got to be where we are today.  I attended Wayne State University in the early 70’s with a focus on ancient history and physical anthropology and although I continued to read history books (both fiction and non-fiction) I did not pursue a career in those areas.  It wasn’t until I started reading SJA Turney’s Marius Mules series that I began book reviewing/blogging.  I finally succumbed to the pleadings of my Muse and began writing my own historical fiction.


Clash of Empires is the first book in a projected series called The Mallory Saga.  It follows the lives of a colonial frontier family caught up in the French & Indian War of the 1750’s.  I intertwine the historical record of the war; the battles, the historical personnel, etc, with the fictional account of the Mallory’s and their involvement in the battles and the suffering and triumphs they face.


The idea for The Mallory Saga came from looking at a photo of my great-grandfather, Harry Mallory, who came from western PA, the area where a lot of Clash takes place.  I wanted to write about a period often overlooked in American history despite the fact that the French & Indian War had a direct impact on the American Revolution 15 years later.  A lot of my research was done online and by reading Empires at War by William M. Fowler Jr.  I also visited some of the sites used in Clash…Fort Ticonderoga & Fort William Henry for example.


I’ve heard that there are plotters and seat of the pants types of writers.  I guess I’m somewhere in between but with a definite leaning towards seat of the pants.  I know where I want the book to go and have a general idea of how to get there but the actual process of putting hands to the keyboard is pretty much led by my Muse and so have a tendency to write in a non-chronological fashion.  As an example, I am writing book 2 of the series and already have chapters from the beginning, middle and end started – the tricky part is to make sure I tie them all together.


I do most of my writing in the pre-dawn hours, fueled by good, strong coffee and with my headphones on I listen to one of my writing playlists on Google or Pandora.  My Muse seems to draw inspiration from angelic voiced females so I listen to a lot of Loreena McKennitt and goth-rock bands such as Within Temptation, Nightwish and Sirenia.  The result of what I eventually put down on paper comes from ideas that I’ve thrashed about in my head.  Much of that thought process takes place during my 75 mile commute to work; a two hour excursion that allows my Muse free rein as I drive.  By the way, my Muse is named Wanda after one of my favorite movies, A Fish Called Wanda.  Anyway, Wanda is quite active during the commute, although there are times when she gets too excited and I find myself thinking about a scene that won’t happen until book 4 or 5 in the series.


The main thing I’ve learned is that to do it right takes a team effort.  I have always been leery of changing anything once I’ve written it and so was completely unprepared for working with an editor.  Fortunately, I connected with an old friend who is a superb editor and while I have accused her of eviscerating some of my hard written words and belittling my grammatical prowess, she made the story better and has made me a better writer.


Engaging, believable characters.  A story line that keeps you turning the pages and that makes you stop occasionally while you exclaim, “wow” or “I didn’t see that coming.”


The first one that popped into my head is 4 books – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I guess I’ve read those 8 or 9 times…in fact I’m due for another read through.


I usually have two or three books going at a time (there’s so many good books out there)…one for my Kindle, one for my PC Kindle and a hard copy for bedtime reading.  Right now I am reading The Portuguese Affair (The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez Book 3) by Ann Swinfen, Rosa by Jeanette Taylor Ford and Fire and Steel – King’s Bane 1 by C.R. May.


Umm…haphazardly as space allows.


Mark Twain   Kurt Vonnegut   Christian Cameron

Thank you for joining me on OF QUILLS & VELLUM today, Paul! It was a pleasure talking with you. 

Find out more about Paul and his writing on his blog or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Star Review from a fan in Detroit


BennettFinalEdit copy.jpg


Clash receives another 5 star review:
5.0 out of 5 starsThis book was recommended by a friend
ByFan in Detroiton March 31, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended by a friend. Really thought not my kind of read! Boy was I wrong! Held my interest from start to finish. Very real
characters. Learned a lot about history that I never knew . Enjoyed the family aspect of the story and wondered what would happen to the
characters next. Looking forward to next book.! Great book from beginning to end!!

Clash of Empires – a cracking review

Clash of Empires (The Mallory Saga #1)
by Paul Bennett (Goodreads Author)


Gordon Doherty‘s review

Mar 06, 2017

5 stars

The French Indian War, you say? Well, it was virgin territory for me. Aside from what I had garnered from the Hollywood epic, Last of the Mohicans, I knew very little about the political and military situation in 1750s colonial America. Now, I feel both educated and thoroughly entertained by Mr. Bennett’s debut novel ‘Clash of Empires’.

It’s quite a special skill to be able to take a reader (like me) from a dreary morning in a coffee shop in Scotland and catapult them back through time into the hardships and wonders of a long-past era. But within a few pages I was there with the book’s hero, Liam Mallory, edging through snow on my belly, tracking deer. Soon after I was sitting around the fire with the rest of the Mallory family and their close friends as they enjoyed Liam’s catch along with a fair dose of home-brewed ale. Bennet paints an intimate picture of a very real family life in the era, and the excitement builds as they discuss their plans: to move to a new trading post in the western frontiers. A bold move indeed, given the dangers of that untamed and much-coveted land.

The story moves at a fair old pace, never sagging nor over-egging any one event. The Mallory clan and their cadre travel to their new home, literally and metaphorically arriving right in the lines of fire between the forces of Britain and France, each power at this point striving to claim the new world as their own. And the European behemoths are not the only factions vying to shape their own fortunes. The Native American tribes – proud people and fierce, ruthless warriors – sense that their destiny is being stolen from them. Most tribes carefully choose to ally with one of the great powers, though some decide on an alternative path…

And it is here that the Mallory family become truly entwined in events. Our hero, Liam, finds himself befriended by the people of a Mohawk village and soon loves them as he does his blood-kin, even taking a Mohawk wife. But the less accepting tribes soon descend and shatter Liam and his family’s new life. Bennet writes gruesome scenes as well as he does touching ones, and without giving away any detail, I’ll say that his descriptive of what happens to Liam’s loved ones was harrowing, frank and quite unsettling.

And so Liam is drawn into the war. What follows is relentless, real and human. Rich in detail mined from the author’s clearly painstaking research, we find lessons that should have been learned from the distant past rising to the fore once more; cannons boom, bullets fly and tomahawks spin through the air as the war builds towards a brutal climax.

A fresh voice and a cracking tale. Recommended!

5 stars says Glen Craney

Clash of Empires (The Mallory Saga #1)
by Paul Bennett (Goodreads Author)


Glen Craney‘s review

Feb 28, 2017
As a boy, I would often visit relatives in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, the oldest permanent colonial American settlement west of the Appalachians. My imagination was sparked as I climbed with toy musket across the palisade walls of the famous replica of Old Fort Harrod. That outpost was founded by Virginia trailblazers in the midst of Lord Dunmore’s War, fought in 1774 against the Shawnee and Mingo nations. Many of those first settlers who spent time at Fort Harrod would become etched into American history: Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, and James Harrod. Most experienced their baptism of fire during the French and Indian War of 1754-1763.

You can, then, understand my delight when I opened Paul Bennett’s fine historical novel and encountered Boone and other historical characters, then young and yet unknown, from my boyhood musings. Clash of Empires follows the travails of the Mallory family throughout that brutal conflict between the British, French, and their Native-American allies. Along the way, we also meet an inexperienced George Washington, a major and later colonel, of the Virginia militia, as he learns the difficult and costly lessons that will inform his generalship during the American Revolution.

In addition to painting the French and Indian War with stark immediacy and chilling detail, Bennett admirably does two things that I see too rarely in historical fiction. First, he seamlessly pulls back periodically from tight POV of his characters to reset the context and situation of the war. For those like me who hunger for a heavy dose of history with our fictional narrative, this is refreshing. Second, he doesn’t neglect the suffering and terror endured by the women and children. The men were often called away from their cabins or precarious forts for military excursions, leaving their families exposed to raids. One cannot read the accounts of these early settlements without questioning how these women managed to remain sane.

This is a highly recommended novel about one of the most fascinating periods of American history. I look forward to the next book in the series, which the author promises will take readers to the Revolution.

A copy of this book was provided to me by the author for an honest review.

4 stars says C.R. May for Clash of Empires

As other reviewers have already stated, this book deals with the events in North America during the seven years war, the French and Indian war as it has become known in America. The storyline largely follows a settler of Irish stock, Thomas Mallory, and his extended family. One of the best parts for me was the way in which the author showed the degree of intermingling between the various peoples who inhabited the American frontier at that time. It is always easy to view history through the prism of the official accounts: two sides who never meet except in conflict, in this case the French and their Indian allies vying for control of the Ohio valley against the British, their own colonists and tribal allies. I was also pleased that this book took the story beyond the fall of Quebec and French Canada to include Pontiac’s war. Obviously book two will deal with the early part of the Revolutionary War, and this was an important prelude to that conflict. How Thomas and his family will fare during that traumatic time remains to be seen, but I am looking forward to finding out.