AD 1270: Antioch has fallen, Tripoli is under siege, and Sultan Baibaars targets his Mamluk hoards against Krak des Chevalier, the Crusaders' greatest stronghold in Syria. The Holy Land is in turmoil and desperately awaits the arrival of Edward Longshanks and his relieving army of French and English Crusaders.
This is a time of brutality, an age of chivalry. A time of strong men with stronger hearts, an era with no place for the weak.
Yet a thousand miles away, a 14-year-old boy learns a disturbing secret that drives him on a Crusade of his own. A quest to avenge his family, save his brother, and in the process recover the holiest relic in the history of Christendom.
©2013 Kevin Ashman (P)2014 Kevin Ashman
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Wow. What's the rush? I felt like the whole book was rushed to get to the climax, which seems to be the only thing this author is interested in. So much potential and detail skipped out. And the main protagonist. We need more. To see him grow. 1 chapter he's a lil boy. A few chapters later he's a "young man" coming into his own. I sure never felt that reading it. And the narrator. The darn vocals and character voices change from one sentence to the next early on. I had to stop and restart. Thought I skipped some parts but no. The sound just totally changed without warning. The plot was decent enough. Which is why a finished the book. But could of been so much better.
"Gird your loins, death rides to meet us!"
About on a par with most of them although not as good as the very best like Cornwell's Winter King.
Hard to say. This is obviously based in medieval times and the author has gone to great lengths to make the speech fit the period. I'm not sure if I've read many other books that are quite like this in that respect. In terms of the story, it's historical fiction, with swords and blood and a quest to retrieve a holy artifact - all well used themes but that's because they work! I'd say if you're a fan of Bernard Cornwell, Michael Jecks or any of the other recent authors exploring this period you should enjoy this story.
Understated (not always in a good way - some of the male characters lack emotion when talking)
No, but that's nothing to do with the book - I just like to take my time with audiobooks!
Overall I thought the story was somewhat let down by the narrator. Although the narration is for the most part okay, the dialogue is read in something of a monotone and it means the characters and exciting scenes don't come to life as they would do if you were reading the book yourself. That said, it's still a good listen, I just think it could be even better if there was more fire and emotion in the performance.
If you're looking for some medieval fiction to listen to then I'd recommend this as it's good value for money and the story tears along for the most part.
"I really hoped, but you know what hope did"
As books go this has a great cover and I was full of anticipation for a story that would enthral and involve me.....Oh dear how wrong I was the narration was lumbering in the most British plum in the mouth, matter of fact documentary style that for me would have been well placed on an Open University lecture, that lacked any real passion for the story.
There was little or no characterisation and what there was, was very poor indeed. I gave up listening to David Parkinson's drystone wall of a voice, and returned to the good old read it for myself, and found in doing so, that the book was so much better for that simple change of focus. That said this is a series and there are other titles in the series and I don't think I was hooked enough to bother exploring those, other than looking at the covers which are all sporting some fine artwork.
Overall the book held my interest until the end, so it wasn't awful; the history was accurate enough and I learnt a little about the crusades, which from a novel of this type is the least I would hope for.
I was however disappointed that it just boiled down to a holy relic quest in the end and to be honest that particular story line has in my opinion been done to death and in most cases far better than this. So don't expect a great read and you will do fine,but don't, and I say again DON'T buy the audio it is truly atrocious!
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