It is interesting to read individual perspectives on books. This is book where one of its themes is concerning two religious groups who were at war with each other. Some folks just do not want to understand that when you have one group trying to wipe another group of people off the face of the earth, violence will be front and center. This is a long book, but it really gives the writer an opportunity to develop the characters, setting, plot and the themes beyond war that are occuring in their lives; particularly that of the main character. This is not about about a war; this is a book about a man who was snared between two cultures and peoples, who was trained as a warrior in a time period of incredible transition for a huge segment of the European and Ottaman population. This is a book about this one man's life and his trainsitions. A good solid read.
I had a hard time following the story in the beginning, but the more I listened, the easier it got. In the end I came to appreciate how cleverly he wove a story around history or history around a story. Not for the squeamish. He could not have portrayed religion any better. Excellent.
I thouroughly enjoyed this book tape. It grabbed me from the beginning. The reader is fantastic and the characters are very well developed. I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy.
The ingredients are here for a first class read or listen.
The author knows how to use words, he has an interesting cast of characters, and an epic setting for his action. Simon Vance does a good job in presenting the book. Still, having listened to two of the three parts, I find I must subtract one star for lack of character development and one for verbosity.
Too much of the book fails to gel. The characters are interesting, but they never quite become people. The action and gore are certainly there, but the purpose seems to get lost. The background action rarely rises above two sets of fanatics bashing each other, although the author is capable of depicting each side in its absolute belief that it is the true champion of all that is right.
I think the author is a good writer, with a good grasp of the period, but he is not yet a good storyteller. A pity.
it's a must read for any historical fiction buff. The description of events is amazing!
This was recommended to me by a friend. At first I was reluctant, but I do like historical fiction and so when it came up on my "Wish List" I got it.
I was not disappointed.
This is an astoundingly good book. It has all tension, plausibility, good time line fit, well developed and interesting characters whose backstory fits perfectly like a puzzle piece into story at large, action, romance, historical accuracy, a page turning ending, a well developed protagonist as well as a despicable antagonist.
I think what I really enjoyed most was the psychological interplay between the leaders of the attacking army and the leaders defending against the attack. The book depicts how the people on both sides are methodically persuaded to forfeit their lives. Ultimately it portrays the futility of religion and how it is was used to incite war for political and material gain.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I've read some comments about the bloodiness. I do not think it is overdone at all. The gore is always done for the sake of the story, not the gore itself. FACT: When you strike someone with a sword or shoot them with a cross bow, there will be blood.
If you like historical novels it would be a mistake to avoid this book.
If you DON'T like historical novels, you should get this anyway.
You'll opinion will likely change. This is an amazing story.
I have listened to several other selections about the battle of Malta and liked them all, but this one stands out as my favorite due to the varied backgrounds of the colorful characters that fill this book. The writing brings the history to life in an interesting and suspenseful manner that kept me listening intently. Wonderful ending and a great narrator.
The richly descriptive and detailed text presented in perfect narrative.
The lead, Tanhouser - he fights, he loves, he's loyal, he survives - he's the hero!
Bors of Carlyle - the ever faithful sidekick
There were more than several occasions when I neglected other tasks and just kept on listening past planned times because of the heat of battle or the impending action.
Great book, superb narration.
I love historical fiction and I found this to be artfully written, brilliantly performed and extremely entertaining. It is quite violent and certainly not for the faint of heart. Warning: it's the first book of a trilogy and I have not been able to locate the second book on audio and the third book is supposedly being written now (2015).