If you like midieval themes, this is one of the best out there. In Patterson's first delve into a quasi-historical fiction, he's done a pretty incredible job. It certainly is better than the Steven R. Lawhead Pendragon series and gets you thinking about the predicament his characters get in. From a historical point of view, it leads the reader through some pretty accurate accountings of landowner abuse of their citizens and what medieval times were like. The plot of one rising as the leader for the benefit of all leaves one, if you have that kind of imagination, cheering in your car seat. I have also read this in hard copy and think that if you are not expecting an Alex Cross novel, like historically based fiction, and can delve into the character development, this one is a barn-burner.
I'm not sure if the positive reviews listened to the same book as I. I went in enthusiastically, but the end couldn't come soon enough. Perhaps the authors couldn't decide between a serious novel or a parody of a serious novel. The author's use of gratuitous violence and rape to create antagonist characters was entirely excessive and unnecessary.
Others who read this told me that they loved it, but it seemed mediocre at best to me. I was interested enough to listen all the way through, but then it usually takes a really bad book for me to put it down once I've started. The concept was interesting, but the story was a little repetitive. The guy just keeps getting into the same sort of peril over and over and uses the same tricks to get out of it more than once. He's also repetitive in his narration, using the same phrases countless times to the point where, given a situation, you could almost guess exactly what he'd have to say about it. I had the distinct impression throughout this book that the authors were writing a treatment for a film and didn't care to write a good novel. Granted, this story would probably be much better as a movie.
There is nothing charming about this tale. The plot was simple, at best. I found it extremely violent and crude for no purpose. James Patterson is a wonderful author. It is commendable that Mr. Patterson wishes to try something new. However, he seems to have taken a wrong turn with this book.
If you like honor, history, and sword swinging action... The Jester comes close. It's questionable as to historical accuracy, but has the basic elements of a Bernard Cornwell 'Sharpe's' series, just not quite as well done. If you've already gone through the Cornwell series, this will do nicely while waiting for another Sharpe.
Excellent listen! A story about love, loss, dedication, and a believable look into what life might look like in medieval times.
Great story of middle ages superhero...only drawback was English accent of reader for story taking place in France. This really did not detract from the story for me though.
Having been a fan of both Patterson and historical fiction, I was eager to give this a read. While it managed to hold my interest, it only barely did so. The story had the two dimensionality of a fairytale. The good guys were absolutely good, the bad guys unbelieveably bad. Except for the constant violence and some sex, I'd recommend this for children. Not a winner.
I'm a big fan of Patterson. This is a Medieval tale full of knights, damsels, ladies, baddies (noblemen), and village people; all painted with broad, shallow strokes. The performance is great, but the narrator probably should have done it with a French accent rather than English. The story moves like screenplay and is a bit predictable and stereotypical. Bad buys are REALLY bad, good guys REALLY good. To get a sense of how this book plays, think about all Errol Flynn, Robin Hood-Maid Marianne, or Lancelot and Guinevere styled movies and how the acting was there. Very nobel words, black and white emotions, and everything played out with such a staged quality.
This is how this entire book "reads". If you like this style, you will love this book. If you don't and want more of the old Patterson style, you won't find it here. Even so, this is a "page turner" and I found myself wanting to know what happens next. Definitely different for him (maybe it is the coauthor who gave it this feel), but not bad if you like novels that don't force you to think hard.
This period piece takes place back in the age of Serfdom. Not only is the story interesting and intriguing, you also get a feel for life back in the age of the Crusades. One of my favorites!