1356 is a mix of the Grail Series that featured Thomas of Hookton and Agincourt. Both books ended with a battle where the outnumbered English army defeats a seemingly unbeatable French army outside a small town in France.
In the process, Thomas seeks the sword of Peter, rescures a captured woman; defeats a foe out to destroy him personally; and gets around to playing a key role in winning the battle.
Instead of seeking the Holy Grail, in this book, Thomas seeks the Sword of Peter. There was a belief back in the Middle Ages that a Holy Relic contained great power and the person who owned the relic would be able to use that relic's power for their own personal benefit. Therefore, the owner of the Sword of Peter (the one used to cut off the ear of the slave when Jesus was captured by the Romans) would be unbeatable in battle.
Each of Bernard Cornwell's series have a unique flavor. Their hero is a current or past military figure with his own strengths and weaknesses. That hero must learn to think of others beyond himself. That hero has a foe who personally dislikes him and decides to kill him. Cornwell does a great job is revealing the hero and making him likable without making him unbelievable.
I am a big fan of Cornwell and enjoyed this book. The format is more in keeping with the Grail Series that feaures Thomas and the book would seem to be #4 in the series.
If you like English history with a definite military flavor, you will enjoy this book. And the ending regarding the destiny of the sword was most unique and creative.
The Badge of Honor series has always been driven by the character of Matt Payne. The previous books bring that character out in very unique and fun ways. This book, though, does nothing to add to Matt's character. He has become predictable and boring. There is very little drama and a very predictable ending. That pattern was very disappointing. While it was a fun read, I was expecting more.
Though I have read and listened to numerous books on the Civil War, I have seemingly ignored much of the West battles. Jeff Shaara writes an excellent presentation of the battles leading up to and around Vicksburg.
This book focuses on a number of real people and a few fictional ones. The author interweaves an excellent story line focusing on the human events, thoughts and feelings of various officers and men as well as some civilians. This novel (and the one about Shiloh) purposefully goes light on the details of the military regiments and units. So don't expect a detailed description of the battles as found in Stephen Sears books.
The book is well written and keeps the listener engrossed the whole way. I found myself rooting for the fictional character here even though I am confident he will survive.
Paul Michael is a narrator well known to me. Any time I see his name listed as the narrator I smile because I know how well he does. And Paul does his usual excellent performance here.
If you want detailed descriptions of the Battles of Vicksburg, this is the wrong book for you. If you prefer getting to know what it may have been like to be a soldier and civilian during this time, then you will enjoy this book.
I always love finding new authors who write great stories. And Will Adams fits that description perfectly. History is full of stories of people searching for Alexander the Great's body and his wealth. Will writes an excellent story that flows well and makes for a great listen. Our hero saves lives, gets the girl, and becomes the hero in the end. Well, not exactly and that is one of the best parts of the story. The ending lays the groundwork for the next story and a definite antagonist.
An excellent narration by David Colacci as well.
Looking forward to the next episode.
The Corps series is definitely a man-oriented series. The characters are macho, heroic, dedicated, yet sometimes crass and disgusting. They represent the true enigma that makes the military male.
As the son of a WWII veteran who fought the Japanese and the father of a current Marine, I have a definite bias toward these stories. yet I loved them years ago when I read them on paper.
Dick Hill's narration just makes the stories even better.
This book continues the storylines from Guadalcanal and Buka. The book is very well written and makes the reader root for the men and women in harm's way as well as their personal struggles, fears, and desires.
Looking forward to the next books in the series. Mr. Griffin, keep them coming and I will keep buying.
Being Hungarian in heritage, I always try historical books that incorporate that heritage.I don't know much about the Mongolian invasion and was hoping this first novel might touch on that. It doesn't. That's OK. The actual storyline, as written, is very confusing.
There is no clear individual to get to know and like. Nor is there a real villian to dislike. Too many undeveloped characters with seemingly disconnected plots. It seems like each author was assigned a character and tried to develop action scenes for that character. Then the editor smashed the storylines together like mashed potatoes. Thus, the story wanders across this book like the Mongols did across the steppes.
Yet there is enough to keep me going. I have Book 2 and will continue there hoping things get better.
Luke Daniels as a narrator is just as effective as the book is written. Just meh.
Not horrible but not great. Just average.
Of all the series that Clive Cussler and his co-authors produce, the Isaac Bell series is far and away the best. Justin Scott writes a rollicking story with detailed characters and believable storylines.
His lead character, Isaac Bell is determined (living the van Dorn Agency motto "We never give up!"), intelligent, and capable. Yet he is human making mistakes along the way with other people paying the price.
Scott creates 2 excellent villians for us to dislike and describes the primary villian in exquisite detail so we can see him in our minds clearly. And the second villian hides so well in the shadows keeping us yearning to find out more about him. Yet the writing is not tedious or boring but keeps the reader engaged the whole way.
Scott Brick is one of the best narrators in the business and adds his consistently high quality reader to this book. Whenever I see Scott Brick listed as the narrator, I know I will enjoy the book. I was once again pleased with The Striker.
Prepare to be hooked on Richard Sharpe. From the moment our uneducated, street-smart, ruthless hero steps onto the pages, you will fall in love with Private Sharpe. He may not be book educated, but through his native cunning and ruthlessness, he sure knows how to get out of a scrape with his skin intact. An honorable rogue is our Richard too.
Bernard Cornwell introduces the reader to a really enjoyable everyday guy who is just trying to survive the army. Lurching from one mistake after another, Sharpe almost loses it all... only to hit the jackpot in the end.
From my first reading so long ago, I have loved every story about Sharpe. The writing is excellent, the storyline enjoyable, and the characters believable. This book is an excellent way to pass a day or two.
Frederick Davidson is an outstanding narrator. His British accent adds realism to the story and his narration is a pleasure to hear. Yet his accent does not become a barrier to the enjoyment as I have found with Patrick Tull.
Before James Bond, there was Richard Sharpe. Fighting the King's enemies. Dashing about getting himself into trouble, then pulling out the miraculous escape. And always getting the beautiful girl into his bed. That is our Richard Sharpe.
Bernard Cornwell knows how to write great stories. Yes, they tend to be formulaic, but I love these stories for their sheer bloody enjoyment. The author does an excellent job of building in the actions, patterns, and personalities of the time (as I understand them to be). He also educates you into the military thoughts and concepts of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, Portugal, and France. And if the French leaders were are narcissistic as Cornwell suggests, I wonder how they won any battles at all.
The only complaint I have is Patrick Tull as the narrator. I much prefer these stories read by William Gaminara or Frederick Davidson, Tull is not bad and I got used to his accent as the book progressed, but Gaminara and Davidson are better. Personal preference there.
If you like British military history in general, and the Napoleonic Wars in particular, then you will enjoy the Sharpe novels.
This was a most interesting story. One that seems fanciful when trying to imagine two communist countries like Russia and China playing "King of the Hill." In Clancy's world, there is only one true King. And that King has to be ready at all times for the unexpected. Thanks to the excellence of many small people, the evil plans of others can be thwarted.
But turning Russia into a true ally? That is being very creative.
The storyline is titillating, creative, destructive, and has the unknown good guy riding to the rescue at the last minute.
As always, Clancy's stories are fun, challenging, long, and worth every minute.
Michael Prichard is an excellent narrator and makes this book an wonderful investment in your time and a truly enjoyable read.
This book continues the excellent merging of the fabulous writing of WEB Griffin and the outstanding narration of Dick Hill. Whenever I listen to The Corps series, I always pull up the maps of the region whre the fighting is described and follow along with the narration. This combination brings the story alive.
Dick renders the characters in the story believable and adds the appropriate emotion and voice inflection that makes listening to the story fun.A good narrator makes a good book fun. A great narrator makes a great book memorable and brings the listener back again and again.
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