Bernard Cornwell has become my favorite author and must surely be recognized amongst the greatest authors of historical fiction. Cornwell’s other offerings which include the “Sharpe” series; the “Saxon Chronicles” and “The Grail Quest” series all have a historical basis in his native Britain, with his main characters successfully taken from those times and places. Perhaps this is the reason, much to my chagrin, I had some trepidation as to whether Cornwell’s style would translate to the American continent during the period of the Civil War. I believe this is what is now referred to as a “duh” moment. Cornwell delivers another thrilling, action packed adventure that you will find hard to put down. His characters are interesting and well defined and engaging.
The Starbuck Chronicles were written from 1993 through 1996 and have not been revived since then. On his website Cornwell offers a glimmer of hope that we will see additional Starbuck stories but admits to focusing on the Sharpe series instead.
The narrator, Ed Sala, may not have the range of a Barbara Rosenblat but he does perform a capable rendition of the book. The five minute sample is not enough to do his performance justice.
This is another great story from Bernard Cornwell. The main characters from the previous books in the series return and Uhtred, now older, is just as violent and blood thirsty as he ever was. Uhtred goes to Bebbanburg to claim his birthright and goes to war with Cnut. I ran through this book and in the end I was left wanting more. I hope we get more!
Mates Bates' narration was very capable and was a great improvement over the last book in the series.
This was my first encounter with a Susanna Gregory novel and to be honest it took time for me to get into it. Initially I found it hard to stay focused and found my mind wandering to other thoughts. I believe this was my response to a somewhat tedious narration. Eventually I decided to start over and when I did my appreciation of the characters, their idiosyncrasies and relationships grew. At some point in time my appreciation for the narration and how well it fit with the characters had also performed a complete 180 degree turn. Gregory does a good job of intertwining medieval superstitions and attitudes into a creditable murder mystery. Overall the book became one of those gems you find hard to put down—then you reach for the next in the series as fast as you can.
This latest book in the Spycatcher series does not rival the complex ambiguity of a John Le Carré novel nor does it require a great amount of mental dexterity to follow the storyline. But it is fun!
This is faster paced and has more action than the previous books in the series. The action begins almost immediately and continues unabated throughout the book. If you enjoyed the first two books in the series you should find this book to your taste. If you are new to this series I would suggest you read the books in sequence. The hero of these books is more in the genre of James Bond than George Smiley.
Those of you who enjoy a fast paced and entertaining distraction on the long drive home from work will find this novel and excellent buy. If you need something steeped in psychological drama such as a Le Carré novel this book is not for you.
I have enjoyed every book in this series and looked forward to reading this chapter of the Aubrey/Maturin series. The 18th book in the series finds Jack and Stephen either dealing with politics and relatives on land or a spiteful admiral on blockade duty. Unfortunately, like blockade duty, the book wanders around with no real direction. The detail and insight into the period is up to O’Brian’s usual standard and Patrick Tull’s narration is exceptional as it has been throughout the series. Not a lot of action in this one.
Over the years I have grown to appreciate Cromwell's work and although this may not be his best effort it is still worth the cost of a token. Most of the characters are very well developed and he picks up a couple of new followers who could easily add interest in future episodes (hope). The action is at times gory but that period in history was quite barbaric.
I wasn’t sure of Jack Hawkins narration and it did take some time to get comfortable with. His Scottish accent is unforgivable but forgettable.
Overall this book is a pleasant distraction.
I found this series of books after I completed the excellent Aubrey/Maturin Series by Patrick O'Brian. Lambdin has created a character (Alan Lewrie) who could be described as an over-sexed reluctant hero. The book is witty and exciting and definitely worth a read.
John Lee does an excellent job as narrator with clearly distinguishable characters.
When you finish this series try the Aubrey/Maturin Series it has less humor but should quench your thirst for high seas adventure.
Those familiar with this series will not be disappointed with this book and as always the characters and story are brought to life by Patrick Tull's wonderful narration.
The last of the Starbuck Chronicles lives up to all my expectations. This is Cornwell at his best; the story is gripping, bloody and full of action. Cornwell continues to develop the Starbuck character as he builds on previous volumes; we say goodbye to some characters (unexpectedly) and hello to others.
My only criticism of this series is that it ends here. Cornwell dropped this series in favor of the lucrative “Sharpe” series. The chronicle is unfinished and from Starbucks point of view there remains some unfinished business. We can only hope that Cornwell someday returns to complete the series.
Ed Sala provided a very good performance that certainly matched the narration of previous volumes.
Elizabeth Peters continues the Amelia Peabody series with disputably the best book since Crocodile on the Sandbank. Set in the Sudan, the book has the usual number of twists and dastardly villains. We are provided a small glimpse of a very loquacious Ramses as he approaches adolescence. I do like how Peters continues to develop the relationship between her characters as they grow together and age. Barbara Rosenblat’s narration is, as ever, simply amazing.
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