Cornwell continues the saga of Utred's captivity and forced slavery. The writing is lively, never dull, and characterized by several climatic man-to-man challenges on his quest to regain prominence lost. Readers should be warned, however, that some of the verbal sparing breaks into rather vicious and sexually-charged insults cast against the enemy. The nature of these insults are extremely graphic and pity the listener who has this playing audibly in a carload full of kids. Descriptions of violent sword play highlight the work as well.
This work is not for Evangelicals or other devout Christian adherents as the topics covered are not within the limits of such propriety. Language used is especially out of bounds as this work reflects situations involving questionable morals.
The book contains an overemphasis upon character development as the plot slows down to a crawl. Interesting initial concept, however, I finally lost interest midway through. Compared to Dune, another lengthy work, this tale became mired in detail and could have been told in half the pagination.
I consider myself a huge Dr. Who fan, but this is too much. It's not a question of audio production, the audio's fine, it's the plot which is completely lame. Slow, uninteresting, and then downright braindead when the plot finally "thickens," the storyline revolves around a very predicatble powerplay between two cardboard figures. Ardent Dr. Who fans will avoid this one like the bird flu.
I really couldn't follow what was going on, maybe this type of period-fiction is just not for me. Unless the listener has some kind of affinity for the author, don't bother. I listened and really tried to like it, but it was too drab and dull. Narration of scenes just drone on. At the end, you end up saying, "who really cares"?
Let me say that this book took me by surprise with its intriguing stories drawn from the annals of chess history. The book is a hybrid chess instruction/business strategy, which draws life lessons from lessons learned on the chess board. The author enjoys interjecting zen-like axioms similar to ?your weakness is your strength.? Overall, the book is extremely satisfying when wanting to know basic principles which the best players abide by.
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