The Knights Hospitaller battle ancient evil in medieval Rhodes as mysterious disappearances and insane devil-worshippers threaten to turn the entire island into a bloodbath....
When three Hospitallers go missing from a local village outraged Grand Master Foulques de Villaret sends the English knight Sir Richard-at-Lee and his trusted sergeant-at-arms Jacob to discover their fate. Met with resistance from frightened locals and rumours of a blasphemous sect performing unspeakable rites beneath the village Sir Richard must overcome not only the devil-worshippers but the faceless, unstoppable demon that stalks his dreams.
Fans of the best-selling Forest Lord books Wolf's Head and The Wolf and the Raven will enjoy this spin-off novella that sees the much-loved English knight up against a foe that threatens not only his life and his sanity, but God himself!
©2014 Steven A. McKay (P)2014 Steven A. McKay
I enjoyed both versions, but the audio edition has an advantage with a good narrator who brings the distinctive voices of the characters come to life.
As a medieval mystery tinged with horror elements it comes across a bit Bernard Knight's Crowner John series, Maureen Ash's Templar Knight Mysteries or Paul Doherty's Hugh Corbett mysteries, but crossed with H.P. Lovecraft.
Stephen, the Yorkshireman and Hospitaller sergeant-at-arms is very well realized by Nick Ellsworth.
I had already read the print version, so my reaction was not extreme, but the experience of listening to a good story performed by a fine performer was satisfying.
I have enjoyed Steven McKay's books to date in print and in audio. Nick Ellsworth has proven himself a very capable and engaging narrator.
Yes... Nick Ellsworth is the perfect voice for story
The character development.
End of the story was the best part.
Fun adventure of Sir Richard-at-Lee which gives the back story of the Knights Hospitallers (aka Order of the Knights of Saint John) and helps in filling in the character of Sir Richard as he plays into the "The Forest Lord" series by Steven McKay.
If you've read any of the other books from Steven A McKay, you might be surprised at the changes in the work... But if your anything like me you'll be pleasantly surprised.
This book departs from the others by adding an element of the supernatural to the otherwise historical setting and characters you would imagine. At first it took me by surprise and I was waiting for that element to be explained away. Nope! It's real and it's simultaneously mysterious and exciting!
In all, I would have liked that part to be more explained, but as the story is a short one, it leaves the reader coming to terms attempting to reconcile their own beliefs and imagine what THEY think the strange supernatural elements were rather than the author explaining it for them. Too, bad this is only one of a kind and ends where the Forest Lord stores begins... It would have made a great story to expand into a series of its own! I loved it!
I love how this one had a more supernatural feel like the old knight books! I just want him to live forever and keep pumping out books!!
The story was unintelligible because of the narrator.His voice was unpleasant. I wish someone would give him a lemoin drink and a box of tissues.So nasal and grating on the nerves.I could not finish.
I would be happy to try this author again with a different narrator.
I was disappointed that felt the story was not strong enough to overcome my dislike of the narrator.
"Great Novella from a mistaken purchase"
Sometime ago I accidentally purchased Wolfs Head (it appeared in an Audible sale, and i mistook it for another book that i thought sounded interesting). Never mind i thought, i would give this a listen - after all it was a while since i read Robin Hood. I am so glad i did. The story was gripping. The second book was even better.
This novella appeared on my screen as a recommended read. It follows Sir Richard and introduces Steven (both are in the first 2 two books, but are fleshed out a lot in the second). Its set when Richard was in Rhodes. While his other books are fairly historical - this has an element of fantasy within it.
A good gripping telling of the story. Narration was by Nick Ellsworth who also delivered an excellent delivery in the novels. This rarely happens in my experience. Audible Novellas are normally done by a different narrator. Top marks for continuity.
All in all, this is a great novella (you don't need to have read his books), good story, great pace, excellent narration.
"Thrilling and engaging listen!"
Wow! Such a thrilling story, and expertly written. I had the pleasure of listening to Nick Ellsworth narrating this novella in the Audible version, and though his cadence can come across as a little dull at first, he soon has you completely engaged in the story with his steady and honest narration. Having read some of McKay's other work, this novella was a perfect tie-in, giving a credible (but still exciting) background story for two of his characters. Excellent imagery, cohesion, and character portrayal. And like any good author, keeps you guessing right to the very end. Please can we have more like this, McKay?
"'Otherworldly' excellence !"
There are horrors beyond life's edge, that we do not suspect and once in a while, man's evil prying calls them, just within our range." from H. P Lovecraft's 'The Thing on the Doorstep'
Quite an introduction to this novella.
I had been struggling with contemporary novels from supposedly top writers. I was ditching them through boredom or an excess of clichés.
Steven A McKay is refreshing, and I find no problems getting engaged with his writing. He has no difficulty holding your attention.
A ripping good yarn !
I don't like giving too much away. The story is for the reader or listener to discover.
Nick Ellsworth is a superb reader of the audio version.
I have visited the Hospitaller Knight's castle on Rhodes so interest in this novella was easy for me.
The more 'otherworldly' parts of the story are not as 'otherworldly' as one might imagine. I would refer you to the late Harvard psychologist John E Mack and a work he was much criticised for, and another novel, called 'Eifelheim'.
H P Lovecraft, also knew what he was saying.
Steven knows his stuff, believe me, he does.
That's it, if you want to know more. Read or listen to the novella.
The main protagonist.
I suggest one reads the book.
The ones with the most suspense and action.
I am not, giving anything away.
Intrigued, as you will be as well.
Just read or listen to it. My main comments should be a significant recommendation.
Started with much promise with a few exiting twists but disappointingly rushed to an ending which was beyond belief, not in a good way.
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