In Messina, Sicily, a French countess, Carla la Penautier, seeks a passage to Malta in a quest to find the son taken from her at his birth 12 years ago. The only man with the expertise and daring to help her is a Rabelaisian soldier of fortune, arms dealer, former janissary, and strapping Saxon adventurer by the name of Mattias Tannhauser. He agrees to accompany the lady to Malta, where, amidst the most spectacular siege in military history, they must try to find the boy - whose name they do not know and whose face they have never seen - and pluck him from the jaws of Holy War.
The Religion is Book One of The Tannhauser Triology, and from the first page of this epic account of the last great medieval conflict between East and West, it is clear we are in the hands of a master. Not since James Clavell has a novelist so powerfully and assuredly plunged readers headlong into another place and time. Anne Rice transformed the vampire novel. Stephen King reinvented horror. Now, in a spectacular tale of heroism, tragedy, and passion, Tim Willocks revivifies historical fiction.
©2006 Tim Willocks; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
"Willocks...strikes gold with this epic account." (Publishers Weekly)
It is interesting to read individual perspectives on books. This is book where one of its themes is concerning two religious groups who were at war with each other. Some folks just do not want to understand that when you have one group trying to wipe another group of people off the face of the earth, violence will be front and center. This is a long book, but it really gives the writer an opportunity to develop the characters, setting, plot and the themes beyond war that are occuring in their lives; particularly that of the main character. This is not about about a war; this is a book about a man who was snared between two cultures and peoples, who was trained as a warrior in a time period of incredible transition for a huge segment of the European and Ottaman population. This is a book about this one man's life and his trainsitions. A good solid read.
I had a hard time following the story in the beginning, but the more I listened, the easier it got. In the end I came to appreciate how cleverly he wove a story around history or history around a story. Not for the squeamish. He could not have portrayed religion any better. Excellent.
I thouroughly enjoyed this book tape. It grabbed me from the beginning. The reader is fantastic and the characters are very well developed. I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy.
The ingredients are here for a first class read or listen.
The author knows how to use words, he has an interesting cast of characters, and an epic setting for his action. Simon Vance does a good job in presenting the book. Still, having listened to two of the three parts, I find I must subtract one star for lack of character development and one for verbosity.
Too much of the book fails to gel. The characters are interesting, but they never quite become people. The action and gore are certainly there, but the purpose seems to get lost. The background action rarely rises above two sets of fanatics bashing each other, although the author is capable of depicting each side in its absolute belief that it is the true champion of all that is right.
I think the author is a good writer, with a good grasp of the period, but he is not yet a good storyteller. A pity.
The book, characters, and story are among the best I've read recently. The narration by Simon Vance only made it a better experience. While it is very graphic in describing the scenes of war, it is an "eye opener" on what it was like to be on Malta during the siege in the 16th century.
The richly descriptive and detailed text presented in perfect narrative.
The lead, Tanhouser - he fights, he loves, he's loyal, he survives - he's the hero!
Bors of Carlyle - the ever faithful sidekick
There were more than several occasions when I neglected other tasks and just kept on listening past planned times because of the heat of battle or the impending action.
Great book, superb narration.
I love historical fiction and I found this to be artfully written, brilliantly performed and extremely entertaining. It is quite violent and certainly not for the faint of heart. Warning: it's the first book of a trilogy and I have not been able to locate the second book on audio and the third book is supposedly being written now (2015).
One of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
The background of Malta was a perfect place to learn about the characters, and the tale of love, friendship and honor was well done.
I've listen to the story three times over the last several years. The characters are so awesome and Simon Vance is the best narrator ever!
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