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)
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!
Say something about yourself!
I tend to shy away from 20+ hour books, but after reading the reviews of "The Religion", I decided to give it a try and I was not disappointed. I had previously read a history of the 1565 invasion of Malta and so, was familiar with the subject matter. The author's attention to detail is uncanny, the character development simple and easy to keep up with. For those who enjoy a good historical novel, this is one to sit back and enjoy. Yes, it could have been a bit shorter, but not by enough to make a difference. The narration was great. Highly recommend
educational, interesting and Smart.
It was much like the works of Wilbur Smith and James Clavell.
He never distracted me from the story.
This novel appeals to both men and women. Vivid battles, touching relationships and conflicting cultures are all explored and will leave you wanting more.
The night Carla played her music at the waters edge and Tannhauser was able to hear it through his fevered and weakened state in the Islamic camp.
This was the first time I ever listened to Simon Vance, but he truly captured the characters.
I would not rename this book. At first I was put off by the name thinking that it another book with endless religous dogma. But within just a few pages I knew this novel's title meant much more.
I want a sequel!
"The Religion" is at first glance a classic action-adventure novel on a grand scale. The kind of story like those of Samuel Shellabarger or Thomas Costain that I read as a teen and which captured my imagination. Stories where the heroes were larger than life, defeated the villains and always got the girl. The difference here is that "The Religion" is written with a screenwriter's eye for imagery and a historian's passion for accurate detail that the aforementioned authors were never encumbered by. It's that imagery and detail that makes the author's scenes of battle and battle's aftermath so viscerally vivid and, for some I'm sure, disturbing. The Siege of Malta was fought in an age when steel blades overlapped with gunpowder and the author does not flinch when describing the horrific effects of edged weapons and low velocity firearms on the human body. Nor does he spare us scenes of the human suffering resulting from the virtually nonexistent medical care available to the wounded at the time. In that respect. the novel often reads like an extension of John Keegan's book "The Face of Battle".
What is also remarkable is the author's evenhandedness in his portrayal of the two combatant sides. There are many things to admire in both the Christian and Muslim camps but religious fanaticism, of which both sides are guilty, is portrayed as the unreasoning and frightening force it can be. All in all it makes for some intense and, I found, thought provoking listening.
That aside, students familiar with the history of the Great Siege of Malta will recognize all of the key actions of the struggle and the author can be forgiven the device of having his main character present at, or even the instrument of, most of them.
As always, the narration of Mr Vance breathes life into the text and makes for a throughly enjoyable experience.
This is rip roaring historic adventure, set in the epicenter of the brutal battle between the Hospitaller Knights and the Muslim army of Suleiman the Magnificent on the Isle of Malta in 1565. The plot involves Mattias Tannhauser, a crafty adventurer who is commissioned by Countess Carla la Penautierto to find and rescue her 12-year-old illegitimate son, who was snatched from her grasp at the moment of his birth. Countess Carla knows her son is on the Isle of Malta, but nothing else about him. The undertaking takes Tannhauser, Carla and a couple of their friends to the Isle of Malta, stronghold of the Hospitaller Knights, right on the brink of the historic to-the-death Battle of Malta in all its bloody glory. Willocks knows his history well and the reader feels like he has been plunged into this historical era in all its gritty and brutal glory. Not a pleasant read for the racially sensitive or those offended by graphic descriptions of sex and violence. But it's all integral to the plot and this is a very exciting and enjoyable book. Highly recommended!
Too much excrement!
This is a decent story in a fascinating setting. The historical details are interesting and characters appealing. However, the authors endless fascination with excrement, bowels and soiling oneself in battle detracts from the story - almost to the point that I was going to stop listening. The narrators performance was excellent, however and kept me going.
I've been using audible since 2004. I don't have time to read as much as I want so listening is my alternative.
This is a graphic story. Love the characters. Not fully developed, but they work. The battle scenes and sex get to be a bit long at times, but worth getting to the end. I love long reads, or listens in this case. This is one of the best!
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