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Serpent in the Thorns: Crispin Guest, Book 2 | [Jeri Westerson]

Serpent in the Thorns: Crispin Guest, Book 2

Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door - a body was found where she works and she’s the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, the murdered man was one of three couriers from the French king, transporting a relic intended to smooth the troubled relations between France and England.
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Publisher's Summary

Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door - a body was found where she works and she’s the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, the murdered man was one of three couriers from the French king, transporting a relic intended to smooth the troubled relations between France and England. Events quickly spin out of control and Guest now finds himself the prime suspect in the murder, one with terrible diplomatic implications. As the drumbeat of war between the two countries grow, Guest must unravel the con spiracy behind the murder to save not only his country, but himself as well.

©2009 Jeri Westerson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    Stephen Ellensburg, WA, United States 03-17-13
    Stephen Ellensburg, WA, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Knight's Honor"

    This is 2nd of an historical fiction series that was presented on audio in reverse order; but each book stands well on its own merit. Which says a lot for any book that is part of a series these days.

    This is a believable historical portrayal of Richard I era England, accompanying delightful characterizations in an intriguing adventure / mystery. There is action, a smattering of sex, a good deal of philosophy about the concept of "honor" in people of both noble and ordinary birth, all without too much agonizing over ideas when they can be shown in the deeds of the characters, from lowest to highest in the social order. There is also a sample (a bit too much for my taste) of the torture of victims of the royal jail, albeit realistic for the times. But the characters win the day, especially the "disgraced" and former knight, Crispin Guest, and his child side-kick, Jack (who provides a charming "Greek chorus", while being a good foil for our hero).

    Overall enjoyable enough to make me want to hear the entire series. And the most excellent reading of Michael Page carries me along into these stories nicely!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul McMahon Fremantle, Australia 03-02-14
    Paul McMahon Fremantle, Australia 03-02-14 Listener Since 2007

    mcmap

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    "Introspection as plot."

    I didn’t read the first book in this series as this book had better star ratings.

    Crispin, the main character, has all his self questioning inner thoughts, or interpretation of them … “he’d forgotten the noise …” explored, but to no purpose. He seems unable to do more than be dragged along by events as he spends his time thinking “… even though his good judgment told him not to …” instead of paying attention.

    He is so self absorbed while at the banquet scene that he doesn’t notice the person he is attending to keep an eye on has wandered off while he wasn’t paying attention “… he turned toward the low tables a … Where the hell was …”

    Plot exposition gets hammered into the story rather than integrating … using contrivance.

    Descriptions of the environments, the world of the middle ages, the clothes worn and the look of the characters (how long the king's hair is, what they are wearing), dominate.

    Plot exposition gets hammered into the story rather than integrating … using contrivance.

    I can’t tell if Michael Page’s reading is a contributing factor to the malaise that I eventually felt after about 5 hours that led me to abandon listening.

    Maybe the writing is the problem, not giving Page enough to work with.

    Maybe it’s a combination of both.

    Page has a good voice and his characters have unique sounds and are easily differentiated, but the reading fails to make good use of what action is in the story. It is more than just a reading, and should be more successful, but it just didn’t achieve a connection with me; I feel no empathy or sympathy with the characters. In the end I just didn’t care what happened to them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 03-23-13
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2006

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didnt see that coming"

    The second book in the series is even better than the first one. Crispin is still struggling to make a living as someone who finds missing people, things, religious artifacts, etc. Jack Tucker is still his young side kick, and the banter between the two of them is very entertaining. In this story, a French courier is murdered, a religious relic (THE crown of thorns) goes missing, and all sorts of mayhem ensures with Crispin in the middle. I love this series!

    Michael Page is excellent as the narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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