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Publisher's Summary

England, 1346: For Thomas Blackstone, the choice is easy - dance on the end of a rope for a murder he did not commit, or take up his war bow and join the king's invasion of France. As he fights his way across Northern France, Blackstone will learn the brutal lessons of war - from the terror and confusion of his first taste of combat, to the savage realities of siege warfare.

Vastly outnumbered, Edward III's army will finally confront the armored might of the French nobility on the field of Crecy. It is a battle that will change the history of warfare, a battle that will change the course of Blackstone's life, a battle that is just the first chapter in the book of a legend - Blackstone: Master of War.

©2013 David Gilman (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Master of War

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • YL
  • 05-08-20

Winnie the Pooh and Richard Sharpe as Filibuster

Not for children but read as if to a small one. A tale of war written with the pacing of a brick-sized pulp romance novel.

Skilled voice actors seem to take one of two approaches to reading books. I think of them as reading to a child or acting for adults. Reading to a child is characterized by melodramatic narration, rising and falling, slowing and speeding up; those things we do to let our children—who don’t have the experience to put a bedtime tale into context—how to feel about what they’re hearing: "be sad now", "now be afraid", and so on. In readings for children, character voice qualities are chosen to tell the child which characters are good and evil, tough and weak.

Acting for adults I think of as usually having flat narration with most of the effort and vocal range saved to give characters distinctive voices the audience can separate and voices that match the characters physical qualities. RC Bray is a master of the latter, Gildart Jackson (this book’s reader) the former, and Patrick Tull the exception who masterfully did both at once (albeit into a mic made of string and can).

I was not looking for the bedtime story approach Jackson uses for Master of War, and so I suffered for my mistake in small part because of Jackson, in large part because Gilman belabors every point, stretches out every scene, seemingly without an editor in sight to cut the fat. That belaboring conveyed via a bedtime parent was excruciating. The romantic musings of a teenage-minded author on a teenage character’s romantic musings was lemon in the wound. The main character’s inexplicable, often treasonous, behavior and thoughts and actions always portrayed as anything but made me wonder if Gilman had lost the plot, both figuratively and literally.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A hero to relate to

From the beginning I knew it would be a story to my taste. Classic underdog making it big time middle ages story. Gotta love the attention to detail to the importance of British archery skill and the longbow advantage. The tale is almost cliche in how many boxes it ticks haha. Young boy must grow intimate a man rapidly in war time. Had to take care of his disabled brother. Rescues a damsel in distress and gains noble notoriety through bravery and tactics.

1 person found this helpful

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Push through 1st half reading - 2nd is quite enjo

Excellent book & in the 2nd half the narrator does a fine job. It's a shame he was given such poor direction in the 1st half - I almost stopped listening. Glad I didn't.

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Entertaining to the End

Having stumbled upon this author while perusing through audible, I’m feeling pretty pleased with my discovery. This was an extremely entertaining journey. Though the setting had been wrote about time and again, I found storyline original and absorbing to the last. The next book in the series is in my queue.

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A Gripping Tale of an English Archer

I enjoyed this tale of English Archer Thomas Blackstone. After coming to grips with the truth of his fate, his early life of hard work made him into one of the greatest archers fighting for the English in France. Against orders, he saves the life of a young woman from one of the house of a French noble and the rewards change his life. I thought the narration was excellent. This is the first in the series and I look forward to reading/listening to more from David Gilman.

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Pleasant surprise

Being a big fan of historical fiction I have to say this first book of the series is very good. Story and characters are solid. narration is good. A couple of the reviews almost made me pass on this book and I'm happy I gave it a shot.

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CONSIDERABLY GREAT ONE

Great narration, could use more special effects, great story line, good main character. Definately one of the better books in this class of series.

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Not for kids !

This is a finally naratted book. A little rough on language. Had to put headphones on so i wasnt constantly on edge wait for explicits. Strange story of twisted fate and midevil war.