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Publisher's Summary

Hugh De Luc, a poor innkeeper, returns home from the First Crusade wearied from battle and disillusioned by carnage. After journeying from the Holy Land back to his own small village, he finds his nightmare is just beginning.

In his absence, Hugh's son has been killed and his beloved wife, Sophie, abducted by a ruthless duke in search of a priceless relic dating back to the Crucifixion. Taking on the role of a jester, Hugh infiltrates the court where he believes Sophie is held captive. There he confronts men more evil than he ever imagined and embarks on an epic battle to restore his broken life.

©2003 James Patterson, All Rights Reserved. (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of AOL Time Warner Book Group

Critic Reviews

"From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring...unforgettable characters...Patterson's fans will love this one." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Wonderful entertainment

The narration is excellent. Each voice fits the character perfectly and greatly enriches the experience. Romance, blood and guts, revolution,raunchy humor, history and religion in equal parts. What more could you want ? The good guy even triumphs! I didn't want to stop listening or the story to end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Spellbound and engaged

The Jester is one of the best books I have read (heard) based on the dark ages crusades, ties in historical facts with a good paced story and multiple links between characters and religious artifacts. The ending was such a suprise as we learn who people really were, this is a great read for all. Well pleased and highly reccommend this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sally
  • Cockeysville, MD, USA
  • 03-16-03

This is a good book.

I took a chance on this one and was not disappointed. It held my interest all the way through, with brilliant characterizations, lots of action, and some history thrown in. Not for the feint of heart. Improbable, but happy, ending. If you don't enjoy this time period, ca 1000 AD, avoid this book. It is about the Crusades.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 10-15-04


I think James Patterson is a hit or miss. This one is a hit. I read it over 6 months ago and I often think back about how great this book was. The narration of this book doesn't get any better. I love how The Jester took me back in time and made be feel like I was living during the time of the crusaders. This book is a must read...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jo
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • 09-16-03

Grand adventure story

The plot may be a little bit formulaic but the story is grand adventure all the same, and I enjoyed it. I'm a little surprised by the negative reviews - it is a book about medieval times for grownups, after all. The "bawdy" jokes and sex references are quite mild, so if you find this book offensive for that then I'd have to say you most definitely qualify as a prude. If anything, it was the violence and wanton cruelty of war practices and criminal injustice during those ages that made me wince.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Mitchellville, MD, USA
  • 06-05-03

Just Good Fun

If your looking for great fiction this isn't for you but if you want to be entertained than this story has much to offer. Yes, you have to take large chunks of the story with a boulder of salt and forgive many plot devices. However, I enjoyed this novel tremendously and the narration was great. I loved the period aspects of the book especially the peasants against the nobles and just didn't care about the accuracy. There are authors that take much more liberties with history than are found in this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Derek B.
  • A strange midwestern city, United States
  • 06-04-10

Great characters and story.

Some of Pattersons books dont hit home to me but this one is, well, in a way beautiful. I cant call it anything else because that is the way I saw it after I finished it. The characters came to life and meant something to me while I read and not too many books do that. I read it and then got the audiobook because I loved it so much. And I have only done that a couple of times before. I recommend it to anyone that loves a story about fighting to overcome great evil for the one you love. The book is about so much more than just that but this is a huge theme to the book. The book does have some curse words in it but they do not drown it in needless vulgarity. I hope you love it if you try it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martin
  • Staten Island, NY, USA
  • 01-05-04

The Jester

Kept my interest. Good story, but not one of Patterson's best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donald
  • Holden, MA, USA
  • 09-24-03

Yet Another James Patterson

If you like midieval themes, this is one of the best out there. In Patterson's first delve into a quasi-historical fiction, he's done a pretty incredible job. It certainly is better than the Steven R. Lawhead Pendragon series and gets you thinking about the predicament his characters get in. From a historical point of view, it leads the reader through some pretty accurate accountings of landowner abuse of their citizens and what medieval times were like. The plot of one rising as the leader for the benefit of all leaves one, if you have that kind of imagination, cheering in your car seat. I have also read this in hard copy and think that if you are not expecting an Alex Cross novel, like historically based fiction, and can delve into the character development, this one is a barn-burner.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peyton
  • Imperial, PA United States
  • 03-28-03

Not Sharpe's Rifles, but along the same lines

If you like honor, history, and sword swinging action... The Jester comes close. It's questionable as to historical accuracy, but has the basic elements of a Bernard Cornwell 'Sharpe's' series, just not quite as well done. If you've already gone through the Cornwell series, this will do nicely while waiting for another Sharpe.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful