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by Nicolas, Hertfordshire, UK
This, the first book of a trilogy devoted to the Norman family that made such an impression on southern Italy in the mid-11th century, is well-researched and weaves interesting history with vivid main characters. The author paints a strong picture of the political and personal machinations of the time...and this is all heightened by Jonathan Keeble's expert delivery. He delineates the characters, pushes the story along, and explains clearly the (at times) complex politics and devious machinations as well as the dominating Norman military tactics. If only he had had a bit more help with pronunciation of the Italian and Norman names, it would have been perfect. In any case, I bought this, the first novel and immediately went on to the other two, spending more time in the gym than I had anticipated! In any case, he is a TOP reader.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A book well suited to the audio format. The reader is a neutral voice with good management of character and variation of tone; a very competent, enjoyable effort.
The tale is set just before the time of William the Conqueror and it evokes the day to day of that period without being bogged down in pointless descriptive detail. Many of the characters actually lived, and the events follow, to some degree, events of that time.
The book stands on its own, mostly. It finishes with a tease for ongoing action, but this doesn't detract from it being a pleasant experience for those who like lite reading of stories set in those days. But it is book one of three, so you may be committed to all to see how the longer story unfolds.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Very nice book of real persons from history. There is a podcast by Lars Brownworth about Normans role in history. Episode 8 is about William iron arm who is the main character in the book. It seems to stay close to the real events. I will by the next book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful