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Saxon: The Book of Dreams

Saxon: The Book of Dreams [Kindle Edition]

Tim Severin
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Still breathless from his stirring Viking series, author and explorer, Tim Severin has moved back 200 years in time to unearth a fresh and fertile patch of history on which to summon up his readers blood ... As always. Severin excels in his palpable sense of history and adventure, rich period detail, thrilling battle sequences and fascinating, larger-than-life characters who strut their hour upon his epic stage ... a gripping start to what promised to be another all-action historical series." --Lancashire Evening Post

"Saxon is a very good page-turning read ... exciting and full of interesting historical detail." --The Bookbag blog

"A terrific read, and the first in a series: watch this space!"
--Good Book Guide

Product Description

Frankia 780AD: Sigwulf, a minor Saxon prince, is saved from execution after his family is slaughtered by the ruthless King Offa of Mercia. Thanks to his Devil's Mark – his eyes of different colours – Sigwulf is exiled to the Frankish court of King Carolus

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 624 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (2 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008I33Z76
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,790 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tim Severin, explorer, film-maker and lecturer, has made many expedition from his crossing of the Atlantic in a medieval leather boat in The Brendan Voyage to, most recently, In Search of Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Book of the Sea Award, a Christopher Prize, and the literary medal of the Academie de la Marine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Anglish man abroad 12 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Severin's Viking trilogy a few years ago, so when I saw this the first in a series seemingly about Saxons I jumped in. Only to find it really isn't about the saxons at all. Well it's about one of them, who within the first few pages finds himself in Charlemagne's Frankia! Bothered? No not really because it was a cracking little book!

What I like about Severin is he writes with a warmth and wit, and he is a writer first rather than a historian 'having a bash' so it's a seamless and relaxed read with no jarring, wincing or groaning.

Severin also knows how to steer a clear path around cliche. The story moves smoothley but quickly with constant scene changing so there was no 11.30pm waking up with a jolt to find the book still in front of me and the bedside light still on or reading the same paragraph 20 times. I love the way Severin portrays people and dialogue, it feels real and engages me. He tells a 'romp' rather than an all action war book. So readers buying what they think is a Saxon 'ala Uthred' type story may be disapointed but I wasn't.

Vague non spoiling plot synopsis for those who want one.

Sigwulf, a young Saxon finds himself despatched to the court of Charlemagne with his slave Osric. There he befriends that hero of french poetry Hroudland (Roland), becomes the lover of a princess and interprator of royal dreams. He has enemies too and is stalked by a would be assassin. What follows is adventures on the royal hunt, on the road and in Saracen held Hispania and the encountering of a rich cast of characters.

In summary, exciting, witty, and occasionally moving. Count me in for book 2.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this first episode of his new Saxon series, Tim Severin treats us with a "realistic" version of the life and death of Count Hroudland (the Rollo of the Chansons de Geste) and King Karl's first expedition against Muslim Spain, at a time when he had not yet got himself crowned Emperor under the name of Charlemagne (or Carolus Magnus). The story is told from the perspective of one Sigwulf, the exiled son of a minor Saxon chieftain whose family was slaughtered by King Offa of Mercia. The way the story is told is hardly original, but the author's brisk and to the point style makes for a lively tale.

Tim Severin has clearly done his research and read the historical sources. In particular, his portrait of King Karl, very tall and strong with a long moustache but a high pitched voice happens to be confirmed both from the sources and from archaeology (the size of The Frankish King's skeleton is 1.92 meters). Other details, such as the fact that he could not read, his restless energy, his fits of bad temper, that he had several wives and multiple daughters from a large number of concubines, that his only living son during the first decade of his reign was a hunchback, are also drawn from the written sources that have survived.

The picture that Tom Severin draws of the Kingdom of the Franks - powerful but vulnerable with far away and troublesome borders (Saxony, Carinthia, Spain and Brittany) - of the King's Court, of Karl's love of hunting, and of his palace at Achen, still under construction at the time when this story takes place, are also excellent. Another nice touch, among many others, is Tom Severin's presentation of the paladins whom he makes into the sons and relatives of powerful lords.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book of dreams 3 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good, interesting read for someone like myself who likes a good historical fiction. Looking forward to the next book already
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 26 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book could not put it down. Plenty of strong characters that are woven in with historical fact. I would though-rely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 27 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this book just after finishing the last novel in Bernard Cornwells Warrior Chronicles series. Expecting another enjoyable read of a historical adventure, I was totally disappointed. This book seems as if it was written for a younger target audience, The characters were weak, the plot completely unbelievable and the historical content light. I only finished the book in the hope that it would improve, but it didn't. If there was a way that I could get a refund I would take it.

I won't be reading more of this Authors work. Once bitten twice shy! The professional critics that rated this book highly should be ashamed of themselves!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tale 28 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tim Severin has captured the atmosphere and taste of the period again and then painted pictures so vivid I could not put this one down. Where is book two?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 28 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Thoroughly enjoyable read. A little far fetched in some instances and reference to the Holy Grail is a little predictable, but still looking to see what happens to Sigwulf in the next instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saxon History 19 Feb 2013
By shelagh
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another good read and can't wait to read the follow-up and future reads by this author
When is the next due?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 4 days ago by Dennis Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book Tim at his best
Published 15 days ago by S. Macartney
4.0 out of 5 stars I have been reading a lot recently of the Saxons ...
I have been reading a lot recently of the Saxons so this book came as a surprise as it was based mostly in France and Spain, but highly enjoyable anyway. Read more
Published 1 month ago by phill williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Saxon the book of dreams
A good read, Ideal holiday/travel book,
not too heavy a read , plenty of action.
I plant to read the sequel.
Published 2 months ago by Clifford I.
2.0 out of 5 stars Banal and stilted
First chapter seemed good but it quickly descended into a repetitive and superficial narrative. The characters were shallow and had no credibility.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars saxon
Not a bad book have read better. Why do Amazon want so many words, 8 maximum is necessary. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN
Published 3 months ago by Georgina Brasier
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard reading
Was not sure to begin with as I had not heard of this author, however, I started to read the novel, and as I got into the story, I could not put the book down.
Published 3 months ago by E Read
2.0 out of 5 stars school library fodder.
its written for a twelve year old,ie. too easy reading.
too descriptive.alot of the narrative a figment of the imagination.
Published 3 months ago by Jim Yates
2.0 out of 5 stars saxon
Not really a good read. A lot of reading without a great story. The ending was came whwn I was expec ting another chapter. Can't really advise anyone to read this. Read more
Published 3 months ago by irene Dickson
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a book
Shock, horror! I just have to write a few more words to get rid of this virtual demand for a review.
Published 7 months ago by kensom
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