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The Book of Dreams (Saxon) Paperback – 25 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447212142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447212140
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

"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

About the Author

Tim Severin, explorer, traveller, author, film-maker and lecturer has made many expeditions, most recently in search of Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe, and has written books about all of them. He made his historical fiction debut with the hugely successful VIKING series. The Book of Dreams is the first in the new SAXON series.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 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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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug. 2012
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 By stuart hamilton on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chilloutman2 on 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 By badgerc2002 on 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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By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
OK, years ago I read a wonderful series all about the Vikings by Tim and whilst I didn't own the first part in hardback, when I had the opportunity to I quickly fixed that problem as its been a series I've read quite a few times since due to my love of the characters and the writing skill that generated a wonderful story.

So when I heard that Tim was tackling a series set around the Saxons, well I couldn't wait to see what would unfurl. As with the Viking series, Tim's writing brings a lost world wonderfully to life, its descriptive, has some wonderfully descriptive sequences and when added to great combat really makes this a book to sit back with and enjoy. However, whilst this alone is usually enough to sell a book, Tim takes it one stage further by giving the reader a lead character that they can like to spend time with. Whilst Sigwulf is definitely his own man, its his foibles and the authors imaginative sequences that bring it to the fore, It's a great start and to be honest I am just pleased that I had the second book ready to roll as soon as I finished this one. Great stuff.
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