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4.2 out of 5 stars109
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2013
A fundamentally good book that is badly let down by basic errors which accumulate until they are frustrating and annoying. This book is set in 14th century France so Sequoias ? No, they`re American. Black Walnut ? Also American. Tea ? Not for a few hundred years( A tisane could have been imbibed however. ) Barn Swallows looking for insects on frozen roofs in winter ? No, European Swallows fly to Africa for the winter .... and take their insect prey on the wing anyway. Late medieval French barons were not appointed by the local townspeople - no barons anywhere or at any time were appointed by townspeople - and a parish is NOT a church. A parish - in the Roman Catholic sense - `is a stable community of the faithful within a parish church whose pastoral care has been entrusted to a parish priest` ( Wikipedia. ) A parish specifically is a geographical area served by a particular church and priest. The reference by one the main female characters to her being `of the century` or of the fourteenth century is inappropriate and silly and the easy acquisition of books by a farmers daughter is not only ridiculous but bizarre in the case of the womens books. She wouldn`t have had access to books and wouldn`t have been able to read. There are many more errors, some of which have been pointed-out in other reviews.
Of the main two characters, one is such an obsessive fool that it was a relief that the story concentrated more on his brother. The ending was telegraphed from so far back that I saw it through The Hubble telescope before it reached Pluto`s orbit. The author can obviously write and at the heart of this book there a worthwhile story but she needs to adopt a far more disciplined - and active - approach to writing, research and editing.
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on 15 March 2013
I quite enjoyed this historical romance about two brothers separated at and early age, one becoming a priest and the other a fearsome soldier. When they meet much later they tell each other the story of their lives, with chapters alternating between their stories. Both fall inappropriately in love, which cause them to break away from their destined path and both suffer for that love.

The book is set in France in the mid 1300's and others have praised its historical accuracy but I wasn't convinced after reading near the beginning of a farmer feeding turkeys - more than a century before Columbus. Also a female character is reading books and casually tossing one aside, amost a century before Gutenberg made books possible at an price affordable for all but the very richest. This woman also called people 'fourteenth century buffoons' which I thought an odd insult to use in the 14thC.

A mention of the Hundred Years war, a war that started in 1337 and wouldn't be known by that name until long after it finished also puzzled as did a reference to Lamond deBourbon falling in love with Mary Plantagent in 1346 (when she was 2) and marrying her, when I thought it was John V, Duke of Brittany to whom she was married. Reading of people drinking tea, which came to Europe in the 16thC and celebrating with Champagne several hundred years before that sparkling wine appeared made me question all the other historical gobbets that have been inserted into slow down the action.

Of the two life stories I much prefered the soldier's, there was a lot going on and it was much more interesting and exciting to me than that of the soppy priest whose name, D'ata, kept reminding me of a Star Trek character. However pehaps for female readers the love interest would be more interesting.

I guessed the ending but not the odd supernatural element that jarred.

I'd certainly read the author's next book as she has real talent and can expertly tell a gripping story.

The Kindle edition was well formatted and I noticed only one typo - should be river Rhone not Rhome.
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on 29 February 2012
This tale is set in the medieval era in southern and north western France. The authors for the most part have captured the essence of the era; the simplicity, architecture, religiosity, despotism and brutality.

Twin brothers who are separated through family tragedy at a very early age find different foster homes and have only vaguest memories of their past. The book develops the story of each of them, one chapter paralleling the other. The brothers are both forced into careers they do not want, one violent and the other peaceful and meet women who they adore, but are forbidden for various reasons. They finally meet when their lives converge in a dungeon and spend one night talking to each other. At this juncture I will not write further of the plot which would destroy the denouement. The auxilliary characters are very well drawn and are more than cardboard cutouts. They are not makeweights of any kind having a crucial bearing on the interwoven stories. As a result there's a veracity about the action reminiscent of Geoffrey Chaucer's descriptions.

This is a beautifully written and imaginative tale. Even the pace is redolent of the era and it is evoked subtly by mentions of horses, architecture, morals and manners. There are flaws; occasionally some of the dialogue lapses into modern speak when words would never have been used in that way but it raises a smile rather than annoyance; the meaning is at least clear. A second flaw is the authors/editor/proofreader do not know the difference between effect/affect and that people are not drug across floors, but dragged.

I have given this book five stars because to write it needed quality research and the effort to do this was well worth it. Both history buffs and fans of tales from the medieval period will find this enjoyable as well as those looking for action romance.
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on 20 May 2013
In the Execution two people, a priest and a condemned man, the night before that latter is to be executed tell each other the stories of their lives. In that construction lies the major problem in the book, that being that one story is rather good, the other dull and boring. Sadly the priest feels the need to tell his story. There are also some overarching oddities with famous French surnames popping up all over the place, characters feeling the necessity to say that it is the Fourteenth century a bit too often, and some glaring historical inaccuracies.

Not bad for a free book, but nowhere near great.
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on 23 July 2013
I really enjoyed this book. I found the stories of both these characters to be very engaging and looked forward to picking it up whenever I had the chance. While I agree with some of the other reviewers that the story may not be historically accurate, I dont think these small elements take away from it. After all, it is a work of fiction! Definitely worth a read.
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on 3 April 2015
Clearly written by a half educated American, the metaphors are so mixed and anachronistic, the similes so obvious, this book is tedious from the first page. I gave it up and deleted it from my iPad within the first hour. How's does stuff like this get published? I should have known better, it was free on Amazon!
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on 15 July 2013
I have read some of the other reviews and have no idea about the historical accuracy of this book nor do I care really. I just let my imagination go with the story whilst on my sunny holidays and was captivated. It was simple with a bit of an Oliver Twist storyline but I loved the sadness and the happiness of it.
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on 28 June 2013
Where to start ?
I have rarely read a book with such extremes of emotions. The intimacy the two brothers shared for a night that spanned their lifetimes is matched only by the brilliant writings that tell of parallel lives so different yet so similarly tragic. What a book! Read it and weep!
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on 15 March 2012
If you are going to write a historical novel, I think you ought to have some grasp of history. If the story is set in the 1300s you can't talk about Guillotines, protestants or tobacco.
It should also be proof-read so that people don't have angry red whelps on their backs after a beating, or people being beaten viscously.
The writing style is excellent but so many errors just spoil it.
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on 28 December 2014
Ravan, the innocent orphan, the misbegotten pup of a dead whore. Ravan, the responsible, hard-working young lad, always ready to help. Ravan, the silent hunter, the skilled killer, the convicted criminal awaiting execution, molded by the hand of the King of Mercenaries.

D'ata, the priest, hopelessly in love with Julianne, his forbidden fruit. D'ata, always in trouble for some priestly misdeed, pushing the limits of his brotherhood farther and farther, until one day he explodes.

But D'ata's true brotherhood lies elsewhere, hidden inside the mysteries of his wayward doppelganger, each man broken by a fate that is not his own.

Twin brothers who couldn't be more different, the criminal path versus the holy path, until they come face-to-face for the first time on the fateful eve of the deathwatch.

This tale winds round and round, like an innocent thread that you twirl around your finger unthinking. But then the thread tightens, gripping your finger and it won't let go. That's what The Execution does… it grips you with a hand unseen, until it's too late.

I had a hard time putting this down to go to bed, even though I was dead tired. Just one more chapter, and then sleep, just one more. And one more. And one more again… I wish I could give this one ten stars!

Favorite quote: "Curious how human nature draws more to a death than a birth. Let a child be born and a few significant loved ones will gather, but let a man die? Even his most remote acquaintance will show up."

Second favorite: "When did I lose him? At what point did my childhood end?"

— Sharon Delarose
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