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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humdinger of a Book
I admit I was sceptical. I have always been suspicious of novels surrounding the Great Siege of Malta, possibly because it is the story of my own homeland. For such a significant episode in history, it has been largely passed-over in favour of others. Knowing the background and the places in which the events occurred, so well, I was anxious as to what I might find...
Published on 13 Mar 2007 by Fiona Scerri-headley

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Struggle
Tim Willocks' 'The Religion' is a tale of love and betrayal set against the violent and bloody backdrop of the 1565's Siege of Malta.

I was surprised on coming to write this review, that with 34 reviews already written, there hadn't been a single dissenter. Surprised, because I would have thought that, there would have been some people turned off by the heavy...
Published on 7 Sep 2008 by Quicksilver


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, 28 Aug 2007
By 
L. Pollard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
Stunning, this is the greatest historical novel I have ever read. Action, adventure, brilliant pace, six stars...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a nice surprise, 17 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
I bought this book based on previous reviews. I never imagined I would enjoy it so much. Yes, it's brutal, yes, it's gripping, yes, it's a bobby dazzler of a yarn. You are rooting for Mattias right from the start and I for one didn't want to put the book down until I'd finished it. I'm hoping now all the other books by Mr. Willocks will be just as good. Guess I'll have to buy them to find out !!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy epic., 2 July 2007
By 
Jr Lorrimer "jlorrimer" (Oakworth) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Tim Willocks and this must rank as his best work. Totally engrossing and written with such clarity it puts you in the heart of the battle. This is the finest book I've read in years. Buy it. You won't regret it. Try "Green River Rising" too.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hero bridges Christianity and Islam in historical battle story, 30 July 2007
This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
Tim Willocks `The Religion' is an outstanding historical novel written with conviction and sincerity. The research is deeply impressive. Willocks does not flinch from meeting head on the conflict between Islam and Christianity focused upon the dramatic 1565 siege of Malta. Here indeed the irresistible force meets the immovable object. The scale is indeed epic turning upon which Faith would dominate the Mediterranean and where borderlines would eventually be drawn. The famous Battle of Lepanto (1571) was only six years later.

Tannhauser (not a comfortable name for English readers] heroically expounds with erudition and sympathy the core rationale of both Faiths. Willock's literay device enabling him to do so is entirely acceptable. Less so are Tannhauser's abduction as a youth and `finding himself' in a gap year after the horror of the siege before claiming Clara his love.

The love affair is well worked, credible and sufficiently gripping to require page turning is earnest hope of a happy outcome. There is. If the six DP the three principles survive, the villain and both second strings die - most unpleasantly. All these six characters are fully fleshed out, characterised and believable. There is no hint of a cardboard cut-out.

There is much cruelty, brutality, violence blood and gore yet a thread of admirable struggle for spiritual aspiration is constant whether for Christ and Allah. A novel for today's world. Blemishes are food for critics but one remains in awe of the prodigious research and the sheer exciting brutality of the battlefields. The description of the dawn charge of 37 monks of war upon the Muslim camp is unsurpassed writing.

These 800 pages are essential reading for any student of the 1500s.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red in tooth and claw, 1 Oct 2006
By 
Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Hardcover)
Without a doubt my book of the year. Intelligent and informative, it is also a rollicking read. Rarely has war and violence been so savagely evoked - the blood and filth are all to vividly evoked, but this is leavened by the compassion with which the characters are drawn and the love that often exists between them.

Lyrical yet savage, terse yet evocative, romantic yet also unforgiving in its brutality. This is agifted writer at the zenith of his powers, even eclipsing his earlier classic, 'Green River Rising'. A modern classic and not to be missed.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're going to hit... hit hard., 29 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Religion (Hardcover)
I found The Religion an exciting, informative and extremely credible read. From page one the book ferociously pounds along with a real sense of truth. The writer's realistic insight into the nature of war and violence gives the reader a chance to feel and understand the value of brutality in this historical context. The main character Mattias Tannhauser is an incredibly violent man in all the best ways. We'd all love to have his mindset if our backs were against the wall. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in years.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pageturner!, 3 Sep 2006
By 
F. Steen "book worm" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Hardcover)
Make sure you have time enough when you start reading this novel... Read it through in one stretch.... Great read!!
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Silly and strewn with errors, 18 Jun 2013
By 
Michael Davis "Warlock" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
In the light of the many five star rave reviews, perhaps a word of caution to any potential buyer is not amiss. Whether you feel this is a good book is, I suppose, a matter of taste and it certainly appears that many have read and enjoyed the work. One thing for sure, though, is that it is a rather poor historical novel. It is strewn with silly gaffs and errors (and I didn't make it past the first chapter). For instance, the author seems to believe that ships in that day and age sailed on some sort of timetable, namely the morning and evening tide. Whether or not the tide itself is an issue (as far as I'm aware, the Med is not a tidal sea) the real point is that ships sail if the wind is favourable (the clue is in the term "sail" surely?). Ships could be wind-bound in port for days or even weeks. We are also introduced early on to a character who belongs to "the Order of Dominicans." Not a Dominican, apparently, or a member of the Order of Preachers. These are small points, perhaps, but these kind of gaffs really grate when an author attempts an historical work, and this is a good example of how not to do it.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good novel, a bit too long, 25 Jun 2007
By 
Bart Coessens (Berlin, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Religion (Paperback)
This is a good novel, a good read, just a bit too long. The battlescenes are gory and detailled, no problem, it was a bloody battle. The book is a lot better in discussing the contract between Muslims and Christians. And here the novel is to short; I would have liked more of the insight concerning the religious conflict, and shorter on the battles.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars well researched, but such a silly plot, 7 Nov 2011
Tim Willocks must have worked so hard on The Religion that it seems mean to pick holes in the book, but it is unfortunately ridiculous. The hero, Tannhauser, an obvious creature of male fantasy, is deeply unattractive, heavily tattooed and revoltingly violent. The two women who in the story find him irresistible would in real life not touch him with a bargepole, let alone put up with the brutal sex that Willocks seems to enjoy describing, but doesn't do very convincingly. The siege of Malta was a hideous though no doubt exciting and interesting affair and it has obviously been thoroughly researched, but Tim Willocks should have stuck to the history and left the fairy tales alone.
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The Religion
The Religion by Tim Willocks (Paperback - 3 May 2007)
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