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27 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable
My only criticism of this book was that it was a little too short. Otherwise, it went at a cracking pace with a good blend of action and plotting, and some well developed, likeable characters. I'd never read a book by Jack Ludlow/David Donachie before and I don't know much about the Normans pre 1066 (although Tom Holland's Millennium does cover this pivotal period in...
Published on 6 July 2009 by Deano

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "other" Norman Conquest
Beginning in 1033, this is the first part of a trilogy following the fortunes of the remarkable and ambitious Hautville family. A minor Norman baron, the penurious but prolific Tancred de Hautville produced 12 strapping sons (not to mention the odd daughter). Refused service with Duke Robert of Normandy, who regards them as a threat, the mettlesome Hautville sons...
Published on 13 Oct 2009 by Selene


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5.0 out of 5 stars Mercenaries, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
I chose the 5 star rating because the book is part of a series and is fantastic reading which I would recommend to anybody who is interested in books on the St John Knights
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction for the history buff, 22 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
This is the second book in a the fictionalized biography of the Hauteville family. It is set during the 11th Century Norman expansion into southern Italy. It gives an excellent feel for this brutal, treacherous and truly Byzantine period of Italian history. However, like many fictionalized biographies it is rather episodic in nature, and in wanting to give an account of everything that is going on at times it reads like a history book. It would probably have been a better work of fiction if it had just focused on the life of William De Hauteville, as this would have made for a more rounded story. Instead the death of this central character is hurried over, and one then feels that the remainder of the book is just being used to prepare one for the next in the series, which one assumes will focus on the next major figure in the family history, Robert De Hauteville.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a passable read, 24 Feb 2012
This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
This is the first in the conquest trilogy and is a passable read no more, he must improve to get me to read the next book in the series.Not in the same league as conn igullden,bernard cornwell and jack lydon alas.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history well read, 8 Oct 2011
I found The Conquest Trilogy a fascinating tale of a part of European history that I didn't know, and that I imagine few do despite the recent interest in the Normans and their heritage beyond 1066. Ludlow (Donachie) tells the story of the Hauteville family from their relatively humble beginnings to their dominant role in the complex politics of in South Italy and Sicily in the 11th century. I listened to the audiobook read by Jonathan Keeble who, apart from some wayward pronunciations, read with his usual high level of skill, giving the 12 brothers just enough characterisation without going over the top, yet making clear distinctions between the main figures of William, Robert and Roger Hautville. He is admirably adept with the many other key people in this tale, from popes and slippery Lombards to devious Byzantine and Saracen generals. As soon as I finished Mercenaries, I moved to Warriors and then on to Conquest. Not a literary gem, but certainly a gripping historical novel compellingly read by the experienced Keeble.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Eminently put-downable, 26 Aug 2011
This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
It may have been a good book, but the writing style caused me to stop during chapter 3,
with no wish at all to find out what happened next.
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3.0 out of 5 stars mercenaries, 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
I was disappointed with this book in fact I failed to read to the end. The first in the series I enjoyed a lot
'Gods of War' but found this book not to my liking. Much of it was rather repetitve going over old ground. You might expect that but it was too much and it began to bore. Not enough real action as oppossed to Politics of that era and progressed very slowly.
I wonder if I find the last in the series similar to this book? Perhaps I should not read the books end on but have a breather bewteen them.Overall though I do enjoy books by Jack Ludlow
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3.0 out of 5 stars The pleasure is in the detail, 15 Oct 2010
This review is from: Mercenaries (Conquest) (Paperback)
They are certainly well researched and moves at a good pace. However, sometimes too good, it's almost as if he wrote the whole series in a hurry (maybe to meet a deadline). Some scenes have quite a bit of detail and then suddenly a whole series of events will happen over a page or two.

I have greatly enjoyed his other books (in whichever of his guises) and these have been more leisurely constructed but these three books should, perhaps, have been four or even five.

All in all they have ended up as one long holiday read rather than a series of true historical novels
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Rollicking Good Story, 3 Jun 2010
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Kirzilbeg (Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia) - See all my reviews
In my view, this book is an extremely entertaining story, especially considering the subject matter; of the Norman conquests of Southern Italy and Sicily. Nevertheless, there are some let-downs: the chapters revolving around the deposed Prince Guaimar can be a little repetitive and better editing could have been useful. However, it remains a fantastic read, with wonderful detail and a generally interesting plot throughout. I rate it a must have for fans of historical fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I have enjoyed it, the characters is based loosely on real ..., 27 Aug 2014
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I have enjoyed it, the characters is based loosely on real characters in Normandy and italy and it was a interesting read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book reader, 20 July 2009
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K. Hodgson (noth east england) - See all my reviews
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WELL JACK LUDLOW has done it again he has wrote a book that you can not put down again it is well written with one hell of a story line full of good sub plots as the story goes on it just gets better and better i carnt wait for the next one in the serise please dont mis out o0n a good book know buy it borrow it but dont mis this book
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Mercenaries (Conquest)
Mercenaries (Conquest) by Jack Ludlow (Paperback - 7 Sep 2009)
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