Most helpful critical review
oooh Daddy, pass the tomatoes...........
on 2 July 2015
It is a good concept - putting a medieval twist on a familiar formula, but it has plenty of problems that make it an annoying read.
Firstly, it is written in the first person in real time and comes across a bit like an adult comic strip narration. Only at the end in the authors voluminous notes is it revealed it was written as an episodic serial.
Secondly, it appears to be crammed full of historical references that add to it's "authentic feel". Only it unravels quickly. It is glaringly American written as "pop history" facts are thrown about in huge dollops. We clearly don't want to read medieval spellings and grammar, but neither do I want to see American spellings such as ax, armor, clamor, color, etc. There are also references to tomatoes! Nobody had owned up to discovering the Americas when this story is set (the Vikings were discrete enough to not admit it), so no tomatoes I'm afraid. The pepper references - possibly, if he means black pepper (from India) and not the South American pepper fruits. It was called black gold in those days and would have been VERY expensive. And "Daddy" - a term not used until about 200 years later. These may seem trivial errors, but a lot of effort goes into the authentication section at the end and the glaring errors make everything else suspect.
Thirdly, it was just a "cat with nine lives" kind of story - they have armour, they lose armour, they get new armour, they lose that armour. They have swords, they lose swords, they get new swords, they lose those swords. They get captured, they escape, they get captured again, they escape again. They have horses, they lose horses, they.......you get the idea. Probably works ok if you are "reading" a 5 panel comic strip in a magazine or newspaper. But there is little plot, no character development and absolutely no tension.
I started this review giving it 3 stars, but the more I think about I felt it was worth only 2 - and that mainly because I liked the concept.
PS Roberto - the castles like Bodiam had the gardens and water features added much, much later, not built in to active fortresses. What a tourist sees now is not how they looked in the 14th Century.
This is what happens when your research is carried out on-line.