Most helpful positive review
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2013
Having finished this ebook only moments ago, I thought I would take a little time and offer my first ever book review.
I am confident in having read a very high percentage of books relating to Templar, Crusades and Salah ah-Din etc. both as fact and fiction and feel that I can write with some authority albeit that of an amateur historian, though I'm sure a smart-ass or two will delight in pointing-out any error I make. I am the first to admit that I am not as elegant nor word proficient as other reviewers, for this I apologise.
Having followed a number of publishers on Twitter, I frequently found this title and author in my feed and thought I'd give this book a go. I must add that I am ashamed to write the author was then unknown to me.
When you start reading The Templar's Apprentice, it quickly becomes evident that we have an author who has grasped the knack in presenting a great story with a strong narrative. We start at a slow pace, the setting cleverly isolating the leading and supporting characters to set us on our path without barraging us with an assortment of names.
Our apprentice, setting and supporting characters continue to develop at a healthy rate, focusing on each in a manner that gives familiarity but not so much that it hampers our read. Reading from the eyes, thoughts and memories of the protagonist, we set out on a delightful journey; that is historically strong for a book of this genre.
It is plain from the start that the author has researched here, frequently presenting us with contemporary terms and names, however unlike some, does not go to great lengths to explain these. To continually explain what's and where's not only detracts from a story, I find it quite insulting. Peter Tolladay expertly continues with the story, assuming you are familiar with these words, or happy to turn for a moment to that omnipresent all knowing tool we call google.
Though-out our journey, we encounter Templars, including the Grand Master himself. Unusually for a book of this type, we do not dwell on ceremony or mysteries that many other have. For me this demonstrates an understanding of the period and the Order. Too often authors confuse Templar with Mason. Here we are made aware of Templar observations and obedience, with the author tactfully skirting ceremonies.
The story continues to gain speed, giving us plenty of pitched battles that include a little gore but certainly not disturbing in detail. The fight scenes in this book are expertly balanced and carry us smartly to a battle, where finally the armies of the Christian West, sweltering under the heat of the sun, charge headlong into the vast army of Islam and the great Salah ah-Din. A battle that has been retold in numerous books and movies but crafted expertly here. As the battle ensues we are not weighed down with bloody detail that you may find elsewher which I believe makes this book suitable reading for younger readers and giving an exceedingly good introduction to the period and dare I say honour.
spoiler alert: there are a few rude bits, just close your eyes, count to 10 and move on.
This book is about the development of the central character, supported by strong cast. It is only natural to include a chapter or two on the bonding of two people. We are given detail that isn't too graphic.
I did notice a couple of typos, which I would expect to see corrected in the next revision. These however were few (I've seen far worse) and didn't detract in any way from the story.
We have here an outstanding book. If you like this subject, you'd be a fool not to read this.
This is a Kindle exclusive, at £1.91 it is one heck of a bargain. Terry Tibbs would tell you it's `the sale of the century' and though I wouldn't go as far to agree, it must surely come a very close second. If you don't own a Kindle, I have to say you're missing out.
I've given this 4 stars. The book is exceptionally good, but anything can be bettered. So it is with a little regret that I will hold onto the final star for the foreseeable future.
Conn Iggulden watch out, we have here a challenger for your crown.
Oh, I'm going a little off piste here but can we please pressure the British government to drop the VAT on ebooks. Thank you, and thank you for reading. Now go download the book :)