Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone for a Game of Kings?, 18 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) (Oathsworn 5) (Hardcover)
The Oathsworn series is one of those 'must have now' series for me. Partly because they are just so well written and researched, but mainly because characters in this ongoing story are like my own personal friends now having spent some 4 years travelling with them.

So this episode was a little bit disappointing in that Orm and Finn have fairly small parts to play in the overall story. That is because, as the name of the novel indicates, this is the Crowbone show! For those of you who have been with the series from early on, you will remember young Olaf (aka Crowbone) was the prince come slave rescued by the Oathsworn from his life chained to a privvy.

Here we catch up with him on a quest to find the lost Axe of Eric Bloodaxe known as Odin's daughter, in the belief this magical item will bring him closer to the main prize of becoming King of Norway. This gives the story a 'Quest' theme with also a bit of a 'Norse its a knockout' flavour as several rival teams all set off to find the Axe at the same time. (anyone under 30 will have no idea what I'm on about!)

As usual I will try and avoid spoiling so will just touch on the themes rather than the plot. These were largely about Norse power politics and King making which can be roughly distilled down to make men love you or fear you and if you can do neither bury an axe in their head. Crowbone has to come to terms with being the main man and leader in the absence of his Jarl Orm and suffers some mixed fortunes as a result.
The story starts with a bedraggled collection of priests on the Isle of Mann with a secret and climax's in the mountain caverns of Finland via the battle for power in Ireland. It's all about ambition and revenge really.

Low stirs in his hard won research and knowledge of spending much of his time living like a Viking into the story and each Oathsworn adventure feels further steeped in genuine Norse culture and language. So much so I have found myself using the word plootering much to the confusion of my family! There was a couple of new character's added to the cast list including a very compelling and sinister bad guy.

Perhaps Crowbone is not so easy to like and identify with as the less ambitious and more self doubting Orm which did remove an element for me but there is always so much to enjoy in these Viking tales of Robert Low's. Action, adventure, trajedy and the blackest of humour. I was also very pleased to read the hint that the big fella may have another Viking tale up his sleeve yet so as Finn would say 'Heya' to that.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Sep 2012 00:21:46 BDT
JPS says:
Well, it seems like you DID manage to get your review in first this time, and it's a very good one, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything in it. We will probably come back to that but, for now, I haven't yet finished it. It's great...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2012 18:58:09 BDT
Yes I am rather amazed at the lack of reviews available for this book. I shall look forward to reading your own take on it. I am also reading Christian Cameron's latest but have so far avoided the review section for spoiling reasons, but I am expecting both you and Parm to be there, the diffence being I will actually read yours...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2012 23:53:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Sep 2012 00:00:30 BDT
JPS says:
Indeed, we are both there, and he was first, as usual. He posted another review the very same day on the Splintered Kingdom. Since I received CAmeron's book on 11th September (by express mail), and it did take me a couple of days to actually read it, it beats me how somebody could actually read 700 to 800 pages within 24 hours while actually having also a job...

Anyway, enough ranting. I'll also be interested to read your take on Cameron's latest. You're quite right NOT to read our reviews before having read the book yourself. One review is likely to annoy you -gushing and no substance - and the other one might contain a couple of spoilers, although I tried not to...

PS: I also saw that you posted a review on Sunbird. You're going to give me ideas, except that I'll have to go digging through all my books to find my copy and that could take a while!


In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2012 20:32:45 BDT
yes I think Sunbird has stood the test of time well, though the experience did remind me of why I don't tend to re-read as I really hate knowing what happens, though the 30 year gap did mean I had forgotten a lot of the nuances. May still re read Cornwell's Arthurian trilogy though.
Read about 25% of Poseidon and it's great so fact it is rather calling to me now!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Sep 2012 22:30:19 BDT
JPS says:
When you get to reading the review, you'll see that I went for five stars, although I hesitated quite a bit. For me, this should have 4.75 and I did like better than some of his previous one that I had rated four stars, partly because it is more original. So I went for five...

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2012 09:22:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Sep 2012 15:52:18 BDT
Parm says:
At the risk of setting you off on another round of abusing my posts JPS: i will answer the simple question that seems to be bothering you about how i can read any 800 pages of a book (or books) in 24 hours, If i was on holiday i could do this, but in this case i was sent a review copy of that book by the lovely people at the publishers about 4 weeks before the release date (as i have one for this book and others). My review was written about 2 weeks before the book came out. As is often the case and very much so for the latest Christian Cameron Novel and short stories.
So i will leave you both to your obvious fun of trying to denegrate my name with comments about my reviews and inuendo about reading said books.
Just do try to remember a review is a personal opinion..not a fct, and your reviews are just your personal opinions, as mine are mine.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Sep 2012 10:23:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Sep 2012 14:18:53 BDT
JPS says:
As the three of us (and a number of others) know by now, you do not write reviews, you write advertisements. This is precisely why you receive books direct from the publishers weeks before they are published and this is precisely why they are not "your personal opinions", even when you happen to have read the books that you claim to "review"...

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2012 17:19:48 BDT
Parm says:
Well in so glad you pointed that out: as you appear to know my personal opinions so much better than I do perhaps you can tell me my opinion of this book before I spend time writing my review!!

Btw: publishers send books to reviewers to review that's why they are called review copies. I probably get 5 times as many as I review. But I review the ones I like.... Wow was that a personal opinion.. Sorry should have cleared that with you first before I posted it.
I don't review books I don't like... Damn sorry another opinion , I must be back sliding again. Those who read and appreciate my reviews know that if they see a review I must like it and therefore also buy it, that's how reviewing works... Oh flip that's a third opinion I d better stop before you feel forced to correct me in my personal opinions again, I'd hate myself for putting you out to that degree!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2012 08:53:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Oct 2012 09:03:32 BDT
JPS says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2012 21:03:58 BDT
Parm says:
Your arrogance truly knows no bounds, to assume that you can tell anyone else (me or anyone else on the Internet) what their personal opinion is. To accuse people of things with no evidence , EG: calling me Disingenuous and misleading, as always. "Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator" .Your perspective is not a fact and is not evidence but as usual you try to twist things to fit your warped view of the world.

Quite frankly you disgust me with the arrogant self centred abusive view of me and something i enjoy.

I'm sure you enjoy sitting hidden by the anonymity of the Internet dishing out your baseless abuse.

"if it wasn't so self-centred, biased and misleading for other customers who put their trust in you"

I get plenty of emails and thank you messages on my blog and forums regarding the books i review. from people who share the same taste as me, but because a review does not match your view of a review you call it PR...again utter arrogance.

So i will make sure to let you know of all upcoming author events i will be attending to see the authors who's books i love reading and hearing about how they write them. Maybe you will be mature and brave enough to come and discuss your views face to face instead of hiding away. I attend many of these not afraid to discuss my views and reviews in person, with readers, authors and reviewers, and i never act the coward and abuse people from a place of anonymity.

I'm sure you will now spend time trying to formulate a twisted response about me or what i have written, it just shows you even more as the coward your posts make you appear. You very much remind me of the cartoon..."Sorry cant come to bed dear, there's something wrong on the Internet".

Learn to accept you are not the font of all worldly wisdom , there are other view points and there are other ways of appreciating and reviewing.
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