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The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter's Tale - Primary Source Edition Paperback – 15 Mar 2014

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4.1 out of 5 stars 35 reviews from Amazon.com

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Paperback, 15 Mar 2014
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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (15 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1295877058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1295877058
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.8 x 24.6 cm
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 35 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking Good Adventure Story 22 Aug. 2013
By Litlovingmama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Master of Ballantrae is the story of two brothers, one good and one bad. James, the wicked one, is heir to the family fortune, is daddy's favorite, and can charm the rattle off a snake. The good brother, Henry, is quiet and self-effacing and not much liked by anybody. The novel is set in England in 1745. James, "the Master", runs off to join Bonnie Prince Charlie who is striving to restore the Stuarts to the throne. When James does not return after several years, he is presumed dead and Henry marries Allison, his brother's fiancée, and becomes the new heir.

But the Master is not dead, nor does he die at several other opportune moments. He seems to have nine lives and with each one he comes back to haunt and torment his brother. Honestly, to read of his constant villainy juxtaposed with his power to beguile and deceive gave me the shivers. And it made the book very hard to put down.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Novel. 5 Jan. 2017
By David and Suzanne McClendon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stevenson was a master wordsmith. The Master of Ballantrae kept us reading and inspired us to seek out more of Stevenson's work. This is one of those books we all wish we had read when we were younger so that we would know what others were talking about. It is a great book for a couple to read together and discuss.
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark but Entertaining 20 Feb. 2015
By Montana Mackay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel, set in Scotland and at sea and in colonial America, tells the story of two brothers -- one egotistical and abusive, the other noble and yet somewhat submissive -- from the point of view of a hired accountant or factotum, Mr. McKellar. Overall it is a dark tragedy, with a noble family all but extinguished through gross family dysfunction. It was fairly short as novels go, and the pace was good, so I found it easy enough reading, and despite the gloomy plot, I did enjoy it. Robert Louis Stevenson is a fine storyteller.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable adventure read highlighting negative aspects of human nature 21 Aug. 2014
By JenP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Master of Ballantrae is the story of the conflict between two Scottish brothers, set in the time of the Jacobite uprising. It is a story of a family divided and in many ways the two brothers symbolize the duality of man’s nature and the corrupting force of pride. It is narrated by multiple secondary characters who were involved at critical time points in the brothers’ lives. The primary narrator is Mackellar, Henry’s steward who also serves as the moral voice in the novel. Henry and James are seemingly opposites. Younger brother Henry is responsible, dull, altruistic, serious, and hard working. James (the Master of Ballantrae) is irresponsible, selfish, charismatic, and manipulative. The novel follows the fate of the two brothers after they flip a coin to decide who leave the home to fight with the rebels. Over the course of the novel, the characteristics of the two brothers become slightly less black and white. The story is jam-packed with adventures that come in the form of pirates, sea voyage, sibling rivalry and family conflict, double-crossing, and buried treasure. Yet despite all its adventure, it is first and foremost a grim and depressing view of human nature.

I found this book to be an enjoyable read. It was very dramatic book and filled with so much action that it was hard to put down. However, the drama was so over the top that it often felt cartoonish for me and this detracted from the message (which I thought was rather clever). I would have preferred more nuanced characters, but the two brothers were portrayed in such extreme ways that I found them unrealistic (and I realize that the author’s intention was to highlight the extremes). The most interesting parts of the book were the glimmers of complexity in their characters and I wish there had been more of this. Despite it’s weaknesses, I enjoyed reading this book and definitely worth the read for those who like Victorian era adventures.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 May 2017
By John Sawyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great item, easy to buy, fast delivery... good price, not many shekels... :D
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