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Pilgrim Paperback – 25 Jun 2009

2.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; Reprint edition (25 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719569346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719569340
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 891,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Jackson brings history to life in this terrifying tale of bloody battles, youthful courage and treachery' (Livewire: selected for 'Pick of the Titles')

Praise for James Jackson's Blood Rock: (-)

This is history - and terrific history - on every page (Frederick Forsyth, author of The Day of the Jackal)

Set in a period of unparalleled brutality, and told with drama, sweep and passion, Blood Rock is fiction on an epic scale (Malta Independent)

A good read if you can stand the blood and guts of 16th-century warfare (Folkstone Herald & Dover Express)

'Epic adventure stuff' (Bookseller)

Book Description

The Greatest Crusade

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Nice idea, not quite pulled off. It may have been just me but I really couldn't get into it. I found it very dry and the dialouges unintresting, wasn't really a fan of the writing style either. I don't like to slag off someone else's effort as it's better than I can do but don't be misled by the sticker on it. Pilgrim is NOT for fans of Iggulden, Cornwell or Scarrow. There's too much labour in reading it, the characters are stodgy and predictable, I wouldn't even compare it with R.Young. Sorry not a great book.
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Format: Paperback
This book follows the progress of a children's pilgrimage from Germany, the life of a young nobleman who is seeking his father, a Franciscan friar who looks after the children, who is also a spy for the pope and finally the lives of various nobles in the Holy Land who have conflicting ideals and ambitions.

All the ingredients for a riveting tale you may think and to be fair the story and the plot was quite good. What let this book down were the characters; their personalities, their dialogue and their relationships. They felt wooden and didn't really possess any individuality which helps the reader to identify with the heroes and villains. The dialogue was frustratingly bland with little emotion or variance to separate the characters from each other.

Finally, whilst the overall plot was decent enough, there were just too many narrow escapes in order to portray a realistic and veritable account of an adventure story set during the harsh and brutal period that was the crusades.

This book had the potential to be excellent, but was sadly let down by insubstantial characters and dry dialogue. Not one of the best within this genre probably best as an `airport' book.
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Format: Hardcover
As I read in another review, this book promoted itself on liking Conn Iggulden. Well this was a hook and for this reason I bought this book.
Shame the book is rotten. Unbelievable, an insult to your intelligence. Wrote with great aplomb and description, but the plot line is infantile, amteurish, unnbelievable. It actually starts off ok. Then by the end of the book the plot line just becomes laughable. Stay clear from, I wish I had.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't be fooled by the cover where it says you will like this if you liked Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden. If you like those authors you will hate this, because all the good things about their work - evocative writing, good characters, historical accuracy and a decent plot ,are missing here. This is bad, hackneyed, clich-ridden writing. Most of the plot is stolen from 'Kingdom of Heaven' anyway, the characters are laughable stereotypes and the historical accuracy is of the 'oh well I read a couple of books' variety. It is terrible anyway but one particularly jarring fact is that the author seems to hate pronouns and grammar in general. You can't just leave out the odd pronoun here and there. It is not English and doesn't make sense, plus you keep noticing it. The first few times I thought they were misprints, but then I realised that actually he just can't write. Ha ha it really sucks!
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Format: Hardcover
Yes I did finish it. But how many scrapes can you put into a book where the characters get out so easily? Unbelievable childish fiction. I guessed the twist at the end long before we got there.
When is Cornwalls next novel out? I need a good read
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Format: Hardcover
I wanted to like this story, espescially with the publisher sticker on it stating "For fans of Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden" and since I am a big fan of both historical fiction writers I was hooked. The first section seemed very promising with a brief account of the Battle at the Horns of Hattin where a crusader army was lured to its complete destruction by the great Kurdish/Saracen leader Saladin.

However after this it just went a down hill. It was interesting to read more of the Childrens crusade and there was some interesting characters in it such as Sergeat Hugh, an archer who had been Richard I's bodyguard. But the pace was slow, the villain all too succesful until the last 50 pages when his plan is curtailed and he is quickly destroyed. A 12 year old bully/nasty piece of work called Gunther gets a more dramatic dispatching.

So overall, a good book but could have been great.
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Format: Paperback
The reason that history is continually studies is not because history changes, but the way that we perceive it does. This is the same in historic fiction as the same scenarios are explored, but different authors bring their own personalities and beliefs to the subject. In the case of the Crusades an author may create an old fashioned story of heroes of villains, or you could go the way of James Jackson's `Pilgrim' and have a story packed to the gills with villains and villains.

`Pilgrim' has to be one of the grimmest historic fiction books I have ever read. This is a genre that basks in violence, most books are full of vicious battles and murder, but in the snack world of hist lit Jackson takes the biscuit. `Pilgrim' centres on the Children's Crusade when thousands of youths travelled across Europe to Palestine in the hopes of glory and the true cross. Many died and the book reflects this. However, reflecting is different from basking. There are numerous different enemies in `Pilgrim'; The Templars, The Church, The Cathars, The Locals etc. Jackson introduces you to them all and shows you how they executed people.

Death is abundant in `Pilgrim', so much so that you wonder how the population survived. There is probably a 70% death rate in this book; any narrative is cut short as someone else's head is cut off. It does not help that the actual story is plodding and pious. The main heroes are bland and holy, whilst almost every other person in the book is a murderer. Too much darkness and bleakness infects this book and it becomes a real trawl to read through. One to miss, even for hardened historic fiction fans.
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