Sword and Scimitar Hardcover – 25 Oct 2012
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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[T]his lively, absorbing novel will not disappoint (Sunday Times)
The Sunday Times bestselling author turns his fantastic writing talent to one of the bloodiest and most fiercely contested sieges in history, and tells an epic tale of romance, danger, and, ultimately, sacrificeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book covers an amazingly complex time in history, and a particularly thorny issue in modern times. In nearly 450 years we really have not come that far in terms of religion. What amazes me is how little I knew about the siege of Malta and the total change it would have had on the face of europe if the Knights of the Order of St John had lost.
I have been to Malta a few times and have seen so many of the places, stood on some of the streets and monuments written about in this book, and yet I still didn't truly comprehend the momentous battle that took place. To have lost would have probably meant the sweep of Islam into western Europe, changing the entire face of history. There are very few times in history when the world and its current order have been balanced on a knife-edge.
Other moments in time that spring to mind (with great books attached) The Mongols sweeping into Europe, if not for the death of Ogedai they would have carried on unstoppable all the way to the English Channel and beyond (read Conn Igguldens Conqueror series) also the battle at Marathon, where a Greek loss would have meant Greece falling under the dominion of Persia, there would have been no classical period, there may possibly have been no Rome or at best a greatly altered Rome. So much art and culture lost and changed, the whole mediterranean dynamic would have changed, (Read the Long War series by Christian Cameron).
When you understand the above it makes the writing of this books seem so ambitious to border on nuts. Yet Simon Scarrow in his own unique style provides the perfect narrator in the form of Sir Thomas Barrett.Read more ›
I'll kick off with my only criticism;, I will be brutally honest - the cover was dreadful, it looked schmaltzy and really not the sort of thing I would enjoy; it looked like a 3 for 2 at Waterstones, which I usually walk past! However, once you get into the story you are left with little doubt - he writes so well and for once, I think the word `compelling' would be appropriate to describe his fiction; he has an excellent ability to paint vivid scenes using words so cleverly that you can picture exactly in your mind what he is writing about. And on occasion, this is so unbelievably gory that it's not such a good thing!
The story starts with a brilliantly well-described battle at sea. This isn't a genre that I have ever really read, but Scarrow's narrative brought it to life and I could picture the fights, the fear, the excitement, extremely well. He really is talented! He tells the story of Sir Thomas Barrett, a Knight of the Order of St John who is brought in to fight against the Ottoman army in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. Sir Thomas is completely in love with a woman he meets when they are both very young, Maria, and this is a major storyline throughout the book alongside the strategy and fighting that Scarrow depicts. I really don't `do' romances but admit that I was utterly engrossed in their story and found it a perfect foil to the more brutal fight scenes.Read more ›
It is told by a Knight of St John, disgraced but called back in the Islands hour of need. There's a love story told against the backdrop of the seige as the knights and the Maltese people battle against the invading Turkish armies sent by Suleiman to crush the Christians and bring Allah to all nations. There are bloody battle scenes as the great Muslim leaders Turgut and Mustafa Pasha lay seige to Malta. Our hero Sir Thomas has his own struggle with his beliefs but his allegiance to the order of St John and the cause never waver. A thoroughly gripping read which I couldn't put down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Does everything need to be infected with political correctness where even a character from an historical novel who belongs to a religious order of knights sworn to protect... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Saxon