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on 25 December 2016
This fantastic book by Christian Cameron is the 1st Chivalrous exploits of the real Sir William Gold.
To start with, the book contains a very well documented glossary at the beginning, also there are three fine drawn maps of Poitiers itself, as well one drawing of Italy and France respectively, while at the end of the book you'll find a superb explained Historical Note.
Story-telling is of an absolute top-notch quality, for the author has certainly the ability to keep you spellbound from start to finish with his tremendous way of writing.
Also all the characters, whether they are mostly real and while some are fictional, come all superbly vividly to life within this astonishing tale about Chivalry with all it's good and bad.
The book begins with a wonderful prologue which is set in Calais in the year AD 1381, and it's there where our main real character Sir William Gold is starting to tell his tale about his life and his chivalrous adventures, and where one of the audience is a certain famous Geoffrey Chaucer, also very well known for his Canterbury Tales, but the book itself is divided into different sections, as to start with in AD 1356 with the Battle of Poitiers, followed by Paris AD 1357-59, while this is followed by Brignais AD 1362, and it ends in Italy in the years AD 1362-64.
The story is about Sir William Gold, who after been branded a thief joined the ranks of Edward, The Black Prince, as a lonely cook's boy, and when the time comes when you have to fight, even a cook's boy has to fight for his life at these Battles that will come his way, starting with Poitiers and all its aftermath.
What follows is a superb tale not only about Chivalry, but also about intrigue, betrayal and greed, and in this treacherous world William Gold must learn to survive if he wants to become what he always dreamed of, a great Knight.
Totally recommended, for this is story-telling at its very best, and that's why I like to call this book, "A Masterly Knightly Achievement"!
2 people found this helpful
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on 28 September 2017
That's right, I liked - loved - this book *that* much!

I'm not a re-reader of book's, but I am sure I will read this again one day.

I have a lifelong interest in this period and have re-enacted close to this period before. Because of that - but not solely because of it - this book, this tale, ticks a whole lot of boxes for me, including historical accuracy and a huge chance to learn a lot more, as well as gritty realism in not only its combat and exploration of their living at the time, but in the telling too. It truly feels like William Gold is telling us the story down the pub/tavern/inn. It does not feel like Christian Cameron is writing a story about someone telling a story. I was there, listening and hanging on every word. Truly.

The story spans years, following a London lad who wants to be a knight. He's led astray and does terrible things, caught up in an ongoing war in foreign lands. But what impresses me about our protag is his continuous want to be a better knight (man). He makes mistakes. He commits crimes and, truth be told, horrors, but he wants to be more - unlike many of his peers and above. And by Christ do I love him for it.

There is a lot about the day to day living here, but it is not dull at any point. It ties in. It works. And it works extremely well. I could gush about it forevermore.

I'm a fan of fantasy (he writes fantasy under Miles Cameron) and hisfic, including names in the latter genre such as Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden (two of my all time faves). In my opinion, this book did more for me than books I have read by those two gentlemen. And *that*, messires, is saying something indeed! I stick by it.

Hisfic fan or not, medieval fan or not, read this book and know a medieval soldier (William Gold existed!).

I'll stop myself now. But please, pick this up and read it and enjoy it!
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on 11 January 2016
I found my way to this book and the author Christian, through The Red Knight & The Fell Sword. Fantastic fantasy books if you are into that genre and want to sink your teeth into something of quality.

Having found out the author is the same person I looked through his other works, I see ancient Greek based pieces and whilst that is cool it doesn't grab my interest. Then my eyes see the medieval period and I make the purchase, who doesn't love knights.

A truly fantastic book filled with the kinds of detail you just don't see often, travel, upkeep of gear, employment and earnings, banking systems, health care, warfare and techniques. It has it all. Of course the book is historical fiction so you can overlook things at times, but by doing so you are not taken out of the story, and the journey. Having finished this book I immediately purchased the second in the series.
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on 11 May 2017
This is a fantastic book. I've ben reading the tales of Tom Swan, and, whilst waiting for the next chapter to come out I decided to try this from the same author. All I can say is that it's brilliant. Lots of action, history, humour, fast paced. A really first class read. I've already bought the sequel.
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on 18 January 2018
I enjoyed the Red Knight series, and hope this next series will be as good. So far I have enjoyed getting to know the lead characters of this story, the twist's and turns of fate William endures and those around him. A good read and looking forward to book 2, although I hope there will be a bit more fighting in number 2.
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on 29 September 2013
Christian Cameron - If not come across him before, nor read much about the Hundred Years War. Now, I want to read more of both. The Middle Ages seemed to crawl with knights in school history books. Who knew it was so hard to become one?? By, by George, Cameron's hero William Gold takes ten years and turns it into an epic quest for honour and recognition across the battlefields of France and Italy.
The best bit? It's set up for a sequel!
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on 1 September 2013
Christian Cameron is a true master of the historical fiction genre. I'm not sure it is possible for me to do his work justice with this review, but I will say that the depth of historical content and the engaging nature of this novel make it both an informative and deeply enthralling read. The character portrayal, and realism of the story really draw you in, and then the action sequences leave you transfixed.

A truly unbeatable read, which I would recommend to any and everyone, I really hope it is part of a long series to come.
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on 1 March 2018
Really good read, bags of historical facts from a writer who really can write convincing historical fiction on to the next one.
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on 19 March 2014
I have not read Christian Cameron before but I enjoyed this book and have since purchased Part one of Tom Swan.
I found the story thoroughly believable and I was carried along by William's trials and tribulations.
If you enjoy fictional history with a ring of truth as to how it probably was, then this is for you.
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on 9 October 2013
You should all know that Christian Cameron is well versed in the ways of Greeks and Romans but how does he fare with the chivalry of England and France in 1356? The answer is with all the detail, knowledge and flair needed to produce an exciting new novel that is equal to his best.

The characters are believable, the story is exciting, the facts are interesting and the world that you enter is real. As, I was surprised to find out, is the larger than life hero. Yes, the wonderful William Gold actually existed and I hope will appear in may tales to come.
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