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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"!
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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 30 August 2017
What appears as a simple tale of a boy made good, is far more than that.
This is the first volume in a series about the exploits of Sir William Gold. Who in reality was a lieutenant's of Sir John Hawkwood.
Starting with a prologue where the now knighted Sir William spends the night in an Inn in Calais before embarking to travel to England. Here he is persuaded to tell his tale. And what a tale it is.
Starting at the beginning our hero is an apprentice in London in the mid 14th century, while dreaming of greater things. Before long this life is shattered as he is tried for theft and runs off to join the army of the Black Prince, as the lowest of the low. A simple cooks boy. Now here the story could be an account of how from such low beginnings, it turns out that William is in fact the greatest warrior of the age. Thankfully the writer does not take this route. After the battle of Poitiers in 1356, where William witnesses battle for the first (but not the last) time. After this battle his greatest ambition is to be come a great knight and follow a chivalric path. Or course this is far easier said than done. William over time falls far from the ideal of a knight and an unlikely source strives to put him back on the correct path.
With friendships being forged and lost in battle. Betrayals and more. Our hero rises from cooks boy to pimp to soldier to well read it and find out.
The writer Christian Cameron has peopled this tome with people both real and fictional, in fact the hero William is a fictional version of a real knight. He brings the 14th century to life in the same way he does with his other works (Classical Greece and his alter ego Miles Cameron's Red Knight series). That is to say the good are not as wholesome as expected and the bad do the unexpected at times. In this work he shows that chivalry might be a code that knights strove towards, but not every knight was a paragon of virtue. Far from it and the hero William himself is as flawed as the rest of us. Overall like his other works I can not recommend enough. If you want blood, guts, plague, betrayal, rescues and a cameo from a renowned Italian Swordsmaster (Fiore) in the 14th century then this is the book for you.
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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 31 March 2017
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on 17 October 2013
I felt the Knighting of the ill-made knight was dragged along unnecessary and a last minute desperate act to obtain it would have led to his death, despite this it was a good read but not a CAN'T-PUT-ME-DOWN-READ
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on 3 November 2014
Interesting story, enjoyed it on the whole, but towards the end it did seem the be a fleshed out a bit
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on 27 August 2017
Thoroughly enjoyable read with a slowly developing heroic character. Sets up future books well and I look forward to reading them.
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on 13 March 2014
i loved it very good story from start to end ilooked forward to my daily read all battle scenes made you feel you where there great tale
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on 5 October 2017
Great read highly recommend
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