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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
36
4.5 out of 5 stars


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on 1 June 2016
This is the second book in Peter Darman's series about the Baltic Crusades. It continues the story of Conrad Wolff, now a Sword Brother in Livonia, and tells his story, interwoven with the events going on around him. The unusual setting adds much to this series for readers of historical fiction; the peoples and places will be unfamiliar to most - and can be a bit overwhelming at times - but it is definitely worth persevering, as the story is engrossing and well told. By all accounts the Sword Brothers were less sympathetic characters than most of those portrayed here, but the main personalities are well drawn, and developing well as the series progresses. The very abundance of tribes allows for lots of twists and turns, and changes in allegiance, which keeps you guessing throughout.
Only gripes I have are that there are still far too many typos, and the author is very keen on listing what people are wearing, and what an army packs into its carts when going off on campaign! Once is fine - it gives you a real sense of how self-reliant they had to be - but after that it just seems unnecessary.
Overall though, this is very readable, and the series is developing well.
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on 28 May 2017
Good book although I preferred the first in the series
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on 21 June 2014
A good following book to The Sword Brothers with plenty of action, some successful, some less so. I have to admit thet before reading The Sword Brothers that I had no idea that crusaders had christianised the baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania, etc. so this was a learning curve, all be it fictionalised. I would suggestst that to better understand The Army of the Wolf, first read The Sword Brothers, which is an equally good read if you like historical books with plenty of action.
I think that Peter Darman puts into a book of fiction many of the probable alliances of the time, the living and existing conditions, and sets the story into the reality of that period of history. Both books are worth reading, both for the history, completely new to me, and the various plots and subplots, and of course the action.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 August 2014
This is book 2 of the “Crusader Chronicles” telling the story of the Crusades of Bishop Albert and the Order of the Sword Brothers in what are nowadays Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania during the 13th Century.

The first volume focused on the younger years of Conrad Wolf, the book’s hero, allowing us to follow the hard and tough apprenticeship of a Sword Brother and their lifestyle. This is made up of almost constant warfare as they seek to conquer more and more territory over the native tribes and people in almost incessant warfare and hold out until the next batch of Crusaders reinforces them and allows them to continue their expansion.

This volume shows the young Conrad as a warlord of Estonia and focuses on his multiple deeds (of course). Those who (like me!) are looking for masses of battles set in a historical context that the author follows as scrupulously as he can will enjoy this one just as much as the previous volume. Although it is just about possible to read it without having read the previous volume, if only because a number of references and mentions of what happened in volume 1 are included, it is much preferable to read “The Sword Brothers” first.

The few reservations I have were also very similar to the ones I had for the previous volume. The editing could be improved, with a number of avoidable typos and the narrative of some battles tending to mix up right and left wings of the respective armies. The author also tends to multiply enumerations, treated you systematically with the numbers making up each contingent for each campaign and battle. Since there are many of these, some readers might find this a little bit repetitive and tedious, even if I did not mind.

I also liked the references to Estonian gods and myths (hence the title of my review) and the introduction of a female warrior even if the Sword Brothers do not seem to have been historically as “nice” as depicted in the book, and this may be putting it rather mildly. Four strong stars for a warmly recommended book. I will certainly read volume 3 when it comes out.
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on 5 May 2014
Historically interesting. Plenty of action and good story line. A lot of names to remember including different tribe names and a little to much detail where not really required, almost as if to pad the book out. But I still recommend it.
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on 11 April 2014
Peter Darmen has managed to write a completely enthralling historical tale based on the little known Catholic expansion into the Baltic territories. Forced by the Holy Roman Empire, bribed by various Northern European factions, including Bishops, Kings and disgraced knights. It is a terrific tale and one, I hope, carries on for a couple more novels. The only downside to this and many other e-books is the parsity of maps and diagrams that can be actually read and easily accessed during the tale.
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on 19 April 2014
Peter Darman writes historical fiction well researched exciting and very readable.
I am looking forward to the third instalment of Conrad Wolff
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on 14 April 2014
The story line followed exactly from the ending of book 1 and you can imagine the events occurring with the words written.
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on 24 April 2014
The story follows on well and follows the history of the region closely.
Great story and looking forward to Vol 3
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on 2 July 2014
A good historical novel concerning Crusaders in the Baltic States. Great action sequences and I await book 3 in the series. I have also read Peter's Parthian Chronicle books which were also excellent. If you like Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden then I think you will enjoy reading Peter Darman
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