No fighting man can go into the battle thinking of death, for to do so is to risk bringing on that very fate.
Twelth Century, Italy. The domination of the Normans, the most feared warriors in Christendom, is causing trouble. At their head is the feared Robert de Hauteville, the 'Guiscard', who has colonised much of Italy and now commands the triple Dukedom of the extended Norman family, but Robert has made many enemies, including the ever-powerful papacy in Rome. The newly elected Pope Gregory excercises his vendetta against the Normans by encouraging them to sail to Byzantium and fight the Turks. But first he must deal with the Guiscard.
As Robert successfully suppresses a Lombard revolt, punishing the traitors with unrestrained brutality, his first-born, Bohemund, now 17 and blessed with the strength, height, and military prowess of his father, has come to fight in his army. Already recognised as a formidable warrior, Bohemund seeks to assert his natural right as the heir of Robert's dukedom - but this is not without difficultly and conflict as Robert's second son, Borsa, is now legally entitled to inherit. A battle between the sons is inevitable, and loyalties and blood ties will count for nothing.
"Exciting and unpredictable." (The Bookbag)
"Builds up from pure adventure with excitement and daring all the way." (Historical Novels Review)
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This book was more history lesson, less story and as such, was difficult to follow. There was no character development as there were simply too many characters. So, to be better, I feel the book should have focused on a few main characters and developed the story line of this piece of history through them.
I felt that the narrator was very good; had he a better story to work with, he would have been great. So yes, I would listen to him again.
As an historical work, it presented a side of the crusades that is not normally discussed; that was interesting.
I've never stopped listening to a book before, but the thought of 4 more hours was daunting...two more books in the series, inconceivable.
- Rosemarie Weber