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Publisher's Summary

In the chaos of 14th-century England and France, wine is the nectar of angels - a valuable commodity buttressing kingdoms and vaulting vast fortunes. A mysterious old archer named David Arrowsmith recounts his tale to an eager French chronicler, Jean Créton, when the latter learns that his mission to Scotland seems a failure. The burden of Arrowsmith's story rests with Créton, who suddenly finds himself writing about a seemingly cursed infant that barely escapes the grip of the Black Death in rural Wales when his family dies.
Except for a single clue on a note attached to an arrow, Jacques and his wife Sophie do not know the identity of the boy's parents when they decide to adopt him. Taken to Bordeaux, the child they name David becomes caught up in a series of events that exposes the corruption of the wine trade, and soon reveals him to be an unmatchable and ambidextrous archer. Banished from Bordeaux after attempting to protect Jacques from a conniving enemy named Pierre Juneau, David flees to England, where he becomes apprenticed to the likeable Richard Lampley in London, and grows to adore the exquisite Eleanor, a peasant girl with her own ambitions. Soon, David is unwittingly flung to Oxford University after a heartrending run-in with a doomed priest sent as a spy to the Avignon papacy, and is ultimately protected by a brilliant scholar named John Wycliffe as renewed conflict between England and France looms, and the Hundred Years’ War threatens his new life as a merchant and scholar.
©2007 Dane St. John (P)2013 Cherry Hill Publishing
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5 out of 5 stars
By Maika on 12-05-13

It transports you to another time, another world

Even if you're not into historical fiction, this is an absolutely delightful book. I was constantly torn between wanting to know what happened next and not wanting it to end. I burned through Part One in about a week and could barely wait to get into Part Two. R.D. Watson's narration is expertly done, I loved his intonation, accents and interpretation of St. John's written word. He does a masterful job of blending history with an action-packed thriller. For me, the measure of my enjoyment of a book is in how much of a let-down I experience when I finish it. Luckily, I had Part Two, The Venom of Serpents to mitigate the effect.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By sue on 11-27-13

A beautiful and exciting adventure !

What a wonderful adventure through the life and times of strife and turmoil. This author takes one through history and makes you feel like you are one of the characters in time. I couldn't quit listening, it was so intriguing. I never cared much for history, but the way this author presents it, I am now. The narrator was absolutely true to the story and magnificent. I hope everyone listens to this enchanting story and reviews it for the author.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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