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This narrative came as a complete surprise; I had no idea the Mediterranean Sea was a major war zone in the 16th century; no idea, either, that citizens of both Europe and the Ottoman Empire were enslaved on such a scale by the "corsairs" of the opposing sides. Crowley tells the story as if it were recent history, extracting a full measure of excitement and suspense out of each incident. Narrated by the irrepressible John Lee. The only problem is that, as with other works on similar topics, the unfamiliar names -- unfamiliar to me, at any rate -- are hard to grasp without a printed text alongside. Wikipedia helps a bit. A map of Malta, especially of the Grand Harbor, is essential.
34 of 34 people found this review helpful
This was an absolutely wonderful book, exciting, informative, and important. It gives the reader an understanding of the struggle between Islam, under the Ottoman Turks at the height of their power, and the Catholic Christians, led primarily by the Hapsburgs of Spain, the Pope, and the Venetians.
The depictions of the battles are as evocative of the horror of war as any I have ever heard; the incredible tenacity and purpose of the Turks, the astounding resilience of the Christians, both sides calling with equal fervor on the Lord for his favor in battle; suffering, bravery and brutality all around. The book also contains stories of many men whose names I had never before heard, but whose actions had an impact on history that lasts to this day.
Some listeners may feel that, at times, the book goes into too much detail, though I did not. The reader was clear and easy to understand, well matched to the material.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful