Monday, October 22, 2012

Book review - Holy Warrior (JS)

Holy Warrior by Angus Donald

Review by Jacqui Slaney 

Having enjoyed Outlaw, I took a chance and bought the next three books. I normally have quite a delay while reading a series, so thought this way would stop that delay.

This is the description:

Arrows will fly. Swords will swing. Heroes will fall. Legends will survive. And the Holy Land will never be the same.

1190 AD: Richard the Lionheart has launched his epic crusade to seize Jerusalem from the cruel Saracens. Marching with the vast royal army is Britain's most famous, most feared, most ferocious warrior: the Outlaw of Nottingham, the Earl of Locksley -- Robin Hood himself.

With his band of loyal men at his side, Robin cuts a bloody swathe on the brutal journey east. Daring and dangerous, he can outwit and outlast any foe -- but the crimson battlefields of the Holy Land are the ultimate proving ground. Moreover, within Robin's camp lurks a traitor -- a stealthy enemy determined to slay Christendom's greatest outlaw before the trumpets fade.

This story follows on from the events in Outlaw, and sees Robin and his warriors joining Richard the Lionheart on his crusade to the Holy land. Although Robin has no belief in God as such, he has been forced to make good on his promise to the Knights Templar’s after they saved him in battle. This is quite a violent tale, with the massacre of the Jews in York described in detail not too mention the sacking of the city of Messina by Richards army. There are various sub plots in the story, which are good and keep the story moving along at quite a fast pace, one of which is who is trying to kill Robin and why. Along side this, you have the story of the crusade and Richard himself, having read quite a few crusade books I found the detail accurate and interesting and added to the story.

As in the first book, you see events from the point of view of Alan Dale, the young thief who has become one of Robins most trusted men. Alan has changed in this tale; he has matured and has started to see Robin much more as he truly is. Ruthless, cruel and determined to do what ever is needed to gets what he wants, an example of this that haunts Alan, is Robin letting a young girl die, but saving her father  as he is more useful to him.

Alan is a great character and you feel for him through his journey with Robin and you also understand Robin’s actions though they do not make him a very palatable character, he is the man you would expect for the time he is living in.  

I enjoyed this book more than the first one, though as I said it is defiantly more violent, which will make the story not for everyone tastes, especially with the description of the execution of the prisoners of war.

It is a good story though with the violence part of the tale and not just for the sake of shock tactics. The characters are all well written and you have a good villain as well to dislike as you read along.

Again would definitely recommend this series and am looking forward to the next.

10 out of 10

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