Friday, 20 December 2013

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Ill-Made Knight - Christian Cameron

Release Date: 01/08/13
Publisher:  Orion


William Gold comes into the world as his family slides down the social ladder. His head filled with tales of chivalry, instead he is branded a thief, and must make do with being squire to his childhood friend Sir Robert, a knight determined to make a name for himself as a man at arms in France. While William himself slowly acquires the skills of knightly combat, he remains an outsider - until the Battle of Poitiers when Sir Robert is cut down by the greatest knight of the age, Sir Geoffrey de Charny, and William, his lowly squire, revenges him. But with his own knight dead, no honour accrues to William for this feat of arms, and he is forced to become a mercenary. Scavenging a mismatched set of armour from the knightly corpses, he joins one of the mercenary companies now set to pillage a defenceless France, and so begins a bloody career that sees William joining forces with the infamous Sir John Hawkwood and immersing himself in a treacherous clandestine war among the Italian city states. But paradoxically it is there, among the spies, assassins and hired killers serving their ruthless masters, that William finally discovers the true meaning of chivalry - and his destiny as a knight.


Christian Cameron is one of those authors that I just love to spend time around. He brings historical fiction vividly to life and to be honest with you, the practical side of things within (such as the armour) demonstrates an author who has not only done their research well, but one whose clear love of re-enactment shone through on a practical archaeological point of view.

As with Christian’s other books, the prose is not only razor sharp but something that helps you acclimatise yourself to the timeline wonderfully quickly. Add to this great dialogue as well as characters you want to spend time around. Yet for all this, for me, it’s the author’s wonderful action sequences that stand out. Throughout the book, any action is wonderfully imaginative with easy guides for the reader to visualise which when added to matter of fact nitty gritty manoeuvres all round make this something that you can’t wait to get behind. Another stunning book from Christian and one that I had a great time reading. Thank you.

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