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Returning home from the Crusades, Hugh discovers that his wife has been abducted by relic-seeking knights, prompting him to pose as a court jester in order to infiltrate the castle where his wife is imprisoned.
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In The Jester James Patterson and his occasional collaborator Andrew Cross step across genre boundaries and produce a hectic historical adventure of distinctly mixed merit. This is a revenge story, mystery and love story across insuperable class barriers--the mixture is rich and the ingredients sometimes ill-combined. Part of the trouble is that the book wears its research too lightly. The inn-keeper hero Hugh reads a little too like a modern Californian time shifted into the eleventh century while the book's inventive plotting plays fast and loose with historical fact to a worrying extent: Hugh's life disguised as a jester combines elements from about five different centuries.
The account of the First Crusade is convincing enough and there are moments--Hugh's first sight of Byzantium--that are genuinely moving. The plot depends a little on Hugh's being obtuse--he takes forever to work out why the relic-hunting, sinister Tafurs (Christian shock troops with a taste for atrocity) destroy everything he loves. At the same time, the plot is genuinely exciting as Hugh is driven to take revenge for specific crimes and the general offence that feudalism often was; there is a real sense here of what medieval warfare might have looked and felt like that often makes up for specific inaccuracies. --Roz KaveneyReview:
Anyone who reads one page will be hooked (Publisher's Weekly)
'A fantastic action-packed adventure with a generous measure of good-versus-evil and love conquering all. In a word: thrilling' Herald Sun, Australia 5/4/03 (Herald Sun, Australia)
'From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colourful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one' Publisher's Weekly 3/2/03 (Publisher's Weekly)
'Anyone who reads one page will be hooked' Publisher's Weekly 3/2/03 (Publisher's Weekly)
'A fast-paced action-packed tale of an ordinary man taking a stand against zealots and tyrants' West Australian 5/4/03 (West Australian)
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Book Description Hachette Audio, U.S.A., 2003. Audio CD. Condition: Good. 5 Reliable AUDIO CDs, polished for your satisfaction, withdrawn from the library collection. Some library marking to the set. We will clean the CDs for a worthwhile listening experience. Enjoy this presentable AUDIO CD performance. Audio Book. Seller Inventory # 112220158687001
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