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review 2020-04-30 13:03
Fools and Mortals
Fools and Mortals - Bernard Cornwell

by Bernard Cornwell


From the well-known Historical fiction writer is a story about players, actors on the stage, in the time of Elizabeth I. Women were still played by men and the brother of Will Shakespeare, Richard, is continually given women's roles with his brother's company. Between getting to be too old and taking a liking to a servant girl in a great house where they are to perform, Richard tries everything he can think of to get his brother to give him a male role.


Themes of dominance between brothers are fully explored in this story and I couldn't help but have sympathy for Richard, who, as a significantly younger brother, is constantly in his brother's shadow.


I don't know if Shakespeare really had a brother but I'm not going to look it up. I enjoyed this story and Richard was a likable character. Will Shakespeare came over as a callous, unfeeling brother, most of the time. Whether there i any accuracy to this is anybody's guess.


The story gave a good look at the life of players in Shakespeare's time and I found it was my preferred read among several books I've been reading at once. It is undeniably well-written and has plenty of excitement and a few laughs.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-28 15:23
Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories #12) - Bernard Cornwell
Sword of Kings - Bernard Cornwell

I love Uhtred. Really. I do. However, he's getting old. He's getting predictable. I'm ready to say goodbye. As much as Cornwell argues that's not the case, I think we are closer to the end than some of us care to admit.


Cornwell still writes a battle scene that is second to none. That alone makes Uhtred appointment reading. My biggest problem with the books (especially the last two) is that they have become so formulaic. Uhtred makes a stupid decision. He is backed into a corner and then spends the rest of the book literally fighting his way out. At this point, I would think Uhtred is a little too old to be making such stupid decisions. Maybe he's been hit in the head one too many times so he forgets what hasn't worked in the past. 


I was hoping as the series continued on we were going to get more of Uhtred Jr. That doesn't seem to be the case. Uhtred Jr. seems to have been forgotten about. Every once in a while the reader is reminded he exists but we don't get to see him any more. Some of my favorite elements in the previous three (maybe four) novels were Uhtred's interactions with his children. I would really like to see Jr. make a comeback.


A final thing that bothered me about this book was the abrupt ending. It's like Cornwell realized he reached the end but he forgot to tie up the loose ends. Suddenly in the last paragraph the readers is given the fate of about six or seven different characters in two sentences. I understand those outcomes were necessary to maintain the historical accuracy going forward. It doesn't mean I have to like the way things were just haphazardly thrown in. A few of those characters deserved better than what they were given. 


Read 1/25/2020 - 1/27/2020

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review 2020-01-17 19:36
War of the Wolf (Saxon Stories #11) by Bernard Cornwell
War of the Wolf - Bernard Cornwell

Uhtred is still Uhtred in all his glory. You can still talk me into reading anything he's involved in. However (and I hate to say this), things are getting a little stale. I think it is time to send Uhtred to Valhalla where he belongs. I would not be opposed to having this continue from his son's point of view. 


Read 1/7/2020-1/17/2020

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text 2019-12-10 18:43
The Archer's Tale - Bernard Cornwell

His female characters might be a little bit one-dimensional, but Cornwell sure can write a convincing battle scene.


And Crecy was one hell of a battle.

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text 2019-12-07 21:48
The Archer's Tale - Bernard Cornwell

A brutal raid on the quiet coastal English village of Hookton in 1342 leaves but one survivor: a young archer named Thomas. On this terrible dawn, his purpose becomes clear -- to recover a stolen sacred relic and pursue to the ends of the earth the murderous black-clad knight bearing a blue-and-yellow standard, a journey that leads him to the courageous rescue of a beautiful French woman, and sets him on his ultimate quest: the search for the Holy Grail.


I decided to hold off from reading The Heretic and have found book #1 in the series.


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