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Favorite Castle Book?

Discussion of topics concerning life in the middle ages around the world, including architecture, history, and warfare.

Postby Mark Stafford » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:13 pm

Not mentioned so far in the thread is: Ash, A secret History by Mary Gentle.

At first it seems like a brutal and honest retelling of Mediaeval European history from a female mercenaries point of view, but as the chapters roll on it gets far stranger as more and more differences in her history and ours begin to become obvious. This is more of a shock to the 'writer' of her tale then it is to us as readers because reality begins to warp and Ash's history and ours clash... it's great. Some of the best realistic style battles I've ever read and it really gives an idea of how it must have been to be around in such war torn times - even if they aren't quite our own!

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Mark
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Postby Histo-Sci » Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:25 am

Greetings there all ye Yeomen (er, I mean Booklovers!)

My favorite medieval book is the historical fiction book In Freedom's Cause by G.A. Henty. He's my favorite author! Does anyone here read G.A. Henty at all? The book I mentioned is about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, through the eyes of a young Scotsman loyal to the cause. He wrote many other books ranging in all sorts of different periods in history (they were originally released in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), and they are beginning to be re-released by a publishing group known as Preston/Speed. I like (no, LOVE!) all of the medieval books of his I have read, like Both Sides the Border, The Dragon and the Raven, Wulf the Saxon, etc.

Also, has anyone read those Bernard Cornwell books? (You know, the ones about Alfred the Great and the Vikings and all that, and he did some Napoleonic wars ones too, or at least just one I think.) I've been considering reading those. Are they any good?

Histo-Sci
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Postby HenrytheV » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:35 pm

Hey Histo-Sci, have you read "Winning His Spurs"? "At Agincourt" is good also. I like the big words and really long sentences in G.A. Henty's books, they're fun to read. :D

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Postby smcginnis » Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:02 pm

Some of my favorite castle books are those written by Howard Pyle. Men of Iron is possibly my favorite of all time. Another really good book is The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I also like the Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Redwall, Inheritance, so on.

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Postby babyjawa » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:04 am

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer.

It is the most awesomest book I have ever read. About the Vikings/Beserkers, Yggdassil(sp?), and some other stuff.
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Postby Azaghal » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:30 am

Beric the Britan is another good Henty title, if a bit earlier than the true medieval period.

What about nonfiction titles? Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs by Adrienne Mayor is an excellent book about old-fashioned biochem warfare, and has proved inspirational in MOCing. Monkey Militia! :D
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Postby HenrytheV » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:48 am

Azaghal wrote:Beric the Britan is another good Henty title, if a bit earlier than the true medieval period.


Don't you mean Beric the Briton? :wink:

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Postby Azaghal » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:49 pm

HenrytheV wrote:
Azaghal wrote:Beric the Britan is another good Henty title, if a bit earlier than the true medieval period.


Don't you mean Beric the Briton? :wink:

Jonathan


Sure, thanks. At least I knew it wasn't Britain. :roll:
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Postby Histo-Sci » Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:47 pm

Greetings there!

Hey, HenrytheV (by the way, did I tell you that I am glad that your name does not have three I's at the end?), thanks for the response. I have been wanting to read those two (especially At Agincourt). I also collect magazines, like science and history ones (DUH! What else?), and have since read up on the battle of Agincourt. I have passed up the book before because of the French part of it, because I find French history rather dull, but it did not detract from what I have since learned from other sources, so that should be in my next lot. And yes, those big words are fun!

Yes, Azaghal, Beric the Briton is good! Actually I just recently finished The Young Carthaginian and liked that even better. It comes in as #7 on my favorites list, I think. Like Beric the Briton it is in the Ancient period obviously yet is somewhat medieval only in its "feel", but I have gotten some diorama ideas from it. And, I'm glad you read Henty!

As for non-fiction medieval books, I don't have that many, but last summer I read an old one that my Dad gave me a year or two before that called Medieval Warfare by Terence Wise. It is GREAT! You must read it! It gives overviews of castle designs, armor (sheesh, I almost just wrote armor with a "u" like Henty!), seige warfare, and much more. It was a tantalizing read, and I was reading it during the time that I became a Lego collector (the temptation of medieval Legos was just too much for me!). Terence Wise also wrote many other history books, but I have yet to read any. He also is a figure painter like I am.

To all book lovers,

Histo-Sci
"...my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." --Martin Luther
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:29 pm

Histo-Sci wrote:Also, has anyone read those Bernard Cornwell books? (You know, the ones about Alfred the Great and the Vikings and all that, and he did some Napoleonic wars ones too, or at least just one I think.) I've been considering reading those. Are they any good?

Histo-Sci


Cornwell has a set of arthurian novels, a set of three on a chracter circa Crecy/early 100 years war (The Archer's Tale), and series set in Alfred the Greats time.

I haven't read the arthurian, primarily because Arthur has been done unto death. The circa Crecy trilogy (The Archer's Tale, etc.) is typical of Cornwell's other books: nothing romaticized, gritty, violent, not for kids. Very well done, though. The Last Kingdom (Alfred the Great era) kicks off a new series (probably a trilogy) about a young saxon who gets raised by invading Vikings. The second book was not out yet last I looked. Typical Cornwell: nothing romaticized, gritty, violent, not for kids. Repeat that mantra for the Napoleonic era Sharpes novels. Cornwell does his historical homework, writes from the character's viewpoint rather than a modern one, and is a good storyteller.
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Postby smcginnis » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:14 pm

I forgot to add that I like everything by Rosemary Sutcliff, and though most of her books were about the Romans, she wrote some good medieval stories too.

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Postby Histo-Sci » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:38 am

Hi there,

Hey, Two-Tonic, thanks for telling me about Bernard Cornwell's books. I can now make a better choice as to whether or not to get around to reading them! (And I agree with you about King Arthur, too!)

Oh, and by the way, I love your name! It's so funny, I guess it's a play on "Teutonic," isn't it? Tell me, are you going to do battle with a Golden Hordesman (i.e., one of Genghis Khan's warriors)? If you are, please kindly tell me in advance so I can come and watch! (Teutonics and Mongol warriors did battle at one point--I think after Genghis Khan's death--right?)

I also like your picture (the Viking one). I like his helmet, but, I was just curious, is it Readbean's custom Viking helmet with a neck guard attached? Looks nice! I have never seen a "real" helmet with the eye holes and the neck guard combined, but who cares? Since when are helmets baby blue, red, green and purple, anyway? (They look like the Skittles I used to eat when I was a kid!) And your custom axe-head is quite nice, and accurate too! (Did you do this modification--as that is what I assume it is--yourself?)

To everyone else: thanks for all the replies! Books deserve to be discussed endlessly!

Histo-Sci
"...my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." --Martin Luther
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Postby Brickboy » Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:06 am

3 words...Narnia, and Eragon
-Alan-
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Postby Hothir Ethelnor » Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:12 am

Brickboy wrote:3 words...Narnia, and Eragon
-Alan-


That is actually five words. (I just had to say that) :lol: And Histo-Sci I am glad that there are actually people out there that read Henty's books :D that is...besides me
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"The lad parried it, and leaping back, struck at the horse's leg. The animal fell instantly, and as he did so Archie struck full on the helm of Sir John Kerr" Excerpt from, In Freedoms Cause by G.A Henty
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Postby Slobey » Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:39 pm

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams

The Dragon Bone Chair
The Stone of Farewell and
To Green angel Tower


A long time since I read them but they were very enjoyable, unique races and an exciting storyline.
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