Ts all have slightly different aims and agendas and this leads to misunderstanding and surprising alliances The principle characters are an interesting group and have developed well over the series as they have aged and matured Some appear or less throughout others come and go as the plot lines diverge and rejoin There is a good mix of friendship rivalry loyalty and betrayal much of which is fluid as the story progressesFor me his style has improved over the series In the first couple of books he had a tendency to overdo the long descriptive passages lists of what was in wagon convoys or what each knight wore tended to be repeated too often Now he does this sparingly but effectively and it adds to the atmosphere You do need to concentrate as all the various tribes and their principle characters can get a little confusing at times But it s worth it and adds much to the enjoyment of the book It makes a refreshing change to read good fiction in a new setting but if this review has whetted our appetite I urge Giant Steps to Change the World you to start the series at the beginning otherwiseou may struggle to make sense of what s going on Conrad finally gets EstoniaGood story with a lot of the characters from the previous booksAm starting to really enjoy the plot now as I have a greater understanding of the geography and the period Will be reading the next book very soon Book 4 of the Crusader series just as gripping as the first 3 Now on to book 5 Schism with much anticipation. Of the crusader kingdom in the Baltic leaves the stage ‘Master of Mayhem’ is the fourth volume of the Crusader Chronicles and continues the story of Conrad Wolff and the Baltic Crusade in the first half of the thirteenth century Maps of Livonia in the thirteenth century the Lithuanian kingdoms and the tribal lands of Estonia can be found on the maps page of my website wwwpeterdarmanco.
S him to Riga and through his training and subseuent adventures in what were in reality a morally dubious campaign to convert the pagan populationsThis is the fourth book in the series Conrad has become a powerful figure in Estonia a powerful knight and importantly a great leader of men He has built what amounts to his own personal army the army of the wolf by working with some of the many local tribes Christian or not and helping them to achieve peace Whilst this is pragmatic it doesn t go down too well with the Church or incoming merchants or with those crusaders who turn up fresh every ear and are expecting an easy campaign against barbarians As with their Middle Eastern euivalent the incoming crusaders have taken no account of the hostile conditions and certainly don t believe that the local people can teach them anything They are there to convert conuer and killThere is a wealth of potential stories here for an author Firstly there are a huge number of native tribes in the area all of which are at best wary of one another Others have been raiding killing and enslaving each other for centuries Add in the Russians the Danes the various German states ridding themselves of bands of ex soldiers causing mayhem by paying them to go on crusade as mercenaries and the Church with it s hypocrisy and in fighting All this means there is a rich palette to choose fromPeter Darman has built a convincing set of storylines around all this The main protagonis. H a conflict that puts a severe strain on the resources of the Sword Brothers But it is in the north where a crisis suddenly develops resulting in Conrad and his order facing annihilation in the freezing wastes Against this dire backdrop Conrad is forced to make a decision that will have major ramifications for both him and the Sword Brothers And in the aftermath of that decision a giant.
A good continuation of the series The book suffers from the same flaws that affect every book by Peter Darman There is sometimes an excess of repetition of the information But overall a very good series that focuses on a period that that is not well known and that than makes up for the small style issues Should really be a 45 stars Another Good VolumeThe author is a good writer creating a good plot and sub plots However the repetitive lists of animals in the forest birds in the air fish in the lakes and rivers numbers of warriors and weapons grows tiresome I first came across Peter Darman s work when I picked up The Parthian the first in his series which became The Parthian Chronicles Set at the same time as a lot of Roman fiction and connecting with some of the same events the focus was on a culture that was outside the Roman area of influence and was never conuered by it If ou haven t read any of this series I can warmly recommend themThe author then turned his attentions to a lesser known theatre the Northern Crusades My knowledge of these events was extremely limited I d heard of the Teutonic Knights and knew that there had been crusades into Russia and the Baltic area in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries but that was about it The Crusader Chronicles series follows Conrad Wolff a oung lad in a German town cruelly orphaned who is offered a chance to join the Sword Brothers officially the Livonian Brothers of the Sword The series follow. Estonia may be at peace but Conrad Wolff now a master of the Sword Brothers seethes with anger against a wrong committed against him and his friends The aftermath will lead to Livonia and Estonia being dragged into international politics as the Papacy intervenes in the affairs of the Sword Brothers and Livonia Meanwhile a frustrating war continues against the pagan Lithuanians in the sout.
I was raised in Grantham Lincolnshire and attended the King's Grammar School after passing the Eleven Plus exam In the latter I clearly remember writing an essay on Oliver Cromwell – my first piece of military writingThen came a BA in history and international relations at Nottingham followed by a Master of Philosophy course at the University of York The subject was the generalship and cavalry