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This is the second book I have read by Walter Moers. The previous one being The 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear. I bought this one on the strength of my enjoyment of the other.
I wasn't disappointed. Rumo is just as crazy as Captain Bluebear. I pity the poor translator, as the book was originally written in German, it must have been a surreal experience, translating something so humourous, although perhaps that is just my mad tangential thoughts.

Anyway, the bumph from the back of the book;

Rumo is a little Wolperting who will one day become the greatest hero in the history of Zamonia.
Armed with Dandelion, his talking sword, he fights his way across the Overworld and Netherworld, two very different worlds chock-full of adventures, dangers, and unforgetable characters: including Rala, the beautiful Wolperting who cultivates a hazardous relationship with death; Gerenal Ticktock, the evil commander of the Copper Killers; Ushan DeLucca, the finest most weather-sensitive swordsman in Zamonia; Professor Nightingale, the inventor of the Chest-of-Drawers Oracle; and worse luck, the deadly Metal Maiden.

Although a huge book, both in size, [large paperback size,] and number of pages, 688, it only took me just under two weeks to read, as it is so engrossing. The book is also illustrated by line drawings done by Moers himself. If you like humour it is worth giving this book a try.
For information on other books by Moers click here

At dawn on Easter morning 1343, a marauding band of French raiders arrives by boat to ambush the coastal English village of Hookton. To brave young Thomas, the only survivor, the horror of the attack is epitomized in the casual savagery of a particular black-clad knight, whose flag -- three yellow hawks on a blue field -- presides over the bloody affair. As the killers sail away, Thomas vows to avenge the murder of his townspeople and to recapture a holy treasure that the black knight stole from the church.

To do this, Thomas of Hookton must first make his way to France; So in 1343 he joins the army of King Edward III as it is about to invade the continent -- the beginning of the Hundred Years War. A preternaturally gifted bowman, Thomas quickly becomes recognized as one of England's most deadly archers in King Edward's march across France. Yet he never stops scanning the horizon for his true enemy's flag.

When Thomas saves a young Frenchwoman from a bloodthirsty crowd, her father -- French nobleman Sir Guillaume d'Evecque -- rewards his bravery by joining him in the hunt for the mysterious dark knight and the stolen holy relic. What begins as a search for vengeance will soon prove the beginning of an even higher purpose: the quest for the Holy Grail itself.

As a pre-established fan of Bernard Cornwell, this is definitely a trilogy I looked forward to reading. If you are interested in reading it, though, and live in the US, you will find it released here as The Archer's Tale. Sea sent me her copy which, of course, is a UK print.

While I am a fan of Cornwell, I'm not interested in reading all that he has published. His massive Sharpe series has not piqued my interest at all. But this was one I wanted to read because I've read a lot of stories about the Knight's Templar and am interested in most anything related to them, as the Holy Grail has been linked to them.

I enjoyed this story first and foremost because Thomas is a reluctant hero. No matter how many times he's faced with someone prodding him to search for this relic or how often circumstances push him in that direction, he stubbornly refuses, insisting that all he wants to be is an archer for the King of England. This makes for a refreshing turn from the numerous stories where people have learnt of their 'destiny' to find the Grail and charged right into the unknown on blind faith.

I am just about to read this. I ignored it in the past as I thought it was a religious book, however when my son gave it to me for Mother's Day I turned it over to read the bumph, and there on the lower right corner it said "fiction". I truly hope it is, or I know it will go unfinished.

13th April 2009
Yes, I've finished already.
This is definitely one of those books you can't put down, you just have to know what happens next.
I'll not spoil it for anyone. I'll just give you the blurb from the back cover.

On his 83rd birthday, Eddie, a lonely war veteran, dies in a tragic accident trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his - and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them has changed your path forever.

I will not apologise to the person who slated the last post of a Jodi Picoult book. They weren't slating me, just the books. And as I think I replied, what would the world be like if everyone liked the same sort of books, the huge width and depth of books being published today would not exist. To me the variety is good, and most people can find something to appeal if they want to read. And....YES!!!!! I like Jodi Picoult's books, they make the reader think, and are well researched.

Now onto the book.

Nineteen Minutes has a well constructed characters, with back stories that explain the actions they have taken. In this book the switching times to before and after the event helps build a more rounded picture.
It has faint links to "We Need to Talk about Kevin" by Lionel Shriver, by letting the reader know something of the main chacracter's life from his point of view and his parents. Unlike Shriver's book there is insight into the "victim's lives", and to me is better for this as it gives the reader a more balanced view. However, there is not one point where I felt that Peter should be found "not guilty". I did spot something that is only revealed late on the book at an early stage, probably just because I have read so much, and do write a little myself.
The book was very enjoyable, and I have yet to pick up a Jodi Picoult book and not finish it.

For a little more about the book go to the websites below:

This is one of the specially published books to encourage reading, for National Book Day.

It was as the cover said a "quick read". I finished it within a day. However, the story has subtle twists to the plot.

The book is intriguing, and a quick read, and might hook people who have never read Ian Rankin before. I would certainly read another Ian Rankin book on the strengths of this one.

If you knew where I lived for the first 13 and a bit years of my life you might think this a very strange book to read. But having read Beyond Belief ....I thought I should read this. The book is non-fiction, and has been written with access to Myra Hindley's private papers.
I can't say much about the book as the subject matter upsets me, even after all these know that they picked there victims around 10 miles away from where I lived, and may have been closer if they turned right in place of left when they left their estate.
After reading this account I am even more horrified at what they did, and am glad that Myra Hindley died behind bars, and that Ian Brady has requested that he does the same.

As a teenager, Catalina of Aragon, daughter to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabelle of Castille, is sent to England to marry the elder son of Henry VII, Arthur. Unfortunately, Arthur was a sickly young man and within a short time of their marriage, he died. After several years of living in uncertainty, a political pawn used by both her father and father-in-law, Katharine is married again, this time to Arthur's younger brother, the boy who would become King Henry VIII.

The marriage begins in an amicable way, but when Katharine is unable to produce a male heir, Henry's eye begins to wander. When an affair with Bessie Blount produces a boy, Henry believes Katharine is the sole reason why he has no legitimate male heir. He becomes more distant with the queen and sets his eyes on Anne Boleyn who rejects him because he is still married. Determined to have what is denied him, Henry sets in motion a plan which will ultimately sever England's ties to Rome and the Roman Catholic Church: divorce from Katharine.

After fifteen years of marriage, Henry declares himself not only the Head of England, but the Head of the Church in England and thereby grants himself a divorce.


I bought this book out of a desire to learn more about Katharine of Aragon after watching a full season of The Tudors and feeling sympathetic toward Katharine. I knew, though, that as with all television/movie adaptations, there are liberties taken with the story. To that end, I decided to seek out books written about Katharine for a more realistic interpretation of her life. I chose this book by Jean Plaidy after enjoying the first book I read by her.

I will, however, admit disappointment in Plaidy's treatment of the story. She included too much of the story of Katharine's sister Juana the Mad in a book about Katarine.The entire first part of the book - it was divided into three parts - could've been condensed into something resembling a long prologue, which I've discovered Bernard Cornwell has done quite effectively. Once the story moved into the real meat of Katharine's life, her marriage to Henry, then the book became far more interesting.

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