Jester Paperback – Mar 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Just who is writing the coauthored Patterson novels makes for interesting water-cooler chat, but whether the majority of words are contributed by Patterson or Gross, this terrific new novel is prime Patterson all the way, another step in the author's application of his patented storytelling style to a multitude of genres-in this case, historicals. The title character is, when introduced in 1096, an unassuming innkeeper in a French village oppressed by the local nobleman. To earn his freedom, Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades for a torturous, bloody march toward Jerusalem that occupies the book's first third and ends with him escaping the madness around him by deserting back to France, in possession of some minor treasures-or so he thinks. Back home, he finds that his beloved wife has been taken captive by the odious nobleman, and his infant son slain. Seeking his wife and revenge, Hugh adopts the guise of a jester in order to enter to the nobleman's castle, where he begins to fall in love with a young noblewoman, and she with him. In time, Hugh finds his wife, only to experience tragedy, and learns that the nobleman is searching for him, as he is believed to have carried back from the Crusades the greatest holy relic of all. Returning to his village, which has been destroyed during the nobleman's hunt for him, Hugh persuades his townspeople, then surrounding towns, to rise up in revolt against the corrupt nobleman and his henchmen. From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colorful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Another departure for Patterson after Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas: home from the Crusades, Hugh must play the jester to find his wife, abducted by knights.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This novel is light reading for fans of medieval history. It is a fairly interesting read, by and large, but contains little of substance or historical accuracy. This tale of a simple innkeeper turned crusader turned court jester and then leader of a peasant army goes very fast and I'd be surprised if it was not turned into a movie; indeed, if it had already been set to film, it would star Erol Flynn. There is some fairly OK romance, some details on the crusades and 11th century French feudalism and some medieval swordplay and battles, but nothing extensive. Good triumphs over evil, fairly predictably. The perspective of life as a court jester is a new one, not quite Robin Hood, but definitely not Arthur Pendragon either. The evil doings in this book by the knights and nobility are pretty atrocious (really faint-hearted readers may be offended by the images of violence, torture and sex, which, if they were in a movie, would get an "Unrated" rating). I question whether 11th century lords really exercised such complete power over life or liberty of their serfs. The French feudalism described herein seems much more akin to Japanese feudalism and I doubt medieval European aristocracy would treat the lives of their subjects/tax base so casually.
I have two items of significant criticism with this light but fairly entertaining novel, aside from its cursory nature (it could have stood an extra 100 pages of details and description). First is the whole premise that the duke would know of the whereabouts of the relic and know to track it back to Hugh. Indeed, if he knew it was in Hugh's possession, why did his marauders commit outrages on other towns and slay the several knights in those small hamlets? Perhaps they were looking for other relics?Read more ›
The central character is Hugh De Luc, an innkeeper in a small French village who leaves his wife Sophie to join the First Crusade to fight the infidels and free Jerusalem. The first section of the book graphically describes the hardships which he and his companions endured during their journey, and his lifechanging experience in Antioch which convinced him to end his journey and return home. Upon his eventual return he finds his village plundered and destroyed, the infant son previously unknown to him murdered and his wife kidnapped and believed dead. The remainder of the book involves Hugh's attempts to locate his wife (he believes that she is still alive) and mete out vengenance on those who are responsible for his son's death.
While near death after an encounter with a wild boar, Hugh is befriended by Emilie and her mistress Anne from neighboring Boree, which Anne rules while her husband Stephen is away fighting in the Crusade. Hugh attempts to develop a strategy for infiltrating neighboring Treille, a walled city ruled by the evil Baldwin, who is apparently responsible for Sophie's kidnapping. Emilie has the idea that Hugh can use his intelligence and natural talent for comedy to pose as a JESTER, and thus disguised Hugh resumes his search for Sophie.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very good cry very very very very vrry very very good good goodgood recomend itto every one great read sometimes sillyPublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of my favorite book ever. Good intrigue and I like the main character. My first James Patterson book and not the last one.Published on July 26 2014 by TheReader
I like it when Patterson books change it up. The setting is England and the Jester is quite a character.Published on Oct. 5 2013 by Cathy Buhler
This book is a hit! I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't put in down, and once I was done I passed it on to friends and family. Read morePublished on March 23 2005
This book is one of those books that you can't wait to read every day! The idea behind the story is outstanding. Read morePublished on July 9 2004
Sometimes all you need is something to tide you over. Dinner is in an hour but your stomach is rumbling away so you nibble on a cookie, chow on a candy bar, suck on a ring-pop. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by CincinnatiPOV
I would like to be frank and honest, I really love Patterson. Not because of his writing, it because he knows how to capture the imagination. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Jimi Dracutt
It's been ages ago I've been reading books. But when I took this book in my hands, I couldn't stop reading. I just had to keep on reading. Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by Alain De Mol