King's Gold Paperback – Sep 27 2011
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"Jecks does a fine job of presenting the tension of mistrust and desire for security and survival in a world where loyalty has gone awry. King's Gold depicts real 14th-century life in all classes and dimensions." —The Historical Novels Review
About the Author
Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry to concentrate on writing and the study of medieval history. A regular speaker at library and literary events, he is a past Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association. He lives with his wife, children, and dogs in northern Dartmoor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
KING'S GOLD follows Edward II - now known as Sir Edward of Caernarfon - as he is bundled from castle to castle. Supporters are plotting to free him; others are wanting to kill him. Still others such as the wealthy Bardi banking family are playing both sides. Edward, fearing for his life, asks Furnshill and Puttock to serve as bodyguards and the two reluctantly agree. As might be expected, there's lots of plotting, murder and mayhem involved.
On the plus side, Jecks once again does a marvelous job of recreating 14th Century England and presenting believable characters. In the past, I've loved how Jecks juggled various storylines and characters in his novels and eventually weaved all the threads together at the end. You have to pay attention when reading a Jecks novel! Furthermore, the developing friendship between Furnshill and Puttock and their various personal toils and travails have been a highpoint of the series.
Yet for much of KINGS GOLD, F&P, who aren't introduced into the story till page 67, are indeed reduced to bodyguard status and rather one-dimensional bodyguards at that. The Knights Templar novels now number over 30 and perhaps there's not much left to tell about Furnshill and Puttock. I hope that's not the case.
Toward story's end, Furnshill and Puttock, along with defending the deposed King, do some investigating of murders most foul and justice prevails.
I don't know where Jecks plans on taking the Knights Templar series but I hope he'll refocus on the Furnshill/Puttock relationship and their roles as agents of law and order and emphasize that dynamic. With all the political goings-on in recent Knights Templar novels, F&P have been reduced to bit players. They deserve better.
As for KING's GOLD: recommended with reservations.
"It has been at least five years since I was first introduced to this series by Michael Jecks. I soon found myself searching to find the early titles and have all to date. Why? The historical research is quite good, excellent if you will. Jecks' ability to then weave a great story into the history is better than most. It is truly remarkable that a writer could sustain a series set in in early 14th century England / France over so many titles. It is the lives of people in different "stations" and how they interact and live out those lives within a complex historical matrix. I should note that Jecks was originally published under Headline and is more recently published by Simon & Schuster, UK. More significantly I note that early titles keep reappearing in book stores so there is a call for this author and the series."