on April 13, 2004
I have read a great deal of Mr. Adams works he is a lost treasure and I hope that you will find him and enjoy his brillance.
The Outlandish Knight is the story of a minstrel who is traveling to find himself and to serve his Master. The book which is broken down in three parts. Each part pertains to a different family memeber of Raymonds.
There are great folk songs through out the book which adds to Mr Adams great writing. I enjoyed the first two parts very much following along with Raymonds son as he to follows in his father footsteps. The second part of the story is told by Raymond the son, and it gives a different feel to the book.
The third part is about Raymond's daughter Honor Mary and about her story which is told by the Author. This is where the story slows down a little. Honor does not follow in their footsteps. It is still a wonderful book and it brings a very different look to Mr Adams works.It is an enjoyable book and any Richard Adams fan will enjoy it.I only wished that he would have given more feel and more color to the characters.
on July 17, 2000
Richard Adams set the bar pretty high when he published his first novel, Watership Down, over 25 years ago. His novels since then (Shardik, Plague Dogs, Girl in the Swing, Maia, and Traveler) have not lived up to the promise of that first book, which ranks among the most beloved novels of the 20th century and will surely be among the handful of books to survive the century.
It is with great pleasure, therefore, to note that with The Outlandish Knight Adams has crafted a lyrical novel rich in historical detail. It follows the fortunes of 3 generations of "common" folk in England and their relationships with the Tudor aristocrats.
The novel opens in the year 1485, the action concentrating on the Battle of Bosworth Field, where Henry VII, the first of the Tudor dynasty, brought an end to the Wars of the Roses. The central narrative focuses on Henry VIII's divorce from Katherine of Aragon, while the third portion is concerned with the fate of those implicated in a plot in support of Mary, Queen of Scots, during Elizabeth's reign.
The overriding theme is one of unwavering loyalty and devotion in the face of intense pressure. While Adams is faithful to the historical detail the reader cannot help but get caught up in the events as if they were happening today. Most impressively, Adams' characters speak the English of their day, not 20th century vernacular, a device which other writers of historical fiction would do well to employ. The historical figures that appear as characters are believable, as well.
Adams' first foray into historical fiction came with his last novel, Traveler, but here he is on surer ground, writing about his native England. As a special bonus, the text is sprinkled liberally with excerpts of English folk song, including the actual musical notation.
Although lacking an animal protagonist, this is Adams' best novel since Watership Down. Readers should also check out his two collections of tales, The Unbroken Web and Tales from Watership Down. Also in a similar vein is a historical novel by Alan Garner, Strandloper, and various works of history of this period, such as Antonia Fraser's Faith and Treason.
The words "based on a true story" have become all too automatic in this visually-oriented age, but it is comforting to know that there are still instances when the phrase actually has meaning.