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Son of Blood: 1 (Crusades) [Kindle Edition]

Jack Ludlow
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description


11th Century Italy. The domination of the Normans, the most feared warriors in Christendom, is causing trouble. At their head is Robert de Hauteville, the 'Guiscard', who has colonised much of Italy and now commands the triple Dukedom of the extended Norman family. But Robert has made many enemies, including the ever-powerful papacy in Rome.

As Robert successfully suppresses a Lombard revolt, his first-born, Bohemund, now seventeen and blessed with the strength, height and military prowess of his father, has come to fight in his army. Already recognised as a formidable warrior, Bohemund seeks to assert his natural right as the heir of Robert's dukedom. With Robert's second son, Borsa, legally entitled to inherit, his quest is not without conflict. A battle between the sons is inevitable, and blood ties will count for nothing.

Editorial Reviews


Builds up from pure adventure with excitement and daring all the way. --Historical Novels Review

'Exciting and unpredictable' --The Bookbag

About the Author

JACK LUDLOW is the pseudonym of David Donachie, who was born in Edinburgh in 1944. The author of a number of bestselling books, he now lives in Deal with his wife, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook. He is active on the event circuit and is an extremely eloquent and engaging speaker.

Product Details

  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; Reprint edition (May 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085MG8OC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,533 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This is a gripping read, even better than the previous series (Conquest) which was far from poor. The strong points start as of page one of the prologue where the reader is treated straight away with a rather nasty fight opposing "rebel" Lombards to a handful of highly trained, fierce and fearless Norman knights who break their shieldwall. The contrast drawn between Bonito and the young giant Norman warrior and cold killer that is about to take him on is wonderfully drawn. So are the orher battles scenes across the whole book and, because this is the story of the last 12 years of Robert Guiscard, and the next decade that sees Bohemond his bastard "son of blood" become Prince of Tarento, there are quite a few of them.

This leads me to the book's second strength. This is the way Jack Ludlow has chosen and managed to depict the personalities and the relationship between his three main characters. I mean Robert de Hauteville, nicknamed Robert Guiscard, because of his cunning, the triple Duke (of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, who also became Prince of Salerno), his younger brother and lieutenant Roger of Hauteville, the Great Count from whom the Koings of Sicily were to descend, and their respective son and nephew, Bohemond, who was to be one of the main leaders of the First Crusade and become the first Prince of Antioch. The relationships show a mixture of pride, respect, mutual wariness because each is aware of how dangerous the other one could be to the others and to their interests, masking deeper feelings which are never entirely allowed to come to the fore. Although we will of course never know for sure, Jack Ludlw has indeed managed to show them as I imagine them, making them feel real. So this worked very well for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found SON OF BLOOD to be a very good read. It showed the many battles that were between the Church and the ruling Knights I will read all of the books in this series
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hero too Perfect October 13, 2013
Bohemond, the bastard son of Robert Guiscard, is the tallest, the most valiant, loyal, and most accomplished fighter in his father's army. He is a cunning commander of troops, attractive to women, and all-around too perfect. Christian moralists might fault him for being too ambitious, but within his Norman culture and ethos, ambition is considered a virtue. So, Bohemond has no faults.

Ludlow's land battles and naval engagements are exciting and described in just the right detail to draw the reader in and get the blood up. I would, however, have liked more. Several battles are summarized rather than described. I wish the author had stuck with his real strength.

The history of the Normans in Italy is related in much detail. The lineage and accomplishments ot Bohemond, Prince of of Tarento, his father, Robert de Hauteville, the triple Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, his younger brother and lieutenant Roger of Hauteville, the Great Count from whom the Koings of Sicily were to descend, Robert's legitimate son Borsa and nephew Jordan, along with Robert's wife, and several popes are related. I very much enjoy learning history through well-written historical fiction, which I count this. But, the story occasionally lost its thread in the accounts of lineages and relationships. Still, from what I learned through Wikipedia after reading "Son", the history leading up to Bohemond's "crusade" and becoming the first Prince of Antioch is accurate and the story is a good one, despite the hero being too perfect. MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY The Death, Resurrection, and Redemption of Chicago Football
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ripping yarn November 5, 2012
By muzz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
lots of pace in this book Ludlow does it again looking forward to more of his books on Kindle The historical references are accurate enough to make this believable
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed! July 7, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very hard book to get into,reads more like a history instead of a novel.Got to page 60 and quit reading it.Ordered Mercenaries by him,hopefully will be a better read.Will let you know.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval intrigue and politics. April 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book although for different reasons than those I used as purchasing criteria. I had this down as a medieval, war, action, military history and all those elements do indeed appear here: however, this is a book essentially about the plots, intrigues and double-crosses that made up the murky political shenanigans of those violent times and the hard, cunning men and women that sought wealth and power within this scenario.
Ludlow has a good eye for detail and a better one for dissembling and presenting the tremendously complicated comings and goings of 11th. Century Italian history. Characters leap out the pages at you and some of the twists and turns in events are jaw-dropping in the sheer impudence of princes' and barons' treachery and infidelity.
It's an eye-opener and a good read. I am presuming that we will get to see the progress of Bohemund in his further adventures and I look forward to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book August 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you liked the other books in this series you'll love this book. Packed with adventure and sword play, good fun!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good Follow up
son of Blood was an exciting and interesting follow up to Warriors. Very enjoyable historical fiction. this is 4 words.
Published 16 months ago by Steve
4.0 out of 5 stars Son of Blood
Excellent recounting of how descendants of a small viking colony in France became a major European power and military vanguard of Catholicism.
Published 19 months ago by William A. Osborn
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start to the series
A great mix of personalities and politics from Popes to Dukes all fighting over southern Italy and its surrounds. A recommended read.
Published 21 months ago by Rob Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ending
Although the book was a good read and I am a big fan of Ludlow's work, I felt he rather rushed the ending a bit jumping years in one page where major characters had deceased. Read more
Published 21 months ago by M. Hawkins
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Interesting story about the lead up to the Crusades. Interesting characters and a lot of history about the saxons in Italy and Greece. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
primitive, predictable and confusing with his use of names. Angus Donald's book about Robin Hood ... Now that's a 5 Star book series!
Published 22 months ago by Michael Serant
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing.
A telling of the beginning Crusade. Told in a manner that makes it hard to put the book down and impatient for the next installment. Read more
Published 23 months ago by SkyGunner
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