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Ambrose, Prince of Wessex; Trader of Kiev.: Book 1 of the Ambrose Series (Volume 1) Paperback – December 25, 2012
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From the Back Cover
A young prince of Wessex is captured by Viking raiders. In order to save his friend from being a sacrifice to a Viking god, Ambrose must escape captivity in Denmark. They begin an epic journey to Norway and then Sweden. Ambrose, welcomed by a friend of his Danish master, is being trained as a trader when pursuing Danes arrive.
The rest of the story is loosely based on the Primary Russian Chronicles. Ambrose and his companions join a Rus expedition to conquer Novgorod, and, within a year, they travel down the mighty Dnieper river to settle in Kiev. A agreement is reached with the Slavs, but soon both are threatened by the Pechenegs, a fierce tribe of steppe nomads who hate all cities. Only the military genius of Ambrose's friend Polonius give the Vikings and Slavs a chance.
About the Author
Bruce Corbett divides his time between his home on Ile Perrot, just west of Montreal, and his wife's family cottage in scenic Entralac, Quebec. After counselling teenagers and adults for over 40 years, he retired to concentrate on his writing and photography. To date, he has written a collection of Science Fiction short stories, which are now available individually or as a newly-released ebook. Two Science Fiction novels await the final editing. The project closest to his heart, however, is his series of historical novels based on a fictional hero, Ambrose, a Prince of Wessex, set in the time of Alfred the Great. There are now nine novels in the series.
Top customer reviews
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This is not Bernard Cornwell, although the cover is very similiar to his Saxon Series Chronicles--that is where any similarity to Cornwell ends--the writing itself is not of Cornwell's caliber. And although I like the main characters they lacked depth and flesh. It is an easy read, but it becomes inconsistent and choppy at times almost like it was rushed and clunky. Sometimes the words flowed along nicely and other times it was a rough read.
I'm not sure if it was only my copy, but the book I read needs a good copy-line editor. I'm not talking about errant commas either. Some sentences I would have to immediately go back and re-read even though it was a short sentence. Sometimes a word was missing or the wrong word was used like "a" for "and" and other problems like homonyms, and clarity. Sometimes the dialogue would have no punctuation marks and that didn't help things.
If you can overlook the books problems it is a good story. It needs editing.
It seems that the author has done a fair amount of research. His work does display a fairly deep knowledge of Viking culture, their weapons, customs , religion and other surrounding culture. Yet it seems like the research does not make it's way across to the reader. Mr. Corbett also had knowledge of the Central Asian cultures the Rus came into contact with like the war like Pechenegs, militaristic Khazars and the raiding Magyars. The author should have given us more depth instead of a shallow read that would be suitable for children or young teenagers had it not been For some off the sex scenes.
The story starts off with a Viking raid of Wessex, Ambrose the bastard son of a local chieftain is taken captive along with his body guard. In the scenes that follow we are taken to life of a Viking slave complete with neck collars and treatment that is both fair and brutal at the same time. Many slaves could look forward to being sold in a Byzantium slave market. Some slave masters were kind like Ambrose's master Canute, who treats Ambrose like a son and has him learn fighting skill. Phillip his body guard fairs worse, his master is cruel and merciless. Ambrose and Pollonius must rescue their friends before going to the East to open up trading posts in the Russian Steppe.
It is on the Russian steppe that Canuteson or Ambrose sets up business outpost for Canute's friend Gunnar. On the Russian Steppes the Viking are settling the land and forming alliances with local slavs to fend off against the raiding Pechenegs. Ambrose first starts off in Novgorod and then moves to Kiev where a local force of Vikings and Slavs hod off a Pecheneg onslaught. Pollonious is a bright Greek who has mastered many languages. His brain power and planning skills are crucial.
The research and knowledge bring a lot of potential to this book especially since the interests in the Viking culture is rather strong today. Book needs more depth and fleshing out of detail.
I eventually concluded I had downloaded a book intended for young readers instead, and gave up. Some of the other reviews lead me to think this isn't a book for young readers, either. Since the author has gone on to write another nine books in the series, the target market obviously likes them. I'm not entirely sure who that target market is, but apparently I'm not a member.
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However, it felt like it was almost painting by numbers.Read more