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on December 5, 2012
So far it's amazing! I guess it says something about my personal creativity if I'd never thought about turning the Black Plague into a zombie-fic. I love this story line, I love the characters, I love the depth and details and just about everything about it! Each character has their own unique and well developed personality and each one is distinct from the others. The zombies are consistent in their physical and logistical threats to Edward and his mismatched team of Knights. The scenery is well displayed without info dumping or leaving it so skeletal it turns into a thing of a challenge to the reader's imagination. The pacing is well done, not too fast, not too slow, but things speed up or slow down as necessary, and there aren't any awkward "Maybe this is a displaced scene?" feelings.

If you like historical fiction (with enough accuracy to ring of truth) and zombies, please, for the love of all that is holy, read this. You will not be disappointed!

I changed my review to 5 stars because reading episode 1-5 made me excited all over again about this story, and everything has remained consistent-- Consistently AWESOME!
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on March 9, 2015
You could say Mr. Calas does a great job of world-building, but it's more like world-rendering. This is set in the Middle Ages, but the plague has taken a different turn: instead of killing people, the sickness makes them into mindless, undead creatures which spread their contagion - plaguers. As noted by other reviewers, Sir Edward must cross dangerous territories where the undead aren't even the most evil or dangerous of foes. The only magic these knights have is determination and honor. Still, they are not painted as heroes, but more like stubborn soldiers who slog through the worst that gets thrown at them.

While the tone is dark, the writing sparkles with Sir Tristan's irreverent sarcasm. The plot twists and turns with unexpected and sometimes ingenious schemes as the knights pursue the lost Elizabeth. I read this first as a library book. Now that Emaculum (part 3 of the series) is out, I purchased all three books and I'm starting from the beginning. If you're a fan of Medieval times, you'll enjoy Calas's deft plotting, great character development and fine research.
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on April 20, 2015
I enjoy reading what I refer to Heroic Medieval Alternative World ( for want of a more concise term) Fantasies of the type written byJoe Abercrombie and others . Hacking and slashing works for me. Walking dead novels, no so much.
So, when I saw a special offer for The Scourge from Kindle I thought that I would download the sample for a tryout. The book was about medieval knights in the time of King Richard of England- lots of sword work, right?- facing a plague of, yes, zombies. I reckoned that if I didn't like the sample, no too much lost time and no cost.
Well, to my happy surprise, The Scourge rocks.

I read the book in one sitting last night, enjoying every moment as the three heroic knights slashed their way through legions of stumbling, decaying, voracious walking corpses as the Knights tried to make their way home to where they hope their remaining loved ones survived, unplagued. The dialog among the three is funny and thoughtful, as one knight , who is devout verbally jousts with his mate, who is a friendly sceptic, while their leader grumpily tries to keep everyone focused on the job at hand. Some of the one- liners made me laugh amidst the horror.
On the way they encounter grave robbers, Dukes driven mad by the horror, vicious cattle ( yep, zombie cows) and common people sequestered in fortified abbeys holding out for a miracle. And somehow it is all very believable.
Just imagine if the zombie plague substituted for the Black Plague,which struck the medieval world about the sme era, and was just as mysterious to the learned people of the time. Was it a divine curse as punishment for sin, or a diabolical one; was it caused by poisoned mists or witches? Who knew? In The Scourge, a zombie plague is all quite reasonable, with just a little bit of suspension of disbelief.

A great fun read , enjoyed by me and recommended to you. Looking forward to next book in series.
Warnings?--well, it's about zombies, so expect gore, lots of gore.

I enjoy reading what I refer to Heroic Medieval Alternative World ( for want of a more concise term) Fantasies of the type written byJoe Abercrombie and others . Hacking and slashing works for me. Walking dead novels, no so much.
So, when I saw a special offer for The Scourge from Kindle I thought that I would download the sample for a tryout. The book was about medieval knights in the time of King Richard of England- lots of sword work, right?- facing a plague of, yes, zombies. I reckoned that if I didn't like the sample, no too much lost time and no cost.
Well, to my happy surprise, The Scourge rocks.

I read the book in one sitting last night, enjoying every moment as the three heroic knights slashed their way through legions of stumbling, decaying, voracious walking corpses as the Knights tried to make their way home to where they hope their remaining loved ones survived, unplagued. The dialog among the three is funny and thoughtful, as one knight , who is devout verbally jousts with his mate, who is a friendly sceptic, while their leader grumpily tries to keep everyone focused on the job at hand. Some of the one- liners made me laugh amidst the horror.
On the way they encounter grave robbers, Dukes driven mad by the horror, vicious cattle ( yep, zombie cows) and common people sequestered in fortified abbeys holding out for a miracle. And somehow it is all very believable.
Just imagine if the zombie plague substituted for the Black Plague,which struck the medieval world about the sme era, and was just as mysterious to the learned people of the time. Was it a divine curse as punishment for sin, or a diabolical one; was it caused by poisoned mists or witches? Who knew? In The Scourge, a zombie plague is all quite reasonable, with just a little bit of suspension of disbelief.

A great fun read , enjoyed by me and recommended to you. Looking forward to next book in series.
Warnings?--well, it's about zombies, so expect gore, lots of gore.
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on November 25, 2012
I've never read a serial before and thought I'd take the plunge with something fun. I'm a historical lit fan and a horror lit fan so this seemed like a good combination. This installment delivers on both but what grabbed me most was the hurtling pace from one peril to the next, with a horrifying "oh-no-how-will-they-get-out-of-this-alive" cliffhanger ending. All lightly balanced with laugh-out-loud wisecracks and musketeeresque comedy capers along the way! You know what else? This hero loves his wife - go figure!!! This is much much better than all those Queen Victoria as a demon hunter or P&P with zombies stuff. Can't wait for installment two!
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on March 18, 2013
This book (or collection of serials) is, for me, one of my most enjoyable reads in a long time.

Calas' writing style is crisp and tight and yet the world he has created is rich and full of colour and horror.

As an author and historian myself I must commend the author for his accurate research and the expert way in which he has included the fantastical elements, mainly zombies.

The middle ages were a time of superstition and religious fervour and, if we did not know about zombies today, The Scourge would provide an almost logical explanation for the plague-ridden world of the late medieval period. Indeed, the fear portrayed and felt by the people inhabiting the world of this story was real, a fact of life during the Black Death.

The three main characters are wonderful, strong individuals each with their own beliefs, or lack thereof. One cannot imagine less likely companions and yet they work perfectly well together on their quest.

I do hope that there will be a sequel to this novel. It was too good to put down.

If you are a fan of historical fiction or historical fantasy or horror, you will thoroughly enjoy reading this.

Highly recommended!
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on November 2, 2015
In all honesty, I bought this book because I thought it was historical fiction based on the plague in the middle ages, and I thought that it would be a really interesting read. I was unaware that it was a plague that involved zombies, and even after the first description of a zombie attack, I was still convinced it was about the plague (not involving zombies) and that the knights were just putting poor afflicted people out of their misery. I figured it out by the second attack.

The story follows a knight and two of his companions as they travel across England in the 1300s during a zombie apocalypse to rescue the knight's wife. It is a very easy read, with a fast moving plot. While I am still not a huge fan of zombies, I found the plot intriguing and the characters incredibly well written. I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would (after I learned zombies were involved), and now that I am completely invested in the story I will continue reading the series to find out what happens to Sir Edward and his friends.
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on April 29, 2015
I haven't encountered this author until now but I don't think this qualifies as "Indy." The writing and editing is too good.
I am only driven to write a review when I am surprised by a book. Either by it being surprisingly good as this one is, or surprisingly BAD.
Overall it is excellent. Constant action, the book rocks along. Good story, plot twists, good character development esp. for a "zombie-action" book.
The adherence to historical setting and period is awesome though it is of course Fantasy. After all, he is putting zombies in the middle ages. There is even some good humor!
I would normally give this book 4 stars because there is always room for improvement but since the star system is abused and grading on a curve this book should get 6 stars, I gave it 5. This bothers me because the star system is so abused that I, and I believe a lot of discerning readers, ignore 5 star reviews. This guy deserves it. I wish I could leave a 4 star review for those people. I also loved that is a self contained and well ended trilogy rather than a series. Author! Author! I have already finished these and already purchased the first of the Beast books. Start writing faster I'm catching up quickly. WELL DONE!
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on December 6, 2012
(First time starting a serial.) Read the first two episodes and in one simple word... wow!

This story is so dark and gruesome... but such an awsome read. Love the main character and his friends. And of course the zombies...

One nice feature is he has a brief introduction to each episode explaining the historical accuracy or where he had to change some things to fit. Most are so minor that it does not take away from the feel of 14th century England... except one (minus the obvious of course.)

There were no personal Bibles prior to the middle/late 1400s. Oh well. It fits the character good so it is easy to look over.

If you are looking for a dark horror then I highly recommend this serial.

**Will update this review as more episodes are released**

*12/24* Episode 3 delivers! Loving the main characters.
*01/01* Episode 4 did not impress me much. Still good though. 3.5 stars.

Well I have stopped after episode 4. not because it is a bad story but I got too busy reading books in between releases that i have not caught up. Plan on it after all are released.
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on November 22, 2016
I am a fan of knights, and an even bigger fan of zombie novels. So, what could be better than a novel which combines the two? Not much, as it turns out.

With a fantastic combination of humor, historical accuracy (to a point), and zombie action, Roberto Calas creates a truly absorbing story, which I had a hard time putting down. I don't want to give away too much, but there is enough to keep you turning pages (not literally, it is an e-book, after all).

The story of a knight and his companions, trying to return home, in the midst of a medieval zombie apocalypse, is as good a read as I have had in a long time. You meet all the usual zombie apocalypse characters, but they are all put into the medieval world in a way that will make everything seem fresh and new.

So, if you like zombie novels, you need to give this book a read. It's the first book in a trilogy that you will want to read, and you'll be glad you did.
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on November 17, 2013
Disclosure -- I am *so* tired of zombie-anything that if I'd been paying closer attention, I would have avoided this medieval quest through zombie-infected England like the plague. (Ha! See what I did there?) BUT DON'T DO THAT. Read it. The freshest take on an old myth I've read in quite some time.

What I liked
---------------------
* Alternate historical world -- the author's careful research, knowledge, and creativity made this novel truly shine.
* First person present tense -- I usually hate both of these things, but the journalistic personal quality the voice brings to the book sets and manipulates the mood masterfully.
* Dark humor -- Horrific things happen in this book - truly, god-awfully horrific. And the sharp-witted gallows humor Calas laces through everything may be some of the best I've read.
* A new take on an old tale -- "The Scourge" has the "what people do in the face of the end of the world" analysis that is the basis of all zombie fiction. But this story breaks the "unlikely companions must figure out how to trust each other to survive" mold, giving the reader "jaunty medieval trio of knights quest to rescue the damsel from zombification" instead.
* Viciously soul-sucking things happen. I usually don't like viciously soul-sucking things. But if I'm going to have them, I want to get them from Roberto Calas.

What I didn't like
----------------------
* .. .. .. I got nothing

Highly Recommend The Scourge. Get you some.
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