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Posted December 28, 2011
A Different Look at the Crusades
This is a story that took me by surprise - it was difficult to start, but once I got into it, everything fell into place. Behold the Dawn is a tale of salvation, redemption and revenge set during the Third Crusade. Every one of the characters has a secret and the secrets seemed tied to other secrets. I particularly enjoyed the beginning scene at the tournament - not your sanitized tourney straight out of "Camelot" or the first season of "The Tudors," but the ugly, violent, yet exciting sport that was banned in England by Henry II and condemned the church. You taste the dirt, the sweat, the blood, and you feel the pain at times. You get inside the troubled soul of Marcus Annan and wish better for him - and you wonder what went wrong that forced him onto his life's journey.
The main characters are enignmatic, and puzzling - you have to keep reading.
I would give "Behold the Dawn" five stars, but some of the dialogue grated on me - the use of the word 'bucko' and the wise-cracking sidekick's dialogue and behavior was out-of-century: the dialogue seemed better suited for an "Indiana Jones" movie - not bad, but it just seemed jarring and didn't fit. I also did not like two of the main characters, The 'Baptist', who seemed to be everywhere, and especially Marek. Would a squire talk like that to his master, especially one as lethal as Marcus Annan, and be able to stand up straight after smarting off to the boss? Don't think so. Also, I wished the author would have better explained the dirtiest secret of all, the one alluded to at every step and in every scene and by every character. All are connected in one way or another to it. When I got to the end, as satisfying as it was, there were still a lot of unanswered questions in my mind. And yet, I have to say it was still a good read.
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Posted July 24, 2010
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