Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Once More Into The Fray: KING'S GOLD by Michael Jecks

King's Gold by Michael Jecks
Another one down and not too many more to go now. I read the first in this series, The Last Templar, then I jumped forward to the books at the end (because I could not source the earlier books too easily or at all in some cases) starting with The Oath.

Then I read the recently released prequel to the entire series, Templar's Acre. And now back to the end of the series with this one, King's Gold. One more to go and if I then wish to meet Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and Simon Puttock again, I will have to wind the clock back and find some of those that came before The Oath. 

I discovered when I read The Oath, that these are virtually stand alone books. You are going to miss out on that special connection one has with characters by not starting the series at the beginning. And it would serve you better if you tried to read them all in some semblance of order (and at over thirty books, you have quite a hunt ahead of you). But overall, it isn't that you 'cannot' jump in anywhere, or you 'should not' jump in at the end like I did. I managed to understand what was going on just fine. I am sure you will too, if you cannot find the earlier books.

Here in this second last book, King's Gold, we are getting into more political intrigue and less medieval mystery. I found The Oath was the same. More about political espionage than whodunnit and I am told by fans of the series that the whodunnit style is relegated to the earlier portion of this thirty something book series. While political intrigue becomes the focus in the latter portion.

I think I enjoyed King's Gold more than The Oath. There has been too much time between them to explain why. That aside though, I have to comment on Michael Jecks' writing style. In a time where so many authors are doing an abysmal slash and burn of the English language, and wordsmiths are becoming an endangered beast, Michael Jecks is one of those elite few modern historical fiction authors who wields a pen with an easy and old fashioned moxie. It is a hand that compliments the settings of his books. He could almost be writing to us from the era he writes in. 

Aspiring authors should slow down their writing. Stop looking for the quick turnover. Study the hands of authors like Michael Jecks. Aspire to harness that dying art of wordsmithing, before you even think about writing a novel yourself. 

I will try to get to the last book in the series, City of Fiends, in the coming months. 'Try' and 'do' are two seperate matters however, so don't go laying your bets on me just yet. 

- MM

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