Altdorf: A Novel of the Forest Knights (Forest Knights Duology) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/1/8
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A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows... A Duke of the Holy Roman Empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambition... A young Priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests... And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all. "Re-imagining the William Tell legend-without William Tell." At the end of the thirteenth century, five hundred orphans and second sons are rounded up from villages in the Alpine countryside and sold to the Hospitaller Knights of St John. Trained to serve as Soldiers of Christ, they fight in eastern lands they know nothing about, for a cause they do not understand. Thomas Schwyzer, released from his vows by the Grandmaster of the Hospitallers, returns to the land of his birth a stranger. Once a leader of men, and captain of the Order's most famous war galley, he now settles into the simple life of a ferryman. He believes this new role to be God's reward for years of faithful service fighting the Infidel in Outremer. Seraina, considered a witch by most, a healer by some, is a young woman with a purpose. A Priestess of the Old Religion, and the last Druid disciple of the Helvetii Celts, she has been gifted by the Great Weave to see what others cannot. Her people need her guidance and protection now more than ever. For Duke Leopold of Habsburg, in his efforts to control the St. Gotthard Pass, builds a great Austrian fortress in Altdorf. Once finished, the Habsburg occupation will be complete, but the atrocities visited upon her people will have just begun. Set in medieval Switzerland, ALTDORF, a novel of The Forest Knights, is the first book in a two-book series.
J. K. Swift lives in a log house well off the beaten path in central B.C., Canada. He is the author of "The Forest Knights" novels, which are set in medieval Switzerland. He has worked as a school teacher, jailhouse guard, Japanese translator, log peeler, accountant, martial arts instructor, massage therapist, technical editor, and has called a few Bingo games. He gets his story ideas while traveling in Europe, feeding his chickens, and cutting wood.
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This book ended up being one of the best I've read in the past year. I ended up buying the sequal so I could find out how it ended.
But all is not lost! A young man named Noll and his band of merry men are fighting the aristocrats for the freedom of their fellow man. And a young druid/healer sees the role Noll will play in changing the country they live in.
Altdorf is the first in the series, and does a good job of setting the stage. I only hope the second book is a little cheerier!
This tale takes place when Christianity had a firm hold over all the kingdoms of Europe, & only a few of those who practice the old Druid religion; reverence of Mother Earth, remain.
A chokehold on all of the advanced knowledge in Math & Science, from Asia & the Middle East, has been stifled for almost 200 years. Those who have studied this knowledge must hold it close lest they be accused of witchcraft.
Out of hundreds of common orphan boys, rounded up & sold into the slavery of the church; four return home after twenty years of slaughtering men, women & children. Each believes that having served their masters with honor, in the Pope's first Navy, that they will have the freedom to choose, how they will live out the rest of their lives.
Returning to their homeland, they seek to reconnect, if possible, to family who might be still alive. However, there is a political storm on the horizon as Kings prepare to war over power & profits; while the common man begins to question the rights these lords have over any of them.