Sunday, 25 October 2009

Blood Rock - James Jackson

Blood Rock

I think I'm getting a bit obsessional about Malta and its history since we visited Valletta again last month. Strange because history never grabbed me at school, I preferred geography.

My previous posting about Mark Harris' book, The Information Officer, covered the second Great Siege of Malta during World War 11, this book is an excellent historical novel based on the epic Great Siege of Malta in 1565.

The Knights of St John are under siege in Malta from the great Ottoman armada of Suleiman the Magnificent who intends to wipe them out. They are greatly outnumbered by the Ottomans and there's also a traitor amongst them whose identity is hidden until the very end. It's a brutal story based on fact and fictional characters are intertwined with the historical ones like The Grand Master of The Knights, John Parisot de la Valette and Mustapha Pasha, commander of the Turkish land forces. The hero, Christian Hardy is a bit of a cliche and on occasions more of a superhero than a soldier, nevertheless he's an interesting one.

I have to say the book makes history come to life and would make quite a good film. It's a far better read than Dan Brown's novels which are frequently historically inaccurate.

For anyone contemplating a visit to Malta, it gives you a good insight into the geography of the country as well as the appalling hardships the people of this island have endured over the centuries. Post 126

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I have never heard about this book. I am addicted to historical fiction, especially anything about English history that has to do with the Plantaganets or the Tudours.


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