Men of Iron

I loved this book. It has to be one of my all time favourites, the kind you can enjoy on the second and third reading!

Miles Falworth has a bit to learn about holding his temper. However, as a knight in training, he has ample opportunity for the development of his character. Friendship, honour, courage, all the best things are in this story, right along with adventure and excitement.

England in the 1400’s was a time of jousting and fighting to the death in tournaments, which may not appeal to the overly sensitive. I gave it to my 9yr old to read, despite the somewhat disturbing events that lead into the story. Having lent it to one of my adult friends to read, she enjoyed it, but thought it was too violent for her 10yr old daughter. It contains an offer of marriage, but remember, it’s set in the days when handing over a scarf as a token was a big thrill: by no means is it the trashy romance variety.

The overall impression – Rollicking Adventure, without the usual things that might accompany a story about a young man’s first venture away from home. The language may be a little heavy for children who are not yet confident readers, but it’s well worth the effort.

Otto of the Silver Hand

For me, not nearly so good as Men of Iron. Set in medieval Germany, it contains as much violence (without giving away the story – there are only so many ways you get a silver hand), but it lacked the warmth of the previous book. Also contains a marriage, but again, no trashy stuff.

Overall, this is an o.k read, but possibly a bit “unhappy” for younger readers. (I did not give this one to my 9yr old)

Robin Hood

In case you thought I had written him off after the last review – this one was a cracker! This was very well written, witty, exciting, adventurous. No mention of maid Marian and the usual that goes along with that aspect of the story. Again, some sword fighting, and one fellow meets a sticky end, but it is not excessively gory.

Overall- good older adventure story. I did give this to miss 9, but with the warning that she would NOT be happy if she read the epilogue. I stand by that if you’re 9 or 90! The end of the book leaves you wanting more of the story, but in a happy frame of mind. The Epilogue certainly adds the bit we all crave when we don’t want a good read to be over, but it has a very melancholy flavour, and I wished I hadn’t read it when I was finished.

I would like to hear from anyone who has read Within the Capes, by this same author or who has anything to add to these reviews.

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