Christian Cameron: The Green Count (Review)

Christian Cameron

Image result for christian cameron

USA flag (1962 – )aka Miles Cameron, Gordon Kent

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice.

book cover of The Green Count

After the bloody trials of Alexandria, Sir William Gold is readying for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He hopes, too, that the Holy City might allow his relationship with Emile, cousin of the Green Count of Savoy, to develop.

But the Roman Emperor of Constantinople has been taken hostage by an unknown enemy, and the Green Count is vital to the rescue effort. It is up to Sir William to secure his support, but he soon finds that his past, and his relationship with Emile, might have repercussions he had not foreseen….

Suddenly thrust onto the stage of international politics, Sir William finds himself tangled in a web of plots, intrigue and murder.

Review

I’d saved this book, i knew i would enjoy it, it was more about how much?

This isn’t a small book and yet i found myself having to slow my reading so i could really enjoy and savor every line of writing. The tale starts with William Gold settling down to recount his past, which as a plot device i think is excellent, it puts the reader immediately into the warm space of being told a story and that for me feels even more real and realistic, the recounting of a history by someone who was there, it brings the whole panorama of the adventure to life.

As with all of Christian Cameron’s books there is much going on, many surprises around the corner and so many political machinations that can turn the story, much like life at the time. His characters are very alive and real, imbued with a depth of personality rarely seen in any series. That mix of real personalities fleshed out from the pages of history with a complex personality blended with those imagined and brought to life from the authors deep and intimate knowledge of the time and the culture. While i always love the ain characters like William Gold and Fiore, my favorite in this book has to be John the Turk aka John the Kipchak, a character free from much of the church morailty that mires the rest of the band, he has a simple view of the world that contrasts wonderfully….Ok, there being a Captain Parmenio is also pretty awesome and always a humbling thing, i wonder if there is a record for how many series a character has appeared in? (Captain Parmenio has been in Miles Cameron’s red Traitor Son Cycle, Simon Turney’s Ottoman Cycle, Christian Cameron’s Chivalry series and Tom Swan….honestly, wonderful moments), i’ve come to love that old rogue.

I personally don’t find the Byzantine area/period the most exciting, that could just be the books I’ve read (there are odd exceptions), and to be honest in this one Christian Cameron only touches on that world briefly, but still he brings it to life in a powerful and exciting way. The massively convoluted politics of the region, the deep schism’s that surround the seat of power in Constantinople and the constant striving for that seat of ultimate power. It is a twisted web this writer weaves, but as with all the best tales, no more twisted than the truth.

As always with Christian’s stories, every blade, every piece of armour, every rivet is exactingly real, every pain in wearing the armour, every fighting move , every twisted ankle and turn of the wrist has been experienced in some way on the field by the man himself (well ok he hasn’t actually stabbed someone… but everything non bloody). Beyond the battle, to the gloves, the clothes, the shoes, the horses, the logistics, every detail is based on experience from his world of living history/ re-enactment. This experience is priceless because of the life and reality it gives the story, these tales are more than blood and battle, they are life in another time, and Chivalry as a series is a love story as much as a tale of honour. I think my favourite description is the gravel underfoot, and how uncomfortable it was, and how much pain it led to, not because of the pain (obviously im not mean) , but because i can imagine at some time the author has experienced it, it was just too personal to have been conjured from nothing, and this is what i mean by the entire book having a startling reality that others do not. Many authors describe what they think something might be like, where Christian Cameron describes what it does feel like.

A couple of years ago it seemed unlikely that we would ever see the Green Count, but now we have a stunningly real book, one of the best Historical fiction titles you will read this year, but as even better news; Chivalry will continue next year with Sword of Justice, William Gold and friends will ride again.

I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough its a must read for Fantasy (if you lived The Traitor Son Cycle you will love this) or Historical fiction readers.

(Parm)

Series
Alan Craik (as by Gordon Kent)
1. Night Trap (1998)
aka Rules of Engagement
2. Peace Maker (2000)
3. Top Hook (2002)
4. Hostile Contact (2003)
5. Force Protection (2004)
6. Damage Control (2005)
7. The Spoils of War (2006)
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Tyrant
1. Tyrant (2007)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)
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Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
5. Salamis (2015)
6. Rage of Ares (2016)
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Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)
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Chivalry
1. The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
2. The Long Sword (2014)
3. The Green Count (2017)
4. Sword of Justice (2018)
5. Sword of Justice (2018)
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Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade
1. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part One (2014)
2. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Two (2014)
3. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Three (2014)
4. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Four (2015)
5. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Five (2015)
6. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Six (2015)
7. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Seven (2015)
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Tom Swan and the Last Spartans
1. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part One (2016)
2. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Two (2016)
3. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Three (2017)
4. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Four (2017)
5. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Five (2017)
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Novels
Cauldron of Violence (2000) (as by Gordon Kent)
Washington and Caesar (2001)
The Falconer’s Tale (2007) (as by Gordon Kent)
God of War (2012)
A Song of War (2016) (with Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turneyand Russell Whitfield)
The New Achilles (2019)
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Omnibus
Songs of Blood and Gold (2017) (with Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, Libbie Hawker, Ben Kane, E Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turney and Russell Whitfield)
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Series
Traitor Son Cycle
1. The Red Knight (2012)
2. The Fell Sword (2014)
3. The Dread Wyrm (2014)
4. A Plague of Swords (2016)
5. The Fall of Dragons (2017)
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Masters & Mages
1. The Master (2018)
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Filed under Christian Cameron, Historical Fiction, Miles Cameron

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