Set during the Hundred Years’ War with France, The White Company tells the story of a young Saxon man who is learning what it is to be a knight. Raised by Cistercian Monks and rejected by a violent elder brother, Alleyn Edricson takes service with one of the foremost knights in the country. When Alleyn falls in love with the knight’s daughter, he must prove himself to be a courageous and honourable knight before he can win her hand. Alleyn and his friends set forth with the other men-at-arms to join Prince Edward in Bordeaux, from where they will take part in the Prince’s campaign into Spain. It is in Spain that Alleyn and others must prove themselves to be very valiant and hardy cavaliers.
I absolutely loved this production. The blurb gives you a very good overview of the story but does not give you any idea of the horde of delight to be found within!
I admit to being a Cadfael fan, and this book scratches the same medieval itch. From the lack of tech to the turn of phrase, this story drips with period feel. A period when knights were Gentle, squires honourable, and ladies fair.
The characters in this story jump out of the story to endear themselves to you by their subtle and detailed portrayals. Every characters seems to have their own voice within the text ( and the reader supplies a voice for them all as well! ).
The lead character is a simple honest young man, who finds himself somewhat at a loss and takes up with a pair of strong Archers who are off to war. In their company he starts the journey towards a real medieval manhood and winning the hand of his love.
Every step of the journey if exciting and enthralling by turns, from struggeling to speak of his love, to a clash of swords, this story has it all.
Now a special word about the reader of this audio delight. Clive Catterall is the reader and was a perfect choice for this text. His British accent accompanies a soft presentation that smooches your ears, it fits the genteel characters perfectly and he is able to give them each a special voice to fit their character. An outstanding audio work.
Total Score 8/9
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