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Das Sakrament by Tim Willocks

Das Sakrament (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Tim Willocks, Ulrike Seeberger

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6672114,382 (3.86)12
Title:Das Sakrament
Authors:Tim Willocks
Other authors:Ulrike Seeberger
Info:Aufbau Tb (2007), Edition: 1., Aufl., Broschiert, 763 pages
Collections:Your library, Permanent library
Tags:Malta, Malteserorden, Inquisition, Osmanen, Türken, Belagerung, 1565, historischer Roman

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The Religion by Tim Willocks (2006)



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English (18)  German (1)  French (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Mattias Tannhauser is a soldier of fortune, joining the elite Janissary of the Ottomans as a boy he rose through their ranks before leaving. He makes his way through life buying and selling but reserves a hatred for the Inquisition who killed his mentor. Carla is a noblewomen, rich and beautiful, who wants to return to her homeland of Malta to find her illegitimate son. Malta is an island about to be besieged by the full might of the Turkish forces and the Knights of Malta, the Religion, need all the help they can get and Matthias is the man they want. Set during the Siege of Malta in 1565, this book explores religion, loyalty and love.

I actually really enjoyed this book but found it a little too long. There are many sections devoted to battle and these are florid and gruesome but after a while they become repetitious - there is only so much 'gore' or descriptions of 'gobbets of flesh' that one can take. Having said that it is an exciting story and Tannhauser is a likeable anti-hero. In the same way the anti-villain has clear motives for his actions and the lesser cast of characters are quite well-drawn. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
This was a very interesting historical novel...maybe not for the faint of heart (or stomach) as many scenes were quite bloody. It's set during the Siege of Malta (1565) -- Turks battling Catholic Knights of St. John the Baptist (Hospitalers). It kept me interested all the way through 21 discs & even piqued my curiosity enough that I felt the need to look up historical facts about Malta & the Siege. ( )
  mfdavis | May 20, 2015 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It got a little repetitive for my taste although I'm sure many books with a war base can, but it was never dull. I loved the characters and was particularly upset when a couple of them died, although I won't say who. The epilogue was absolutely perfect though. That was the best way this story could have ended, truth be told.

To be perfectly honest, I can't imagine this being a trilogy. I like it just the way it is. Anything after this seems extraneous. ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
From the sublime to the ridiculous. But I figure the sublime earns four stars, without taint from ridiculous content. You don't get sublime often, do you?

Has a big dose of swashbuckler. When the swashbuckler’s in the cockpit this isn’t ‘real-feel’ historical, because Mattias Tannhauser has been everywhere, can do everything. I was comfortable with that, I’ve swashbuckled of old, the secret is don’t try too hard to believe.

It’s more realistic when it comes to the war, and most of the book is war, and that’s where he lifts to the sublime. He goes for broke on the writing. But if ever there’s a time to overwrite... other reviewers say that. How else to paint for us mad hell on earth, as is his intention, other than by his wild similes? Like this, like that – as he stretches for a phantasmagorical similar. Besides, if he didn’t, he’d only have his human pudding to talk about, and that would wear. I took the graphic depiction in my stride, never grossed out, did not suspect him of exploitation – and I can’t tell you why, when I not infrequently complain about cheap violence in histfic. Don’t know you can possibly get more violent than this one, but it’s done right – for me. As we went along I began to often think of WWI, I was transported back to my ‘WWI Lit’ class, perhaps the atmosphere or the intention was like that protest literature. On the other hand he doesn’t scrimp on the allures of war, the gallantry, the glory, the strange exhilarations: at an earlier stage I admired the book for that, for not being a 21st century anti-war tract. This novel, yes, has a stab at tackling religious war, I came to feel, as we saw sides and further sides to the subject. I liked La Valette, the head Knight of St John, even though he’s a crazed old loon: the knights of the Baptist were magnificent, the Turks were magnificent, I knew I’d fight for either cause, and Tannhauser, who tries not to be swept away, watches the glamour, of war, heroism, religion: both the glamours and the horrors absolutely presented in this book.

Then there are the bad bits. Badder than I can politely say is the romance. Think of the worst of romances. With the indulgent fantasy of a guy. And hopelessly, hopelessly sexist. That’s a pity, because when Carla is away from Mattias she has a story of her own, in the hospital – these are the Hospitallers, sworn to ‘serve the poor’, who call the sick ‘our lords’ – a story that moved me deeply. The other woman, Amparo, seemed unusual at first – until she hooked up with Mattias, then she sank without a trace for the rest of the book.

We have a sublime scene on the horror and the pity of war. Next we have a scene torn from a trashy romance. What a drop. I felt like the Moslems they hanged one a day, dropped from the castle walls. The strongest section, I thought, was the ‘Maltese Iliad’; the final drama was too melodrama. ( )
  Jakujin | May 13, 2013 |
[The Religion], an historical novel by [[Tim Willocks]], is set in Malta during the 1565 Seige of Malta, and follows the exploits of Mattias Tannhauser and his friends as they struggle to outwit Death at the hands of Suleiman Shah and the Ottoman army.

Tannhauser, a former soldier in the Ottoman Army, and his friend Bors of Carlisle, undertake a quest to find the missing-since-birth son of a beautiful countess, a quest which takes them into the heart of a war. While the plot is not quite unique, Mr. Willocks does a truly masterful job of creating the characters and telling the story very compellingly.

Tannhauser and Bors are your basic good-old-boys, really big good-old-boys - businessmen, soldiers, opportunists, advisors, realists and charmers. They love a good time but also have their own sense of morality. For them, it works well. Mr. Willocks' attention to character details is also demonstrated in most all of the other characters in the book. Villains have soft spots, heroes feel fear.

As for the action sequences, they are cohesive without the hint of being too fantastic. After a while, the descriptions of the fighting become repetitive.

It is a solidly "excellent" book for the historical-fiction aficionado. ( )
  Betty30554 | Sep 21, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Dejli telegraf je za prvi roman ovog autora, koji se pojavio 1994. godine, napisao da je najbolji triler otkad su se pojavili „Kad jaganjci utihnu”. Ovo je još jedan mračan istorijski roman epskih razmera. Toliko dinamičan da čitalac mora da ga pročita u dahu. Priča počinje u maju 1565. godine.

Otomanski sultan Sulejman Veličanstveni objavio je džihad vitezovima reda svetog Jovana Krstitelja. Najveća armada u istoriji sveta približava se hrišćanskom uporištu vitezova na Malti. Turci vitezove nazivaju Psima pakla. Sami vitezovi sebe zovu Religijom. Francuska grofica Karla le Penotije želi da sa Sicilije dođe na Maltu u potrazi za sinom, kog su joj oduzeli odmah po rođenju, dvanaest godina ranije. Jedini čovek dovoljno vešt i smeo da joj pomogne je rableovski najamnik, stameni saksonski pustolov Matijas Tanhauzer. On pristaje da pođe sa gospom na Maltu, gde, usred najmukotrpnije i najspektakularnije opsade u vojnoj istoriji, moraju da pronađu dečaka i izbave ga iz čeljusti svetog rata. Tim Viloks gradi svet iz koga se ne možete otrgnuti, spajajući strogu istorijsku preciznost Barbare Takman iz „Dalekog ogledala” sa literarnim genijem koji je Umberto Eko pokazao u delu „Ime ruže”.
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To Chaim Zvi Lipskar and the many other friends who helped to make this book.
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On the night the scarlet horsemen took him away -- from all he knew and all he might have known -- the moon waxed full in Scorpio, sign of his birth, and as if by the hand of God its incandescence split the alpine valley sheer into that which was dark and that which was light, and the light lit the path of devils to his door.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374248656, Hardcover)

This is what we dream of: to be so swept away, so poleaxed by a book that the breath is sucked right out of us. Brace yourselves.
May 1565. Suleiman the Magnificent, emperor of the Ottomans, has declared a jihad against the Knights of Saint John the Baptist. The largest armada of all time approaches the knights' Christian stronghold on the island of Malta. The Turks know the knights as the "Hounds of Hell." The knights call themselves "The Religion."
In Messina, Sicily, a French countess, Carla La Penautier, seeks passage to Malta in a quest to find the son taken from her at his birth twelve years ago. The only man with the expertise and daring to help her is a Rabelaisian soldier of fortune, arms dealer, former janissary, and strapping Saxon adventurer by the name of Mattias Tannhauser. He agrees to accompany the lady to Malta, where, amid the most spectacular siege in military history, they must try to find the boy--whose name they do not know and whose face they have never seen--and pluck him from the jaws of Holy War.
The Religion is the first book of the Tannhauser Trilogy, and from the first page of this epic account of the last great medieval conflict between East and West, it is clear we are in the hands of a master. Not since James Clavell has a novelist so powerfully and assuredly plunged readers headlong into another world and time. Anne Rice transformed the vampire novel. Stephen King reinvented horror. Now, in a spectacular tale of heroism, tragedy, and passion, Tim Willocks revivifies historical fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:47 -0400)

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Carla, a French countess, enlists the aid of a German sword-for-hire when she travels from her home to Malta in search of the boy she gave up at birth twelve years ago, but they arrive just as the city is invaded by the Turks.

(summary from another edition)

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