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The Jester
Cover of The Jester
The Jester
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Arriving home disillusioned from the Crusades, Hugh discovers that his village has been ransacked and his wife abducted by a ruthless duke in search of a relic worth more than any throne in Europe. Only by taking on the role of a jester is he able to infiltrate the duke's castle, where he thinks his wife is captive. This is just the first step in a battle that leads Hugh to places he never imagined—with results more majestic than he ever dreamed, as he goes on a personal crusade to save the common people from the oppression of savage nobles. Anyone who has ever rooted for the underdog, hoped for good to defeat evil, or believed that love can conquer all will not be able to stop listening to this masterful novel of virtue and suspense.

Arriving home disillusioned from the Crusades, Hugh discovers that his village has been ransacked and his wife abducted by a ruthless duke in search of a relic worth more than any throne in Europe. Only by taking on the role of a jester is he able to infiltrate the duke's castle, where he thinks his wife is captive. This is just the first step in a battle that leads Hugh to places he never imagined—with results more majestic than he ever dreamed, as he goes on a personal crusade to save the common people from the oppression of savage nobles. Anyone who has ever rooted for the underdog, hoped for good to defeat evil, or believed that love can conquer all will not be able to stop listening to this masterful novel of virtue and suspense.

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  • AudioFile Magazine Step back to 1096, a time of castles, knights, and serfs. Hugh de Luc, a modest, young innkeeper, joins the Crusade to the Holy Land. Upon his return he finds that his village has been attacked and his beloved Sophie kidnapped by a cruel and barbaric knight. He assumes the persona of a court jester to gain access to the castle to search for his wife, and finds a new purpose for his life. Cary Elwes provides a flawless performance, successfully stretching and recasting his voice to create each character. The pace is intense, with added drama in the heat of battle, when local farmers and countrymen rally to confront trained soldiers. Occasional chamber music conveys the mood of the story, heightening the suspenseful moments and calming the intimate ones. F.L.F. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 3, 2003
    Just who is writing
    the coauthored Patterson novels makes for interesting water-cooler chat, but whether the majority of words are contributed by Patterson or Gross, this terrific new novel is prime Patterson all the way, another step in the author's application of his patented storytelling style to a multitude of genres—in this case, historicals. The title character is, when introduced in 1096, an unassuming innkeeper in a French village oppressed by the local nobleman. To earn his freedom, Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades for a torturous, bloody march toward Jerusalem that occupies the book's first third and ends with him escaping the madness around him by deserting back to France, in possession of some minor treasures—or so he thinks. Back home, he finds that his beloved wife has been taken captive by the odious nobleman, and his infant son slain. Seeking his wife and revenge, Hugh adopts the guise of a jester in order to enter to the nobleman's castle, where he begins to fall in love with a young noblewoman, and she with him. In time, Hugh finds his wife, only to experience tragedy, and learns that the nobleman is searching for him, as he is believed to have carried back from the Crusades the greatest holy relic of all. Returning to his village, which has been destroyed during the nobleman's hunt for him, Hugh persuades his townspeople, then surrounding towns, to rise up in revolt against the corrupt nobleman and his henchmen. From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colorful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one. (Mar. 3)Forecast:More than any Patterson since
    Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, this book has the potential to expand the author's already huge fan base. Its tag line alone ("Every thousand years or so, a great adventure comes along...") will draw in browsers, as will a fabulous cover featuring a gold castle and the title in bold red; anyone who reads one page will be hooked. Expect this to hit #1 with ease.

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The Jester
The Jester
James Patterson
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