The Jester

by James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Little, Brown, March, 2003.
Hardcover, 457 pages.
ISBN: 0316602051

The Jester by James Patterson & Andrew Gross In 1096, Hugh De Luc is a common innkeeper in a village that is bullied by the local nobleman. When a group of men headed for the Crusades passes through town, Hugh is encouraged by their faith and camaraderie. He decides to temporarily leave his sweet wife, Sophie, and heads off to join the men to fight in the Crusades. But the Crusades do not bring Hugh the honor and victories he hoped; he finds only bloodshed and horrors. Distraught, he returns home alone after many bloody battles. When he arrives home he is devastated by the terrible news he receives. His wife has been taken away and his newborn son (that he did not even know about) was thrown into a fire pit and burned alive by the nobleman collecting taxes. Hopeful his wife is still alive and determined to avenge the death of his son, Hugh heads off towards the nobleman's castle.

This is not your typical James Patterson novel, but it is certainly a terrific read. Patterson and co-author Andrew Gross have done an excellent job of writing an engrossing fantasy thriller set in the dangerous and barbaric days of medieval Europe. The book does indeed have a Jester character in it, as one might expect from the title of the book. Hugh De Luc, who has a keen wit, picks up the jester trade to allow himself to get close to the nobles he feels murdered his son and took his wife. The tale has the feel of the middle ages. It spares none of the horrors of the time period, while capturing the chivalry and romance of the day. Lovers of fantasy, adventure and romance will definitely enjoy The Jester.

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This review was published in the June-July, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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