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The Nectar of Angels: The Arrowsmith Saga, Part One [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Dane St. John
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11. Juni 2012
In the chaos of 14th-century England and France, wine is the nectar of angels—a valuable commodity buttressing kingdoms and vaulting vast fortunes. A mysterious old archer named David Arrowsmith recounts his tale to an eager French chronicler, Jean Créton, when the latter learns that his mission to Scotland seems a failure. The burden of Arrowsmith's story rests with Créton, who suddenly finds himself writing about a seemingly cursed infant that barely escapes the grip of the Black Death in rural Wales when his family dies. Except for a single clue on a note attached to an arrow, Jacques and his wife Sophie do not know the identity of the boy's parents when they decide to adopt him. Taken to Bordeaux, the child they name David becomes caught up in a series of events that exposes the corruption of the wine trade, and soon reveals him to be an unmatchable and ambidextrous archer. Banished from Bordeaux after attempting to protect Jacques from a conniving enemy named Pierre Juneau, David flees to England, where he becomes apprenticed to the likeable Richard Lampley in London, and grows to adore the exquisite Eleanor, a peasant girl with her own ambitions. Soon, David is unwittingly flung to Oxford University after a heartrending run-in with a doomed priest sent as a spy to the Avignon papacy, and is ultimately protected by a brilliant scholar named John Wycliffe. In due course, David befriends the bold, brash Hugh of Colchester, a discarded bastard and second-born son, desperate to escape his fate as a cleric to become a knight. The penniless Hugh talks David into giving over his small inheritance to pay for his entrance fee and equipment in the upcoming joust held by England’s two most powerful brothers—Edward, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt—where Hugh faces a most unexpected adversary. Now, David must replenish his lost birthright, assist Wycliffe in his agenda to reform the Church by way of an illegal biblical translation, get to Wales to uncover the strange origins of his birth, and race home to claim Eleanor’s hand before she is betrothed to another. Finally, he must devise his return to Bordeaux to confront the evil Pierre Juneau and liberate Sophie and Jacques from a life of servitude and misery. This he will do with his proud new moniker—David Arrowsmith—as renewed conflict between England and France looms, and the Hundred Years’ War threatens his new life as a merchant and scholar.


  • Taschenbuch: 402 Seiten
  • Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (11. Juni 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1477644539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477644539
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,9 x 15,2 x 2,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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Dane St. John grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and then went on to earn a postgraduate degree in history at the King's Manor in York, England. Writing fiction since the age of 17, he abandoned it altogether in his mid-twenties to pursue a career as a musician, even working in marketing at a major label group for a time. He returned to the literary fold in 2003 and has been writing ever since. To date, he has written four books in varying genres and is concentrating on his next project. St. John tends to rely heavily on his historical background for storytelling devices (The Arrowsmith Saga, The 13th Zodiac), but not always. For instance, in If Not for the Dawn, he opted to create a modern drama that is somewhat dystopic, seedy, and noir, set in the near future with a complex set of characters. Currently, St. John works as a copywriter and resides in Seattle, WA. He sometimes consults for authors on matters of historical research. This is when he isn't cooking, going on a hike, drinking wine, wasting time on his Xbox, or sailing on his boat, aptly named "The First Draft".

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3.0 von 5 Sternen The Amazing Adventures of David Arrowsmith 21. Mai 2013
"The Nectar of Angels" is the first part of a two-part historic novel set in late 14th-century England, Scotland, Wales and France. And just like the scope of its settings, the sheer length of the saga is amazing. In it the main character and hero of the tales narrates his life's story to the French chronicler Jean Créton.

Set in the second half of the fourteenth century, "The Nectar of Angels" describes David's life from orphaned baby in plague-devastated Wales to his childhood and youth in Bordeaux, Oxford and London. The reader learns about his upbringing and how by various mishaps and unforeseen circumstances he becomes an outstanding archer, a wine merchant, and how he is encounters a variety of historic figures from John Wycliffe to John of Gaunt.

The story is very well written and the author very knowledgeable about the time he is writing about. One point of the narration that I did not like is the use of archaic English (e.g. 'I wot' or 'verily'). Some - including (obviously) the author - feel that it adds to the historic atmosphere of the story, others - like me - find it distracting. My other point of criticism, and the reason for my giving the book only three stars, is that for a significant part of the tale I was wondering what the events described in the book have to do with the overall plot. That said, all these episodes are interesting and entertaining to read. The reader does need some patience to see the tale unfolding. The characters are well-drawn, though either a little too good or too bad for my personal liking. And, to my admittedly very critical eye, just a few too many famous people turn up.

Altogether, for friends of long and detailed historic novels this is certainly one to read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A serious page-turner 27. September 2013
Von Jim - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Even if you're not into historical fiction, this is an absolutely delightful read. I was constantly torn between wanting to know what happened next and not wanting it to end. I burned through Part One in about a week and could barely wait to get into Part Two. Dane does a masterful job of blending history with an action-packed thriller. For me, the measure of my enjoyment of a book is in how much of a let-down I experience when I finish it. Luckily, I had Part Two, The Venom of Serpents to mitigate the effect.The Venom of Serpents: The Arrowsmith Saga, Part Two (Volume 2)
5.0 von 5 Sternen historical fiction comes alive! 29. Juni 2012
Von sue - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
One of the best historical fiction books I have read so far...St.John brings everyone and everything alive in this beautifully written novel to the point you feel like you are one of many characters...the history is absolutely straight on and when you finish the novel you will feel like you have traveled through these historical times yourself...a delightful book for any age.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An adventure through 14th century Europe! 20. Dezember 2012
Von joshua Westfall - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Dane St John's first novel in the Arrowsmith Saga lays down the foundation and the road map that will take you on an epic adventure. I was constantly thrust back into 14th century Europe every time I picked up the book. Dane does a great job of explaining historical facts and references so it was easy to submerse myself into the story that is being told by our narrator, David Arrowsmith. I found myself cheering at one moment and lamenting the next at some of the characters in the story, some of which are actual historical figures. Once you finish this novel you will find yourself immediately picking up the second part "The Venom of Serpents" to finish the epic journey of David Arrowsmith. If part one is a stroll through the countryside then part two is a heated race to a harrowing end.
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