I really thought this would be a western. I was very surprised to find it far from the western cowboy books he usually writes. Where did the Pirates, the Arabian horses and princesses all come from?
Historical Fiction always seems so choppy to me. This book was choppy. Mainly because he had to keep telling us all the history and dates, places and people instead of just getting on with the story. But the story wasn't what he was trying to tell it was the history so it came out choppy.
His Lonesome Gods book will always be my favorite. This book doesn't really come close to that one. I might still be in shock though that The Walking Drum wasn't a western? Who would have guessed? I just assumed the drum was American Indian or something. NOPE it is something like gypsy but not...it was a merchant group walking together and the drum kept them in step. It wasn't mentioned till you get way past the middle of the book. The drum was actually only referred to maybe three times...I would have had a different more relevant title for this un-western book. OR developed the walking drum idea a bit more in the book.
The main charactor is a boy and his family gets massacred so he escapes and jumps on a ship...he has to be a slave on the ship even though he knows more about being a sailor then everyone on the ship because he went to sea with his dad before. He escapes and set out on a quest to find out if his father is dead or needs saving. He is always seeking knowledge and eventually goes to all these places and reads a bunch of books, has experiences and seeks revenge. He also isn't such an innocent guy...he is always running into some maiden in distress but never marries her after his grand rescue. He also makes allies and enemies in every stage of the stories course. He is also very lucky.He is a scholar but also a soldier. His knowledge also gets him out of a few scrapes and his quick talking and riding.
Overall I didn't really like the book but I might just have to give it another chance. It is a classic like no other classic I have read. The time period is post Caesar, after viking area and takes place in old Europe and middle east.