The creator of Sherlock Holmes took so much greater pride in a series of carefully researched historical novels that posterity has largely forgotten that he tossed his best-loved hero into Reichenbach Falls in order to head off the temptation to revive him. Now Akadine has paired Conan Doyle's best-known medieval fantasy, which outsold A Tale of Two Cities, Kidnapped,
with the prequel—a story depicting the early years of stalwart bantam Sir Nigel Loring. In his judicious introduction, George MacDonald Fraser, while acknowledging that both volumes are "juvenile blood-and-thunders" filled with hairbreadth escapes, impossibly noble heroes, a thoroughly unfashionable appetite for blood and thunder, and a rosy-eyed view of the Middle Ages whose Victorianism has dated as severely as its subject, notes their popularity with readers from Dwight Eisenhower to John Ford.
Read full book review >