I've read all Jeffrey Perren's published novels and enjoyed them immensely.They range across time and continents and each one develops around an interesting and unusual storyline. This combines with the author's considerable research into the places and people that are the background to the story and the result is an exciting and entertaining read.
Tellen Songis a bit different in that it's more closely based on an existing story. Whether this is a legend or true historical fact is a matter of considerable conjecture but Jeff Perren chooses to make it seem historical with periodic references to actual dates and places to establish authenticity.
From the book description:1307 AD — The Legend Ends, the Story Begins...
Wilhelm Tell, hunter and builder in Üri, dares to disrespect the envious bailiff Gessler, appointed ruler of the southern forest cantons by King Albrecht of Germany. Sentenced to slavery until he completes building Gesslerburg, Tell escapes over the Alpine mountains to Lombardy.
But the political upheaval in his homeland is mirrored there. Drawn unwillingly into the squabbles between the Pope-supporting Guelphs and the Ghibellines, who side with the Emperor, he longs to rejoin his own independence movement.
A fugitive from Schwyz and a misfit in Milan, Tell finally sees his chance to return to lead his people. Will he forge a lasting freedom for himself, his family, and his countrymen? Or will his own brethren betray him, and themselves, at the crucial moment?
Harking back to the founding of the Swiss Confederacy, Tellen Song tells the story of its legendary founder — set among all the rich historical details of the 14th century.
The famous apple-shooting episodeis included but this makes up just a tiny part of the book which thoroughly explores the life and times of William Tell as well as his father and grandfather.
Whether or not the William Tell saga is true, the reader gains considerable knowledge and understanding about early fourteenth century life in middle Europe. The action takes place in Austria, Switzerland and Italy and explores the power struggles of the different regions and their rulers. The factionalism and politics of the era are explored in a dramatic and entertaining manner and the author skilfully blends fact and fiction without any hint of where one stops and the other starts.
William Tell is a forceful characterwho exhibits great loyalty to his family despite the attempts of several other characters to disrupt his life. He is a master builder and uses his skill to take him from one area to another. When the situation gets too hot in one place he packs up and moves on. He travels from one crisis to another usually managing to extract some benefit from the situation although at times with some discomfort to himself.
At a time when despotic rulers were vying with each other for control of land and property, William Tell knows his mission is to lead his countrymen to a greater degree of freedom. However, he is often obstructed by those who should be on his side as much as he is by the ruling class.
A very interesting aspect of the novel is the way in which the author makes a creative use of language forms and vocabulary that are now out-moded. This provides atmosphere and context for the story and contributes greatly to its authenticity.
Tellen Song is most entertaining and informative and I enjoyed reading it.
I think it could be Jeffrey Perren's best novel yet.
More details of Tellen Song and to read a free sample follow this link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tellen-Song-education-Wilhelm-Tell-ebook/dp/B019T7A388
Readers who don't have a Kindle can get a free app from Amazon for phones, tablets, laptops etc. Details on every book page.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Cossacks in Paris by Jeffrey Perren