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  • Winter Pilgrims

  • Kingmaker, Book 1
  • By: Toby Clements
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,583 ratings)

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Summary

February 1460.

In the bitter dawn of a winter’s morning, a young man and a woman escape from a priory. In fear for their lives, they are forced to flee across a land ravaged by conflict.

For this is the Wars of the Roses, one of the most savage and bloody civil wars in history. Where brother confronts brother, king faces king and Thomas and Katherine must fight just to stay alive....

©2014 Toby Clements (P)2016 Bolinda

Critic reviews

"An enthralling adventure story, honest and powerful. The Wars of the Roses are imagined here with energy, with ferocity, with hunger to engage the [listener]." (Hilary Mantel)

What listeners say about Winter Pilgrims

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Read

Just finished this book and can barely find the words to describe how much I enjoyed it. Without doubt it is one of the best books I've listened to for ages. For the passed few days I've been in that peculiar state where I was longing to find out what happened in the end without wanting the book to finish.

But what joy, it's part of a trilogy. So I downloaded Book 2 without waiting. The characters in this novel are so believable, Kit and Thomas, Sir John and Richard, even Walter, though the Welsh voices need some practice, you could almost think that Toby Clements wrote this book thinking that Jack Hawkins was going to read it.

If you love historical novels or even if you just love a romping good story with brilliantly drawn characters then download this book now and put the rest of your life on hold for a bit.

70 people found this helpful

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A fantastic read

This book was interesting with a fascinating plot, fast paced and well researched - I could not put it down.

I found the battles scenes a little too long and gory but I got used to them in the end. This was all brought to life so brilliantly by the best of narrators. It will be a hard act to follows. Thank you.

32 people found this helpful

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Excellent story and narration

What did you like most about Winter Pilgrims?

The characters, the historical detail and the narration.

What other book might you compare Winter Pilgrims to, and why?

The Outlander series because of the characterization and exciting way of bringing history to life!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are too many memorable scenes to single one out.

Any additional comments?

I cannot wait for Part 2 of this series!

25 people found this helpful

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Ripping yarn!

AT last, a well written historical novel!

So many historical are full of cardboard characters and limited study of the periods when they are set that I had almost given up on this genre. Particularly when any part of the tale is written from a female perspective, many historical authors slip into slush Mills and Boon would retch at, or lose track of the facts of the time and try to move the setting to fairyland. This book is refreshingly different, with decent research on the era and the warfare of the times and the bonus of characters who seem human and believable.

The story is based on humble characters in difficult situations, solidly set in real historical settings with all the difficulties and hazards of day to day life and a mystery about a book which isn't solved. This underlying puzzle is not part of the dramatic story of the everyday dangers and compromises of a country in wartime, where social mores operate in favour of the powerful and not the ordinary people.

I was pretty happy with the narration too, with the exception of some irritating mispronunciations. The text is well handled and read with feeling, but not over dramatised.

Hope the rest of the series are of similar quality - this is certainly an encouraging start.

18 people found this helpful

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Excellent

What an absolutely fabulous book ....already desperate
For book 2 .Historically accurate . It's a truly great depiction
Of the people and there lives in the barbaric world
Of the wars of the roses ......Must listen excellent narration
As well....

18 people found this helpful

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In your face history

Any additional comments?

This book will have you both gripping it fiercely as you are carried along by the racing torrent of the main protagonists lives and also hiding under the bed sheets being 'oh so grateful' that you dont have to live though such the bloody, turbulent and arbitary brutality that is most peoples lot in life in the 15th Century.

17 people found this helpful

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Must read

A gripping tale from start to finish. The description of the battle scenes was so realistic. I could smell the blood and gore.
The narrator was almost perfect. The Welsh accent was a little lacking but improved as the story went on
I listen when I go to bed. Last night was a marathon session. Just had to finish it!

12 people found this helpful

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simply beautiful

It has been a long time since I have read or listen to such a well written beautifully thought out story, Thank you so much and I hope you are busy writing your next book :-)

11 people found this helpful

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Wars made real

Well written and beautifully narrated, this is a gripping story. And although I'm not keen on scenes of violence, the descriptions of battles helped me understand the true nature of civil war. I look forward to listening to more of this series.

10 people found this helpful

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Just too graphically bloodthirsty for me

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

More historical context and less of the minute description of every horrible physical encounter between people whether male or female. Even a dead, trapped fox is described in unnecessary, agonising detail. All I needed to know was that it was dead ! Similarly in fights; just tell me who comes out alive and carry on. I really don't need all that ghastly detail.

What other book might you compare Winter Pilgrims to, and why?

As I have only managed the first five chapters I could not say. I am sorry not to be able to get to the historical part of the book as other reviewers clearly think it is excellent. I just can't take any more gore and expect this aspect is going to continue.

What about Jack Hawkins’s performance did you like?

Very good. No complaints.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Amazing sense of place; I felt I was really there in 15th century England.

Any additional comments?

Only to add that I do find the style of writing in the continuous present (if that is the correct term) palls rather. Another factor in my decision to give up and return the book incomplete.

9 people found this helpful