Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The Tournament by Matthew Reilly


Book: The Tournament

Author: Matthew Reilly

No. of Pages: 432

Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller

Publisher: Orion


I have loved all the books by Matthew Reilly - they are all high-octane super-crazy-fast-paced action thriller. Uncharacteristically, MR turns out a 'fictional' medieval historical mystery this time around with a sprinkling of 'real' historical figures like Michelangelo, Queen Elizabeth, Ivan (the Terrible) and many others that the average reader will readily recognize.

MR also chose a subject that is sensitive instead of his usual mad-cap crash bang chase stories.

Can't say I did not like an MR novel ... but it was disconcerting at times to read a thrilling tale with a backdrop of a sensitive subject like Child Sexual Abuse.

The narrative is like any other thriller of MR ... minus the mind-numbing action. No gadgetery and modern weaponry since the tale is set a couple of hundred years back (15th century) but the traditional bow-n-arrow, the sword and the dagger are indeed there along with non-action weapons like poisons !!

I particularly liked the setting of the story. It was interesting to read a murder mystery with the backdrop of a Chess Tournament. A murder mystery which soon translates into multiple murders ... around 6 or maybe you could even say 7 ... with multiple threads .. some even leading back to the Sultan and his empire.  

MR has researched well for the novel as it talks about the Christian and the Moslem world ... and at the same time involved all real world characters in the story.

A further cautionary read for MR fans ... this novel is meant only and only for mature audiences. Not only do certain sections of the novel read like soft-porn but there are sub-plots which are pretty repulsive (child sex abuse being a sensitve area). Unlike MR's other novels, this one actually has a lot of sex being described including orgies.  


Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 4.0 / 5

Writing Style: 4.0 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.5 / 5

Climax:            4.5 / 5

Overall:           4.0 / 5   

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