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The Lion's Skin (Dodo Press)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"The man that once did sell the lion's skin while the beast lived, was killed with hunting him. Remember that!" His back to the wall, the shadow of the noose over him, Justin Caryll flung these words at the brother who sought to destroy him.

Since childhood and his mother's cruel death, young Caryll had been bred in France by his guardians for one purpose—to wreak their ven
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1911)
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Opening lines:
Mr. Caryll, lately from Rome, stood by the window, looking out over the rainswept, steaming quays to Notre Dame on the island yonder. Overhead rolled and crackled the artillery of an April thunderstorm, and Mr. Caryll, looking out upon Paris in her shroud of rain, under her pall of thundercloud, felt himself at harmony with Nature. Over his heart, too, the gloom of storm was lowering, just as in his heart it was still little more than April time.

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Justin Caryll, after being raised by a vengeful guardian, travels to England to destroy his birth father for the crime of dishonoring and abandoning his late mother.

This is one of my favorite Sabatini books yet. It may be because of my growing addiction to his style, but it's also partly because the female lead in this book is better than I'd expected.

When we first meet Hortensia, she responds to a cruel trick by beating a villain with his own sword. It's awesome. Justin's mixed feelings on wha
Sabatini's heroes are so quick-witted and hilariously sarcastic. He's at ease in virtually every situation but his love life. And it NEVER gets old. The historical accuracy of a time period in which kings are in exile, rebellions are beginning, and loyalties are being questioned--how easily a tale of vengeance can unravel. But it's more complicated than that. It's how Sabatini likes it. And it's how I like it. This man is one of the most entertaining historical authors in the history of the genr ...more
I enjoyed this novel very much but, then I love Sabatini. In a way this book does read like a protype for Scarmouche as you can see the beinging of ideas will become more developed in Scarmouche. I enjoyed the way the plot worked out and it did keep me guessing. The scence of the wedding near the begining of the book was vintage Sabatini with lots of funny smart lines.

Plot: Basically Justin of France is being sent to England to get revenage on his natural father who abandon his mother. His fathe
Herbert Kilby
The only complaint I have is the Sabatini did not write more books. He is a wordsmith, and a pretty good story writer as well.
May 21, 2009 Jag rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
A son sent to seek revenge on his father.

It sounds like a very serious story, which it is at some points, but mostly it's a hilarious tale thanks to the main character.
English was has second or third language, but wow does he have a good grip of it! One of the most beautifully written books that I have read in a long time.
Joe Newell
A sabatini book can have no less than four stars. It's a rule. Great classic work from a classic word wizard.
Excellent dialogue. Very witty.
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Rafael Sabatini (1875 - 1950) was an Italian/British writer of novels of romance and adventure. At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages. By the time he was seventeen, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language - English - to his linguistic collection. After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the ...more
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