48th out of 231 books — 113 voters
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One of these days I may finally give up on the concept of 'reading myself to sleep.' For some years now, I've done most of my reading at night; normally, I can comfortably put down the book at a decent hour and ensure a good night's rest - occasionally, however, a story grabs my attention and refuses to let go, and large quantities of sleep are lost as a result. Unfortunately for my health in the past month, the last three novels I've read have all been gripping, page-turning adventures that I c ...more
Jun 15, 2010 Jane Davis rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Written in 1948, not worth reading?!! Don't pass it up when you find that copy at a thrift shop of book sale. In fact, don't pass up any Schoonover,(The Gentile Infidel is my favorite), Shellabarger, Sabatini, Costaine, de Maurier, etc.
An entertaining tale of Medieval adventure, The Burnished Blade follows the early life of the French orphan Pierre. From it's gripping opening line, through his adoption by an Italian armorer, through attempting to bust a Renaissance drug cartel, the story's stakes stay high and interesting. The characters are memorably painted, and the historical tidbits feel genuine and fascinating. Partially a love-letter to the time period, Schoonover often presses pause on the story to describe some practic ...more
Schoonover was a very popular historical novelist in the 1940s and ‘50s, though he’s largely forgotten today. My father was a fan, though, and bought all his books, and so I read his copies more than half a century ago. Something brought him to mind recently and I began searching out his novels, of which I remembered only bits and pieces, and I’m glad I did. This is his earliest successful work and I still think it’s his best; it played a significant part in getting me interested in the world of ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Misfit rated it liked it · review of another edition
The book begins in 1431 as a noble knight and his family on their way to Rouen are attacked by highwaymen and left for dead, although their young son survives the attack. With no knowledge of his family or name, he is adopted by Armorer Hugh of Milan and called Pierre. Hugh ensures that Pierre is well-educated and trained as a knight and when he travels to Paris on his guardian's behalf he saves the life of the elder daughter of the Count de la Tour-Clermont. When he’s older Hugh obtains employm ...more
Set during the middle ages, the story is about an orphan who is brought up by a blacksmith. He receives a spectacular education by a kindly clergyman and goes on to study business. Setting sail for the Ottoman Empire, he runs into a multitude of dangers. Finally, hired assassins leave him for dead, but he is nursed back to health by a family of displaced royalty - turned outlaws. Of course he falls in love with a fair maiden, but the focus of the story never neglects the overarching adventure. S ...more
This is an awesome action/adventure/historical fiction/swashbuckler - written by a history professor. It begins with Pierre being orphaned the day of Jeanne d'Arc's martyrdom and leads to his being invlolved in mystery and intrigue in Trebizond. I've read this book at least 5 times. It's sooo good.
An excellent book! I ran across both this one and The Lute Player while perusing the shelves in a used book shop. And what a gem I found! This is a slow, classical sort of adventure that will appeal to anyone who likes to watch a character slowly but surely grow and blossom in pursuit of love.
A very solid storyline. Very detailed and well researched, unlike many best sellers today. The biggest weakness is that the story moves very slowly in the giving of so much detail. But I did enjoy reading this book. It was very different from the books I typically read
Specialized in well researched historical fiction.More about Lawrence Schoonover...