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J.K. Swift
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ALTDORF - a novel of The Forest Knights (The Forest Knights #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  328 ratings  ·  42 reviews
ALTDORF, a novel of The Forest Knights

A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows…
A Duke of the Holy Roman Empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambition…
A young Priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests…
And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all.

“Re-imagining the William Tell legend—
Published by UE Publishing Co. (first published October 6th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,440)
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Cheryl M-M
Well, well, well what a little gem. It is a mixture of Templars meets vigilante with a strong sense of justice. The author has interwoven many details from the Holy Crusade and the exodus of the Swyzer children draws parallels from those crusades.
The author has managed to capture the essence of fear that hovered in that era, when strips of land were ruled by minor despots. It is also hints at the creation of the country of Switzerland. People lived in terror of being accused of heresy or witchcr
Brian Turner
A group of Knights Hospitallers return from the Crusades and go home.
Things aren't as they remembered, many having left as children.
As the Habsburgs try to retain their crown, other nobles are taking the land from people who lived there and treating the peasants like...peasants.

Living alongside the oppressed masses is Seraina, following the Druids way, living quietly after being chased out of town before they called her a witch. Also there is Noll, a Robin Hood type figure trying to rouse the pe
An OK read, but difficult to get into, then the cool, planning, crafty protagonist does something incredibly stupid, at which point I considered giving up on it. But stuck with it because I had so much time invested in it.
Jodi Woody
I really liked this book. It is set right after the Crusades, when the Holy Roman Church was a political organization and there were still people who practiced pagan religions, and anyone who was different was labeled a witch. As a Christian it is always hard for me to read about the past mistakes and flaws of so called Christians, however, I always enjoy stories about this time era, Robin Hood, etc. This one is a good one. Story number one in a two part series. I did put number two on my list. ...more
Misty McAnally
Intriguing characters

This is a fairly well written story which guides the reader through medieval Austria. The characters are quite charming and the descriptions are just as detailed as they should be without taking away from the story.

The only thing which I could complain about is that the ending feels far too abrupt for me. I understand the difficulty of breaking a story into several books, and I hope the tale continues in the next, but the last few pages simply didn't satisfy like they could
Feb 16, 2012 AH marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Kindle free download 2/16/12.
This was a good action novel set in Switzerland in the middle ages. I have read a lot of books set in this time period, but mostly they feature Templars. This novel tells the story of a group of children who were sold to the Hospitalers and have returned to Switzerland after 20 plus years of serving in Outreamer.

The story mostly focuses on Thomas, the captain of the group. He decides to lay down his life as a soldier and live simply. Two of his comrades, Pimrin and Gessler choose different paths
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jelios Ataliakrouso
A rebellion is conspiring, friends return from the holy land, brothers wage war for the throne, The weave is changing. The character development definitely lacks in the first book but pick up vastly in the second up, however their still is some very define characters whom seem to be well developed above all else. The romance is rather childish and a almost made me want to skip a few pages to continue the plot(unfortunately you can miss a few details that would make sense for later plot developme ...more
Scott Toney
This is such a wonderfully crafted Religious Historical Fantasy read! I am also an author of Historical Fantasy Fiction and when I decided to search out something in my same genre to read, I came across Altdorf. I'll be honest with you and say that I had never heard of the Hospitallers before opening Altdorf's pages, but as I read I learned more about their order and greatly found the historical fiction about what may have heppened to them after their disbanding to be both insightful and wonderf ...more
Erik Orrantia
Got this one for free on Kindle, a detail that usually makes me skeptical. Nevertheless, loved it! I was transported back to a bygone day. The characters were realistic and had depth, the story line was intriguing, and the prose was sharp. I can't think of any way to criticize it...and I'm off to buy the next in the series. I highly recommend it.
Ernest Gautier
Really enjoyed it

I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the ending, which was nonexistent. It's as if the author simply grew tired of writing so stopped. A smoother transition into luring the readers interest to the sequel would be an improvement. Terrific novel, I will be reading the sequel all the same.
I did not imagine to find this little gem for free on amazon! This is a great book, full of battles and historical intrigue. It took me a bit of time to warm up to it, but the author's descriptive writing style was truly amazing and engaging. This story is awesome, a lot of fighting with an understated tone of romance, it is very minor. The author portrayed the atrocities of the time period very vividly, I found myself wincing and cringing a lot and also thanking God that I wasn't born in that c ...more
I liked the book overall. It was slow until about halfway but the waiting was worth it. The story is the classic good versus evil with those roles loosely defined. Thomas is a very likable quietly complex character who I liked immediately. I can't wait to read the next one.
Hans Doreleyers
An enjoyable tale

An enjoyable epic about a small group of crusaders returning from the Holy Land, it intermingles historical fact, a little Robin Hood, and William Tell. A good read, but a little too short for my liking.
Will Curtis
I liked the characters and the idea of the story line, but the book itself never really went anywhere. It was like the story mounted up and finally peaked, then all of a sudden it ended with no real explanation.
Mike Steinborn
Not a long book, but a good medieval adventure set in Switzerland featuring crusaders returning back from service in the Holy Land. A classic good vs. evil story as the main character, despite his attempt to now live a simple, peaceful life, finds himself caught in a struggle of the local people against a cruel overlord.
The first thing you need to know about "Altdorf" is that it ends on a cliff-hanger and will frustrate you if you want to know the rest of the story in Book 2. Author J.K. Swift weaves several themes--the Children's Crusades, the Hospitallers, Catholicism, old-age (or new age depending on your point of view) religion, and a very different take on the William Tell story. The book has an interesting story-line. The Prologue almost made me not read the book, but the rest of the book is written bette ...more
Really good Medieval histoical fiction. An easy enjoyable read.
The book never really got going for me until the end.

I really enjoyed this book. It has action, gore, humor, romance.... and more. I really enjoyed the characters and the descriptive writing that allowed my imagination to see the story unfold.
This was a 're-telling' of the myth or William Tell - I had to be reminded of this at the end - placed in medieval Switzerland. A decent balance between historical and fiction, though at the end it tipped over into a bit more impossible drama than even I am happy with. Characters weren't particularly complex, nor was the plot. Had problems with some of the violent images - there were some disturbing scenes. I think I wanted more 'formation of Switzerland' than was available. Overall a good distr ...more
Rosie Amber
After a slow start and the introduction of lots of characters I began to enjoy the book. Then at the half way point I started to really enjoy it and was disappointed when it ended. Would definitely consider reading the next in the series. Set in the time of the Medieval crusades, the book follows the tale of a group of soldiers returning to their homes in the Alpine mountains. Mystery, magic, fighting Lords and heroes helping the weak and the poor, all good story making material.
I'm not sure what I thought this book was about when I started reading it, but it wasn't what I expected. It did turn out to be a pretty good read though. I do feel bad for Pirmin though. He was such a happy character. I might pick up the next book in the series sometime, just to see what happens to Thomas. If you like characters that have been in the Crusades, you might enjoy this one. It was interesting to see characters from the Hospitallers rather than the Templars.
This book is set during the time of William Tell. It is a quick read, with the beginnings of an interesting story. The character development isn't very deep, but I assume the next books go more in depth. The main characters are members of the Hospitallers (like the Knights Templar) who hail from Schwyz. I would have enjoyed more back story on the Order, but the story mostly covers the group's story after they return from the wars. I would read the next book in this series.
I absolutely loved this, so much that I had to order the second one before I was done to be sure I had it! This is well written, and you become very close to the characters, rooting -- and booing -- right along with them. I had thought it was more fanstasy by the picture, but there is only a touch, but it didn't matter, I was drawn in and could not put it down. Now, on to Morgarten - Book 2.
Rosemary Daly
I just could not get into this book. At first, I just thought I needed to give it more time - but I read about 50% of the book and decided: "Who cares?" The characters didn't really come alive for me, and I'm still not sure what the premise of the story is or how the characters really interrelate. It seemed very disconnected. I wouldn't recommend it.

Oh, I really liked this! It has all the things I love, sword fights, bad royalty, good knights, a mystery or two, and maybe even a little magic. It was a great read with memorable characters. I'm glad I read it now when the next installment is right around the corner. I look forward to being able to read it over the holidays.
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J. K. Swift lives in Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of "The Forest Knights" series of novels which take place in medieval Switzerland. He has worked as an elementary school teacher, jailhouse guard, Japanese translator, log peeler, accountant, martial arts instructor, massage therapist,
More about J.K. Swift...
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“The physical healed quickly, but those of the spirit ran deep, and in most cases, could only be concealed. Wounds of the spirit may scab over, but they never fully heal.” 0 likes
“she seethed at the uselessness of worshipping a god who would subject his faithful subjects to such torture.” 0 likes
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