Eileen Iciek's Reviews > The Normans in Sicily: The Normans in the South 1016-1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194

The Normans in Sicily by John Julius Norwich
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it was amazing

In the early years of the 11th century a number of landless Norman knights made their way south into Italy working as mercenaries, at least that's what they told the nobility who hired them. In fact, the Normans were always working for their own benefit and over the years managed to supplant all the rulers of southern Italy and Sicily - a lengthy list including Lombards, Byzantine Greeks, the German emperor, and the Saracen rulers of Sicily. These dynamic and colorful adventurers had an incredible run of success for many years and their fascinating stories are told in this book. My favorite characters were Robert Guiscard, his brother Roger, and Roger's son, also called Roger. No one would believe what they accomplished if you tried to make it up in a novel.

This lengthy 800 page book was a pleasure to read. The author's perceptive descriptions of the people and places he is writing about make them come to life in a way that only the best historians can do. I've had to add Sicily to my lift of places to visit because of it. I cannot recommend this highly enough for those with an interest in this period. The author has a new book, a history of Sicily, coming out in the US in July. This book will be a good lead in for it.
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Reading Progress

February 22, 2015 – Shelved
April 19, 2015 – Started Reading
April 20, 2015 –
page 12
1.47%
April 22, 2015 –
page 34
4.17%
April 23, 2015 –
page 45
5.51%
April 24, 2015 –
page 64
7.84%
April 25, 2015 –
page 97
11.89%
April 26, 2015 –
page 103
12.62%
April 28, 2015 –
page 119
14.58%
April 29, 2015 –
page 126
15.44%
May 1, 2015 –
page 135
16.54%
May 2, 2015 –
page 155
19.0%
May 3, 2015 –
page 174
21.32%
May 5, 2015 –
page 191
23.41%
May 6, 2015 –
page 196
24.02%
May 8, 2015 –
page 215
26.35%
May 10, 2015 –
page 265
32.48%
May 12, 2015 –
page 285
34.93%
May 13, 2015 –
page 291
35.66%
May 14, 2015 –
page 298
36.52%
May 15, 2015 –
page 310
37.99%
May 17, 2015 –
page 361
44.24%
May 18, 2015 –
page 376
46.08%
May 19, 2015 –
page 386
47.3%
May 20, 2015 –
page 405
49.63%
May 22, 2015 –
page 410
50.25%
May 23, 2015 –
page 441
54.04%
May 24, 2015 –
page 466
57.11%
May 27, 2015 –
page 486
59.56%
May 29, 2015 –
page 496
60.78%
May 30, 2015 –
page 550
67.4%
May 31, 2015 –
page 630
77.21%
June 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

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