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The Tavern Knight by Rafael Sabatini, Fiction, Historical, Action & Adventure

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Eighteen years ago, Sir Crispin Galliard, the Tavern Knight in service of King Charles, was another man -- a man with another name, a man who had a life, a future, and a heritage -- including hereditary lands and titles that would come to him in time.


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Eighteen years ago, Sir Crispin Galliard, the Tavern Knight in service of King Charles, was another man -- a man with another name, a man who had a life, a future, and a heritage -- including hereditary lands and titles that would come to him in time.

30 review for The Tavern Knight by Rafael Sabatini, Fiction, Historical, Action & Adventure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    The Tavern Knight is Crispin Galliard, a soldier with a rough reputation who finally gets a long-awaited shot at vengeance after helping Charles II escape the forces of Oliver Cromwell. People new to Sabatini should start with Captain Blood or maybe Mistress Wilding. This is one of his earliest books, and while I enjoyed it, it's not up to the other things I've read by him so far. The start is jumpy, the characters aren't very likable, and you can see the plot twists coming. The ending is mean and The Tavern Knight is Crispin Galliard, a soldier with a rough reputation who finally gets a long-awaited shot at vengeance after helping Charles II escape the forces of Oliver Cromwell. People new to Sabatini should start with Captain Blood or maybe Mistress Wilding. This is one of his earliest books, and while I enjoyed it, it's not up to the other things I've read by him so far. The start is jumpy, the characters aren't very likable, and you can see the plot twists coming. The ending is mean and convenient, and I can't understand why anyone would fall in love with the female lead. The book gives one character an easy way out rather than the confrontation that the reader expects. But I still love Sabatini's style, and the book was fun for me on that level. It's well-paced historical adventure with a few nice introspective moments and plenty of action. And there's something to be said for a book that, even when you know what's about to happen, can still make you gasp out loud when your suspicions are confirmed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    This is classic Sabatini. The English is full of beautifully turned phrases and images. Set in England during the time of Cromwell, the book follows a manly knight named Crispn Galliard on his mission of vengeance against those who stole his life and innocence. The book includes evil plots, lost heirs, mistaken identities, romance along with war and curling. A thumping good read by all standards. I highly recommend it to those of you who like historical fiction, or a romping good tale.

  3. 5 out of 5

    RaineShadow

    Rafael Sabatini's writing is easy and flowing, the 17 century Old English wording didn’t detract from the story at all, it was easily understandable and immersed you into the story. The story itself is adventurous and dramatic, and it was perfectly enjoyable, with good action scenes. The main character is Crispin Galliard, named the Tavern Knight for his drunken and rowdy behavior, who is also a very skilled and famous soldier in the army, biding his time until he can extract his revenge on the pe Rafael Sabatini's writing is easy and flowing, the 17 century Old English wording didn’t detract from the story at all, it was easily understandable and immersed you into the story. The story itself is adventurous and dramatic, and it was perfectly enjoyable, with good action scenes. The main character is Crispin Galliard, named the Tavern Knight for his drunken and rowdy behavior, who is also a very skilled and famous soldier in the army, biding his time until he can extract his revenge on the people who ruined his life. He meets a young man, Kenneth, with ties to the people and uses him to extract his revenge. There were some dramatic turns in the story, but nothing really surprising, I could guess most of it. (view spoiler)[As soon as he told his tale to Kenneth, I already knew he would turn out to be his son. (hide spoiler)] The dramatic portion came in the second half when Galliard came to woo Cynthia for his son, (view spoiler)[but Cynthia loved him, and he suddenly realized he loved her and wanted his son dead and his son actually died off-screen so he immediately went to marry Cynthia (hide spoiler)] and then everyone lived happily ever after.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marescha

    Not my favorite of the Sabatini story, this book has a strong middle but a rather weak opening and end. There's some good fun to be had with fake identities and the like, but the solution to the hero's personal romantic issue is lackluster. Not the book to start with if it's your first Sabatini book, but fans will certainly find bits and pieces they like. Not my favorite of the Sabatini story, this book has a strong middle but a rather weak opening and end. There's some good fun to be had with fake identities and the like, but the solution to the hero's personal romantic issue is lackluster. Not the book to start with if it's your first Sabatini book, but fans will certainly find bits and pieces they like.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marko

    Sabatini's early story is not as impressive as some of his later work. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining mix of a swashbuckler and a romance spiced with mistaken identities, old family secrets, tragic parent-child relationships etc. - all set in the English Civil Wars. What it lacks is a bit more actual buckling of swashes, i.e. swordplay. Sabatini's early story is not as impressive as some of his later work. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining mix of a swashbuckler and a romance spiced with mistaken identities, old family secrets, tragic parent-child relationships etc. - all set in the English Civil Wars. What it lacks is a bit more actual buckling of swashes, i.e. swordplay.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ash Pierce

    Classic Sabatini, but with less of the sword fighting than I'm used to. The hero gets the girl, against overwhelming odds, after he completely destroys the person who has wronged him (without having to be evil to do it, but still having to somewhat compromise on his morals in the process). Classic Sabatini, but with less of the sword fighting than I'm used to. The hero gets the girl, against overwhelming odds, after he completely destroys the person who has wronged him (without having to be evil to do it, but still having to somewhat compromise on his morals in the process).

  7. 5 out of 5

    John

    I enjoyed this a lot. I look forward to reading more of Sabatini's works. I enjoyed this a lot. I look forward to reading more of Sabatini's works.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stan

    I really enjoy Sabatini's novels. This is another revenge tale, with a twist that has since become a little cliche. Nonetheless, it is a good read - very well written. When you get to the final 10 pages and the final bit of conflict has yet to be resolve, you can kind of guess what will happen. Anyway, the Tavern Knight is set in the age of Cromwell and the conflict features in the story. The protagonist is a debauched man, living without much care for ethics or honor - he's living just for reven I really enjoy Sabatini's novels. This is another revenge tale, with a twist that has since become a little cliche. Nonetheless, it is a good read - very well written. When you get to the final 10 pages and the final bit of conflict has yet to be resolve, you can kind of guess what will happen. Anyway, the Tavern Knight is set in the age of Cromwell and the conflict features in the story. The protagonist is a debauched man, living without much care for ethics or honor - he's living just for revenge that he doubts he'll ever get. Then, opportunity presents itself. He begins to make decisions that will result in his long desired revenge, but he'll have to burn some folks to do it. And, the remnant of his sense of ethics reawakens. It is interesting to read the internal struggle that comes as a surprise to the protagonist as he realizes he had been ethically numbed, not ethically destroyed. I'll not reveal any more. Just know it is a well-written revenge story that raises questions of honor and ethics.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hollingshead

    Sabatini's gorgeous prose always warrants 4 stars. However, this was the closest I have ever come to giving a rating of less than 4 stars to Rafael's work. I loved Crispin Galliard "The Tavern Knight." I liked his story. I found him a complex and sympathetic character. Everything was going well. The novel could have continued another 200 pages, but it didn't. It was almost like Sabatini thought, "You know, I've been writing this one a while, now. I shall end it." It reminded me of one of those E Sabatini's gorgeous prose always warrants 4 stars. However, this was the closest I have ever come to giving a rating of less than 4 stars to Rafael's work. I loved Crispin Galliard "The Tavern Knight." I liked his story. I found him a complex and sympathetic character. Everything was going well. The novel could have continued another 200 pages, but it didn't. It was almost like Sabatini thought, "You know, I've been writing this one a while, now. I shall end it." It reminded me of one of those Edgar Rice Burroughs endings when he was running out of pulp pages on a Barsoom novel. I thought, "Rafael, you are better than this." After finding out that The Tavern Knight was his second novel I realized that Rafael would become better, but was not quite yet the genius he would later be. However, engaging characters and Rafael's signature turn of phrase make this and every Sabatini novel worth the read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    Not as good as Captain Blood or Scaramouche but an entertaining read

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Really? That was the end? Then what was the whole book's point? On a different note, though, I can see his early development for his later books, and I still appreciate his willingness to write strong women. Really? That was the end? Then what was the whole book's point? On a different note, though, I can see his early development for his later books, and I still appreciate his willingness to write strong women.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edwin

    It was ok for most of the way through -- it was lesser Sabatini, but still had its charms (even though you could tell he hadn't reached the levels he would achieve with later works)...and then the ending happened. Yikes. First off, it's rushed, and major action is relayed second-hand by a minor character. That's not great. On top of that, it's just an icky, disturbing ending--which might (might--I'm not sure but I'm being generous) work if the book played it right, but Sabatini plays it straight It was ok for most of the way through -- it was lesser Sabatini, but still had its charms (even though you could tell he hadn't reached the levels he would achieve with later works)...and then the ending happened. Yikes. First off, it's rushed, and major action is relayed second-hand by a minor character. That's not great. On top of that, it's just an icky, disturbing ending--which might (might--I'm not sure but I'm being generous) work if the book played it right, but Sabatini plays it straight, as a happy ending! To be vaguely spoilery, our main character learns of the death of a long-lost relative, and within two heartbeats he dismisses it as the solution to a personal dilemma, when a major subplot of the novel had been to find said relative! We're clearly meant to be happy that things work out for our hero--I think his character arc is to go from unlikable, then we learn what has made him this way, then he rights the wrongs that ruined his life, and he is now supposed to be a clear hero--but I find the ending more horrifying than happy. If you haven't read any Sabatini before, go pick up Scaramouche or Captain Blood. Try this one later; you might like it more than I did, but there are better introductions to Sabatini's style.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    While it pains me to give such a low rating to one of my new favorite authors, this book simply wasn't on the same level as the other books of his I have read. I think what bothered me the most about it is that it is very similar, in many ways, to his other works, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, this particular endevour seemed to be a much less evolved version of his other works, when I looked into his works, it appears this is indeed the case; the Tavern Knight being only hes sec While it pains me to give such a low rating to one of my new favorite authors, this book simply wasn't on the same level as the other books of his I have read. I think what bothered me the most about it is that it is very similar, in many ways, to his other works, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, this particular endevour seemed to be a much less evolved version of his other works, when I looked into his works, it appears this is indeed the case; the Tavern Knight being only hes second book, it seems his work improved over time and in later stories, he perhaps sought to rehash earlier terrain with his later acquired surefooted-ness. This is still a fun, exciting adventure story, but it lacks the nuances and witticisms that come with later Sabatini.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    In many ways a typical Rafael Sabatini novel. The lovable rogue done wrong who prevails. This is not the epic like his "The Sea-Hawk" or "Captain Blood", in fact the action is all on shore for a change. There is much I liked about this novel in the tension of the plot for a man bent on revenge and the circumstances that place him in position for that revenge. There are also some Dicken's style coincidences involved. I was quite enjoying the novel till the end which was disappointing and surprisi In many ways a typical Rafael Sabatini novel. The lovable rogue done wrong who prevails. This is not the epic like his "The Sea-Hawk" or "Captain Blood", in fact the action is all on shore for a change. There is much I liked about this novel in the tension of the plot for a man bent on revenge and the circumstances that place him in position for that revenge. There are also some Dicken's style coincidences involved. I was quite enjoying the novel till the end which was disappointing and surprising on many levels. Just can't imagine how the author thought that was a good ending. Available on Project Gutenberg and Librivox. I listened to the Librivox version which was only so-so.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pandora

    The best way to describe this story it has similarity to St. Martin's Summer but, is closer in tone to Captain Blood and The Sea-Hawk. I preferred the lightness of St. Martin's Summer. There is also the added factor that as dim as the hero is in St. Martin's Summer he does catch on faster than the Tavern Knight so there is more romance in St. Marin's. On finishing Belliarion I realized there was another weakness in The Tavern Knight that made it less enjoyable than some of Sabtini's other books. The best way to describe this story it has similarity to St. Martin's Summer but, is closer in tone to Captain Blood and The Sea-Hawk. I preferred the lightness of St. Martin's Summer. There is also the added factor that as dim as the hero is in St. Martin's Summer he does catch on faster than the Tavern Knight so there is more romance in St. Marin's. On finishing Belliarion I realized there was another weakness in The Tavern Knight that made it less enjoyable than some of Sabtini's other books. It was the treatment of Kenneth was at least for me unjust. I perfered how similar characters to Kenneth were treated in Bellarion and Misstress Wilding.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Beach

    I've come to expect better of Sabatini, but this early work of his had it's moments. I was slow getting into it, and also I found the plot fairly predictable, some situations rather convenient. Still… not everything resolved quite as I expected nor took as long to resolve, and it had exciting moments. I found the main character, the Tavern Knight, interesting, and he carries the story well. No one else is very likable, except for Harry Hogan, and so the whole of this is saved by being a good "bu I've come to expect better of Sabatini, but this early work of his had it's moments. I was slow getting into it, and also I found the plot fairly predictable, some situations rather convenient. Still… not everything resolved quite as I expected nor took as long to resolve, and it had exciting moments. I found the main character, the Tavern Knight, interesting, and he carries the story well. No one else is very likable, except for Harry Hogan, and so the whole of this is saved by being a good "buddy book."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Skoora

    It was a very different formula from the other Sabatini works that I've been devouring lately. The great moments of revelation seemed somewhat understated in comparison to such works as Scaramouche. However I did find it highly amusing in some places, even hilarious. I sympathized with the main character for most of the story, and yet in the end I didn't feel the amazing sense of gratification that I had hoped for. Not a bad read, but not my favorite of Sabatini's stories. It was a very different formula from the other Sabatini works that I've been devouring lately. The great moments of revelation seemed somewhat understated in comparison to such works as Scaramouche. However I did find it highly amusing in some places, even hilarious. I sympathized with the main character for most of the story, and yet in the end I didn't feel the amazing sense of gratification that I had hoped for. Not a bad read, but not my favorite of Sabatini's stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    He painted a wholly unfavorable picture of the Covenanters as being falsely-pious, self-righteous weaklings, and of Cromwell's soldiery as being either Psalm-droning bores, or pretenders who were part of the Parliamentarian forces for strictly pragmatic reasons (and were presented as being far better than the genuine Puritans). Didn't like any of the characters, and the story resolved in an very unsatisfactory manner. Not one of Sabatini's best. He painted a wholly unfavorable picture of the Covenanters as being falsely-pious, self-righteous weaklings, and of Cromwell's soldiery as being either Psalm-droning bores, or pretenders who were part of the Parliamentarian forces for strictly pragmatic reasons (and were presented as being far better than the genuine Puritans). Didn't like any of the characters, and the story resolved in an very unsatisfactory manner. Not one of Sabatini's best.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Trumble

    “I am not one of your repentant sinners, Kenneth. I have lived my life—God, what a life!—and as I have lived I shall die, unflinching and unchanged. Dare one to presume that a few hours spent in whining prayers shall atone for years of reckless dissoluteness? 'Tis a doctrine of cravens, who, having lacked in life the strength to live as conscience bade them, lack in death the courage to stand by that life's deeds. I am no such traitor to myself.” “I am not one of your repentant sinners, Kenneth. I have lived my life—God, what a life!—and as I have lived I shall die, unflinching and unchanged. Dare one to presume that a few hours spent in whining prayers shall atone for years of reckless dissoluteness? 'Tis a doctrine of cravens, who, having lacked in life the strength to live as conscience bade them, lack in death the courage to stand by that life's deeds. I am no such traitor to myself.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Set during the Civil War, this book would probably have made a good Errol Flynn film, but it is now unfortunately horribly dated because of the writer's attempt to render the narrative in a fake old fashioned style. The eponymous hero is a Cavalier soldier who has been deprived of his estate. The plot can best be summarised as a tale of romance and swashbuckling. It has some nice twists and turns, but it's fairly easy to see where it's all leading. Set during the Civil War, this book would probably have made a good Errol Flynn film, but it is now unfortunately horribly dated because of the writer's attempt to render the narrative in a fake old fashioned style. The eponymous hero is a Cavalier soldier who has been deprived of his estate. The plot can best be summarised as a tale of romance and swashbuckling. It has some nice twists and turns, but it's fairly easy to see where it's all leading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Slightly

    not the best. the tavern knight is one of those schmaltzy yarns that are only pleasing because they are so cliche that the reader feels smart for guessing all the plot twists before the first chapter if finished. though ridiculously formulaic it's still entertaining.... like a soap opera or a reality tv show. not the best. the tavern knight is one of those schmaltzy yarns that are only pleasing because they are so cliche that the reader feels smart for guessing all the plot twists before the first chapter if finished. though ridiculously formulaic it's still entertaining.... like a soap opera or a reality tv show.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    My least favorite of all Sabatini books. I enjoy his writing a lot when I am looking for fluff to fill my time, so my complaint is not so much that it is fluff. The way that it ended was almost disturbing however, and very disappointing. It is abrupt, off camera, and when you think about it, pretty messed up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Remus Mars

    Not as bad as the reviews made it out to be! A quick read that is actually a lot of fun and tht ending is hilarious although I'm not sure if it was meant to be. The beginning is quite exciting while the last half is humorous in its insanity. This is the second novel Sabatini wrote and has the flavour of the short stories he did before writing novels. Not as bad as the reviews made it out to be! A quick read that is actually a lot of fun and tht ending is hilarious although I'm not sure if it was meant to be. The beginning is quite exciting while the last half is humorous in its insanity. This is the second novel Sabatini wrote and has the flavour of the short stories he did before writing novels.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Doc

    This is old-style historical romance, of which Rafael Sabatini is the master. Sabatini delights in using the old, sometimes flowery vocaulary of the genre, I love I share. The Tavern Knight isn't one of Sabatini's best my--favorites are Scaramouche and Master at Arms--but it's Sabatini, and if you like Sabatini it's a good read. This is old-style historical romance, of which Rafael Sabatini is the master. Sabatini delights in using the old, sometimes flowery vocaulary of the genre, I love I share. The Tavern Knight isn't one of Sabatini's best my--favorites are Scaramouche and Master at Arms--but it's Sabatini, and if you like Sabatini it's a good read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Kibler

    I very much enjoyed the book, but what was that ending? Did Sabatini have an important luncheon to attend? Was he distracted by something in the room while he was writing? The grand finale's duel was ... um, related by an interested third party. I very much enjoyed the book, but what was that ending? Did Sabatini have an important luncheon to attend? Was he distracted by something in the room while he was writing? The grand finale's duel was ... um, related by an interested third party.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    I prefer the sea-faring novels. This was fine to while away a September day, however. I enjoyed the sword fights but the characters were rather limp for any real swashbuckling. This has not dampened my enthusiasm for the wonderful Raphael Sabatini, oh no! I have seen what the man can do!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christin

    Good light sabatini-not his best but engaging and, in my opinion, a surprising ending compared to his typical conclusions. Short, fast, enjoyable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Ross

    I have enjoyed other books by Sabatini. This one, not so much. The characters were not well developed and I had zero sympathy for anyone of them. The heroine was annoying and the hero obnoxious.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amir Anis

    A very good Sabatini adventure, although his later books were indeed more developed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marc Douglas

    another winner by Sabatini

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