Wednesday 5 November 2014

Twelve by Jasper Kent

I came across this book when browsing a recent post on The Miniatures Page and having searched through some reviews, thought it might be worth picking up. I purchased the book, second-hand via e-bay for less than £3.00.

The book is over 500 pages long and gives an account of four Russian soldiers preparing for and fighting against the French invasion of Russia in 1812. The twist is that they engage the help of twelve sinister allies. It does not spoil the story if I add that these allies are Vampires (Voordalak), as this part of the story is telegraphed in the book and in the reviews printed on the back cover.

For those familiar with my Blog and the Fantasy/Napoleonic game Flintloque, the idea of Undead in the Napoleonic Wars is not a new one, however I felt that this book gave a subtle twist to this background story, one that I certainly enjoyed.

Autumn 1812,
Napoleon's triumphant Grande Armee continues its relentless march into Russia. City after city has fallen and now only a miracle can keep the French from taking Moscow.

In a last, desperate act of defiance, a group of Russian officers enlist the help of twelve mercenaries who claim they can turn the tide of the war. It seems an impossible boast but it soon becomes clear that these strangers from the out reaches of Christian Europe are indeed quite capable of fulfilling there promise...and more.

But the fact that so few seem able to accomplish so much unsettles one of the Russians, captain Alecksei Ivanovich Danilov. As winter closes in, he begins to comprehend the true horrific nature of the twelve and the nightmare he has unwittingly helped to unleash...

I found this a book that you could easily speed through and even though it does 'meander' a little I found it a very good read and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

More details can be found here. Should you want to get a feeling for the book I would recommend you go to this link and read the Prologue - A Russian Folk Tale.

Twelve by Jasper Kent
Published by Bantam Books in 2008
ISBN 978 0 553 81958 8
List price £7.99



Chris Stoesen said...

Interesting sounding book. This may be worth looking into. Thanks for sharing.

Diplomatist said...

Hm, I saw this in a charity shop a couple of months ago and considered getting it. I'm kind of wishing I had now.