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This turned into an enjoyable sweeping saga and I look forward to the next episode, 'Post of Honour'. View all 13 comments. Reading this novel is like stepping into the setting's thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a neglected and antiquated corner of England in the early s. The time is that following the death of Queen Victoria, when cars were beginning to rule the roads and radical women were fighting for the right to vote.

Long Summer Day

Young Lieutenant Paul Craddock had been injured in the Boer War and instead of continuing with civilian life in London, he idealizes a gentler time during Victorian England. His love for two wom Reading this novel is like stepping into the setting's thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a neglected and antiquated corner of England in the early s. His love for two women and the people of Shallowford stretch and change him.

The story is rich with a large cast of characters and lush descriptions of their lives. This novel was originally published around The author, R. Delderfield — , achieved fame as a novelist for his portrayal of English life. Jul 18, LemonLinda rated it really liked it.

This is one that truly turned around for me. It started so slowly as I was not well connected with any of the many characters and the descriptions of the English countryside, although beautifully written, interrupted the flow of the book for me.

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However, as I read more deeply into the story, all of those feelings fell away. I was transported back to the turn of the century English countryside where a unlikely candidate to buy a vast country holding with many tenants did so and the new squire bec This is one that truly turned around for me. I was transported back to the turn of the century English countryside where a unlikely candidate to buy a vast country holding with many tenants did so and the new squire becomes solidly entrenched in his new position taking to the land as if he has grown up as heir and successor.

Those who come into and out of his life and his work there add so much and together they make the story seem so real as England struggles with modernization, new technologies, the suffragette movement and the rise of German militarism. A really good HF story and I will definitely continue on with the other two of the trilogy.

May 23, Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , a. A very long but very interesting historical novel, set around a small Devonshire valley with its squire and farms in the beginning of the 20th century. The political situation of the era is described in detail too, with all its upheavals and the tremendous suffering of the Suffragettes. I look forward to reading the sequel. Jan 16, sslyb rated it it was amazing Shelves: uk , historical-fiction , kindle. From the Boar War to the coronation of George V - one man's tale of recovery and rich life touching many. Quite a bit of sentimentality here but I didn't mind it.

The Suffragette thread interested me the most. Feb 04, Claude rated it really liked it Shelves: a , historical-fiction. A very interesting historical novel, with several themes. I really liked the suffragettes theme. Some long descriptive passages kept me from giving it 5 stars. An excellent read. View 2 comments. Jan 11, Barbara rated it really liked it. A lovely gentle read about Edwardian country life, just before WW1.

It takes a while to get to know so many characters, but well worth persisting. It's useful to have the Family Tress at the start of the book! There is quite a bit of descriptions of the countryside, but I think it helps you get a feel for the way of life. The Suffragette Movement is also dealt with and showed both sides - some of the countrywomen had no time for it!

Aug 30, D. I've read a few Delderfield works at this point in life. But it has been a few years. I don't remember if those works had two annoying things I found in this work that I wish to mention and then move on. Long Paragraphs, sometimes 3 pages long. This is hard on the eyes. And something the writer can't address any longer. The other was that a paragraph would start with dialogue from one speaker and end with dialogue I've read a few Delderfield works at this point in life.

The other was that a paragraph would start with dialogue from one speaker and end with dialogue from another. Please, break up the dialogue with paragraphs. Perhaps if ever released again an editor would do their job and edit the work. Now to the meat of it. The story is good. The character development is good though sometimes a little to pat. We need a character as a plot device and so we have that trait emerge. Sometimes we spend unnecessary pages having the same rundown of what is happening to many characters in the book that we had a chapter before.

Delderfield uses devices such as a gull flying in search of food all throughout the valley so we can see what each character is up to every few years and realize that we have read that a few dozen pages before.

So why read this book. One would think it is dated in the 21st century, but it addresses a time a century ago, and one that the writer is familiar enough with to give us a good insight into. One that has things we should take a peak at. It is a historical, and certainly in some of the characterizations we see an older, male hand trying to write the mind of a teenager, which does not work Delderfields worldly wise Grace is too worldly wise and her adult assumptions should be changed for simpler emotional and youthful ones IMO. But as mentioned, worth a read, and perhaps one day worth a reread immediately following a reread of God is an Englishman.

This was a wonderful examination of Edwardian England, with the majority of the story taking place in Shallowford, a rural valley in Devon, but with the forces from the Suffragette Movement and the looming war with Germany impacting even this protected valley. The story centres around Paul Craddock, a city-bred Lieutenant invalided out of the Boer War with a near fatal injury, who takes his inheritance from a scrap metal yard and buys a thirteen-hundred-acre estate in rural Devon that has been a This was a wonderful examination of Edwardian England, with the majority of the story taking place in Shallowford, a rural valley in Devon, but with the forces from the Suffragette Movement and the looming war with Germany impacting even this protected valley.

The story centres around Paul Craddock, a city-bred Lieutenant invalided out of the Boer War with a near fatal injury, who takes his inheritance from a scrap metal yard and buys a thirteen-hundred-acre estate in rural Devon that has been allowed to run down and become rather derelict. As the new squire, he knows nothing of farming, but through hard work, and the generous application of cash where long needed, turns around both the estate and the lives of his tenant farmers.


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While the principal story revolves around rural England, Craddock and Shallowford aren't divorced from the forces shaping England and the world in the Edwardian Era. It essentially starts with the coronation of Edward VII , and ends with the coronation of George V , and encompasses the rise of the Women's Suffrage movement, substantial changes to the tax code by the Liberals, and the increasing naval might and militancy of Germany. This is a wonderful example of R.

Delderfield's ability to tell a story about people, places and times. The writing is elegant without being frothy, and always a delight. As Books and Bookmen says: "It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well". This was an absolute delight, and goes right up near the very top of books I've read this year.

Highly recommended. View 1 comment. Jan 17, Katrina rated it really liked it. This is a long book, but an enjoyable read beginning in and ending in Jun 06, Janice rated it really liked it. Unexpected gem of a find.


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  6. Slow start, as character development needed to happen but wonderful book, particularly if you are an Anglophile. Are these two books similar? Well, they're both really long, and they tell a story of a period of a time rather than any one character. The novel follows his life after becoming Squire, and how he impacts the tenants and inhabitants of valley, and how they impact him.

    While Paul is undeniably the top dog, so to speak, other main characters include Claire, Ikey, Rudd, and ok, there are a lot and I'm not going to list them here. It's through the collective story of these people that you get a sense of England in the early s, and how they were resisting change.

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    My favourite character of this book is probably Claire. Although she did not feature prominently in the first half of the book apart from the first few chapters , I liked her because of her generous nature. She has a really loving spirit, and is unflinchingly honest.

    Curiously, I didn't like Grace, the feminist and women's suffrage campaigner even though, when I think about it, the two of them are quite alike. They both know what they want, although they want different things. Perhaps it's because most of the novel is seen through Paul's eyes, and Grace hurts Paul quite badly emotionally. Or it could because Grace was somehow too unique, and I didn't like her because I didn't understand her.

    This is a long, winding read, and it's at its best when the author is just letting the story speak. At certain times, the author tries to give an overview of how all the character feels through a bird flying or something like that, and for that moment, it goes very close to the bother of pretentiousness. But thankfully, such moments are few, and the book is a lovely read because it manages to tell the tale of many people in a straightforward manner. I would definitely recommend to fans of long reads like Fall of Giants.

    It's not a fast-paced adventure, but rather, follows the meandering road of a man's life. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile I was immediately attracted to the cover of this book. Not initially realizing that this is a re-release of a novel, I quickly scooped it up courtesy of NetGalley. I have not read any of his other novels, so I cannot make a comparison.

    This novel covers an interesting period of history, beginning with main character Paul Craddock arriving home from the Boar War. He is seriously injured and not exp I was immediately attracted to the cover of this book. He is seriously injured and not expected to live until his benefactor, Franz Zorndorff, shows up. He blows in like a storm, paying for the very best care for young Paul and informing him of his recent inheritance. The reader is frequently reminded that Paul would be more comfortable in an earlier century than the modern and innovative Edwardian era.

    Rather than take up the work his father left behind, Paul is determined to invest in a large estate of farms and horses. Along the way, he must choose between two very different lady loves. Delderfield creates a large cast of well developed characters in this novel, though some do seem to have ideas and abilities beyond their years. The life of those on a large farming estate is described down to the most minute detail, with wonder expressed over the regions introduction to a horseless carriage and debates over women's suffrage.

    My first issue with this book was sloppy conventions in the form of thoughts in quotation marks and dialog between two people not separated into paragraphs. This made it unclear at times whether someone was thinking something or actually saying it This was not an insurmountable problem, but nothing could improve the drudgery of getting through this books long stretches of inactivity. If you are interested in everyday life in the first decade of the s, you will love this book. I found myself skimming. Shelves: another-look-book. A historical saga about an Englishman who buys an estate and finds fulfillment in looking after the land and its tenants during the first half of the 20th century.

    Full review and recommendations! And I decided I loved it. I've officially made it through the first book of the series. In my copy, however, this means I'm only halfway through, as this early American printing combines book one and two o A historical saga about an Englishman who buys an estate and finds fulfillment in looking after the land and its tenants during the first half of the 20th century. In my copy, however, this means I'm only halfway through, as this early American printing combines book one and two of the trilogy.

    The ending was slightly altered to suit this combined edition, too--I cross-referenced its last few pages with the standalone text of Long Summer Day. I loved the story, even sped through it at a clip of roughly pages a day, but I'm still undecided on whether or not to immediately jump into the second book, Post of Honor. It feels a bit strange to say I'm "done" with a book when my bookmark argues that I'm only halfway through.

    What to do, oh what to do?? I'm inclined to continue reading it almost solely because the book was superb but the ending if that's what we're calling it was lame, just this sort of trickle off into nothingness.

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    After hard-earned pages I feel like I deserve more!! View all 5 comments. Jun 28, Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing. I am a great fan of Delderfield and read all of his books back in the '60s and '70s. I was curious to see if I would enjoy them as much so many years later, and I am happy to say I enjoyed this one even more the second time around! His style is similar to Michener, but I think he's a much better writer. Paul Craddock is home from the Boer War having been seriously injured. Since he can no longer pursue a military career, he buys a "fixer upper" estate in the West Country and makes his life t I am a great fan of Delderfield and read all of his books back in the '60s and '70s.

    Since he can no longer pursue a military career, he buys a "fixer upper" estate in the West Country and makes his life there. There are wonderful characters and a tremendous variety of story lines that draw you right in and take you back to England at the beginning of the 20th Century. This is only the first volume in a three-volume epic, so there's lots more to come as we follow the Craddock family and all their neighbors! I am adding this to my list of books I have enjoyed from first sentence to last. Discovery of a new favorite author.

    Long Summer Day was a long summer read, but I enjoyed every minute of it! The nov Long Summer Day was a long summer read, but I enjoyed every minute of it!

    The Horseman (The West Country Trilogy, #1) by Tim Pears

    Set in rural Devon, it follows the story of Paul Craddock, a young man who is injured during the Boer War and, with his military career at an end, decides to use his inheritance from his father to buy an estate in the countryside. At first the inhabitants of the Sorrel Valley are suspicious of their new Squire, but through his efforts to befriend and understand them, Paul quickly earns their respect and acceptance.

    However, the book is filled with many mysterious images and symbols beyond the four riders and has therefore been the subject of much misinterpretation. Understanding its meaning requires a reliable interpreter. But purely human explanations have proven inadequate and have not led to clarity. This is especially true of the four horsemen. It comes from God the Father through Jesus Christ. In chapter 5, Jesus Christ is given a scroll from the hand of God.

    Only He can break open the seven closures or seals on the scroll verses 5, 9— John is allowed to see the result as each seal is removed, and the first four broken seals reveal the four horsemen. But what do they symbolize? What is surprising is that Jesus gave the key to the vision well in advance—more than 60 years earlier—to a small group of His disciples see Matthew ; Mark —4.

    At the time, Jesus was about to be crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem. He had just lamented the fact that once more the city had rejected a servant sent from God and would soon suffer destruction. His disciples heard Him say that the magnificent Temple Mount, with its house of God and other Herodian structures, would be reduced to rubble. This was a shocking statement, almost beyond belief. And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?

    By aligning Revelation 6 with the corresponding sections of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 , we can discern a meaningful pattern. In a classic case of misinterpretation, this horseman is often equated with the returning Christ described in chapter 19 of the same book, because He also rides a white horse. But Revelation 19 reveals a quite different individual than chapter 6. Further, He is accompanied by many angelic beings on white horses, and His weapon is not a bow but the sword of His mouth. The obvious differences between the two images suggest that the first of the Four Horsemen represents a counterfeit or false messiah.

    And this is exactly what we find in the explanation that Jesus Himself gave in the Gospel accounts to some of His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Do they have to have a primarily religious message? And clearly, it can only be that considerable time passes while the many deceivers rise and fall. But of course, a counterfeit is not easy to spot. So Jesus warned against being deceived by human beings who claim to be specially chosen by God to lead. More often than not a false messiah will combine aspects of religion and politics in an effort to become the anointed one. Take the fourth-century Roman emperor Constantine, the man credited with Christianizing the Roman Empire.

    Though he was baptized only shortly before his death in , he claimed to have had a special revelation of Christ 25 years earlier. Many years later, the emperor told the historian and bishop Eusebius that the next night Christ appeared to him and ordered him to put the sign of the cross on his battle standards. It would be claimed that this led to the victory that eventually made him the sole emperor. On the surface Constantine may well appear to be the fulfillment of the white horseman as victorious Christianity, but in fact he was the dubious champion of a counterfeit religion and he himself a false messiah.

    It was apparently to his political advantage to promote the faith. According to Robert M.