Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare

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Spanning the globe, and using the latest CGI reconstructions, Dan Snow gets to the very heart of the bloodshed and battles of the greatest fortresses of the Middle Ages.

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Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published September 27th by Harper Press first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Battle Castles , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 02, Angelique Simonsen rated it liked it. I'm sure the t. Jun 06, Allie rated it really liked it. I didn't see the TV series this ties into but don't feel I've missed out due to this, the book could be read in its own right. A history of castle building and defence, siege warfare and battle. Interesting read, very informative and very well illustrated, contains fascinating details about the various castles featured, from initial building to decline.

The last chapter didn't include much architectural info in compari I didn't see the TV series this ties into but don't feel I've missed out due to this, the book could be read in its own right. The last chapter didn't include much architectural info in comparison to the previous five but it was still a good read.

View 2 comments. This is all that a tie-in to a television series shouldn't be; very much style over substance. It looks the part when you pick it up off the shelf, with its swish layout and plush glossy photos, but as soon as you start reading the book you're soon awash with disappointments. Billed as looking at the art of castle making through looking at six famous examples, the information you get is actually rather superfluous, almost as if the author was pressed for time or space.

In t This is all that a tie-in to a television series shouldn't be; very much style over substance. In this respect, it reads very much like a script for a TV show rather than an in-depth analysis.

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There is little attention paid to what exactly made each castle so special. The general approach seems to just be to repeat the general history of the castle and intersperse it with occasional specifics. The book shoots itself in the foot with the layout as, when the book finally mentions some of the site specific information, it does so without the aid of any accompanying diagrams or worthy annotations to the images, which themselves are nowhere near the part of the text you are reading.

For example, in describing the siege of Dover castle and how the French had brought over a radical new weapon the trebuchet, you have to skip pages further on into the book - incidentally into it's section on Kerak in Palestine - to find the specific section on the weapon, read it, and then flick back pages to where you left off. This would probably have been an entertaining enough documentary series, if somewhat middle ground.

As a book however, it all feels disjointed, superficial and more than a little redundant. Jun 16, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: history , military , medieval , non-fiction , cymru , templars-and-crusades , tv-tie-in. Gorgeous layout with some amazing photos of the castles themselves and interesting bits of history about them and the times when they were most prominent.

Worth a look if you like medieval warfare and castles. Apr 04, Ronny rated it really liked it Shelves: history.

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Very interesting book. It has a slightly different emphasis than the documentary series, going into fewer specfics about the sieges and the castle structure and more about the history.


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Dan Snow writes in a very accessible way, and makes this a very enjoyable as well as informative read. Even so, Stannis felt that he had been snubbed.


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During the siege, Ser Gawen Wylde and a few more men of Stannis's garrison planned on sneaking out and surrendering to the Tyrell army, which openly feasted before the walls of Storm's End. Stannis wanted to send them to the Tyrells by catapult, but Maester Cressen convinced Stannis to keep the would-be traitors imprisoned just in case the garrison was required to resort to cannibalism to survive; it is unclear whether Cressen actually meant it, or he said it to dissuade Stannis from excessive cruelty that might have turned his troops against him.

Nonetheless, Stannis was furious that Robert never gave him any credit for holding the castle, preferring to credit Eddard for relieving the siege.


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He also later granted rule of Storm's End to Renly because he wanted Stannis to rein in the Targaryen home holdings at Dragonstone. Ever since, Stannis resented both Robert and Eddard, though Eddard always credited Stannis, and Stannis intellectually acknowledged that Eddard couldn't control how Robert thought. It is also mentioned that Stannis still holds a grudge against Lords Tyrell and Redwyne for their part in the siege one reason Littlefinger gives Eddard Stark against Stannis's suitability to be King is that one of Stannis's first acts would be to seek revenge against the Tyrells and Redwynes for their involvement in the siege.

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Medieval Warfare: How to Capture a Castle with Siegecraft

Robert and Ned Stark, they were the heroes, the glorious rebels. Marching from battle to battle, liberating towns from the yoke of the Mad King while I held Storm's End with men. We weren't riding anywhere, not with the castle surrounded. We couldn't feed them.

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So, fine, the horses. Then the cats - never liked cats, so, fine.

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I do like dogs, good animals, loyal, but we ate them. Then the rats.

Battle castles : 500 years of knights & siege warfare

The night before you slipped through, I thought my wife was dying. She couldn't speak anymore, she was so frail. Then you made it through the lines Cersei Lannister : " I seem to recall he laid siege to Storm's End for the better part of a year. Robert's Rebellion.