cover image The Religion

The Religion

Tim Willocks, , read by Simon Vance. . Audio Renaissance, $32.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4272-0100-3

Vance brings gusto to the audio edition of Willocks's swashbuckling tale of romance, adventure and religious conflict on the island of Malta during the 16th century. The novel ushers in an ambitious new historical fiction trilogy detailing the medieval exploits of Capt. Mattias Tannhauser, a soldier of fortune possessing carnal appetite and droll irreverence akin to such appealing bad-boy icons as James Bond or Capt. Jack Sparrow. The Religion centers on the warrior Tannhauser's unlikely journey to help French countess Carla La Penautier locate the illegitimate son from whom she was forcibly separated 12 years earlier. Mattias, Carla and their companions must also confront both the invading Ottoman Empire and a rogue Roman Inquisitor who happens to be the father of Carla's child. Willocks's evocative prose comes brimming to life with Vance's skillful delivery. Vance adds complexity and depth to Tannhauser, a hero whose devil-may-care persona masks the scars of his war-torn childhood. Vance's portrayals of Tannhauser's two love interests—the devout, well-bred Carla La Penautier and her earthy, mystical servant, Amparo—also provide a riveting aura of sexual tension. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 8). (May)