Joerg Isebrand by Argon

Author's Description:
In the year 1500, a boy, Joerg Isebrand, is born into a peasant family in Northern Germany. Banished from the land of his birth at age sixteen, young Joerg soon finds himself a landsknecht, a soldier for hire. The story follows the next fourteen years of his life, as he rallies his siblings and fights in the wars of the 16th century. He dallies with many women and girls, but it is an unlikely bride who finally wins his heart.
Size: 590 KB ( ~ 111,881 words)
Genre: Historical
Sex Contents: Some Sex
Tags: Ma/Fa, Ma/ft, mt/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Historical, First, Oral Sex, Violent

Review by smokeaknz   [other reviews by smokeaknz]

Reviewed: 2008-12-10

Argon is a superb writer, even if he claims not to be a "native speaker" of English. His English in fact far outstrips many "native speakers". His ability to keep to a high pace of publishing of new chapters speaks well of his organisational skills and dedication.

I have enjoyed each of his stories as they have appeared on the site, as they combine historical events with fiction. Each of the stories is plausible and creates an almost docu-drama effect. This is a genre that I truly enjoy: fiction that is truly believable.

"Jeorg Isebrand" has been the most difficult for me to immerse myself in as the historical time frame is not one that I have been familiar with in the past. Each of his other stories has been set in a period that I already understood, and so I was immersed in them from the first chapter. With "Joerg Isebrand" I have had to acclimatise myself.

But his descriptions are always enough to make me quickly comfortable with the surroundings as well as the events.

Argon is an excellent painter with words: his characters are nicely formed and display a wide range of human emotion and activity. Even the "heroes" are human - they have faults and foibles as well as being moral and ethical. They make mistakes and even admit them afterwards, without being neurotic about them! They are not "super-human" as some authors' heroes are best described. There are no moments of inexplicable magic in these stories: they are all standard human activity, even if extra-ordinary feats are achieved.
Argon does slip into one minor fault (that I share, I admit it): he uses too many commas - effectively he is regularly speaking parenthetically. I would suggest a final editorial sweep through each chapter before he publishes to remove the commas that really do not add anything to the flow of the sentences.

As that is my only technical complaint I can only commend everyone to read Argon's stories as they appear. The plot line is both interesting and unpredictable. Thankfully Argon also pushes the plot line along rather than taking the safe route of cutting the story short at a convenient but (to the reader) unsatisfying point.

This to my mind makes Argon one of the true craftsmen on the site. I watch for his new stories every time he finishes the current one, but in this case I hope that "Joerg Isebrand" is carried along for at at least another generation.

Plot: 9 | Technical Quality: 9 | Appeal to Reviewer: 9