Read Thirteenth Night by Alan Gordon Online


In the 13th-century Europe, a secret organization -- The Fool's Guild -- existed to influence events behind the scene, and one such manipulation was recorded by Shakespeare, in altered form, in his play, Twelfth Night. But now, many years later, the Duke of Orsino is murdered. Feste, a jester with The Fool's Guild, must return to once again match wits with his adversary MaIn the 13th-century Europe, a secret organization -- The Fool's Guild -- existed to influence events behind the scene, and one such manipulation was recorded by Shakespeare, in altered form, in his play, Twelfth Night. But now, many years later, the Duke of Orsino is murdered. Feste, a jester with The Fool's Guild, must return to once again match wits with his adversary Malvolio -- agent of Saladin and sworn enemy of the Guild....

Title : Thirteenth Night
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312200350
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 243 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Thirteenth Night Reviews

  • Lisa Jensen
    2018-12-11 09:14

    In this delicious debut, Alan Gordon imagines a Fools' Guild operating across medieval Europe whose members—acrobats, jugglers, and spies—are inserted into the palaces and retinues of the wealthy and powerful in hopes of influencing world events in favor of peace, averting wars, solving hidden crimes, and dispensing justice.In Thirteenth Night, we learn that the name "Feste" was merely an alias for the Fools' Guild veteran known privately as Theophilos. 15 years after the events of Shakespeare's play, having foiled the plans of Saladin's agent, Malvolio, Theophilos is sent back to "the Duchy of Orsino" to investigate the murder of the late Duke. A case which happily reunites Theophilos with the Duke's widow, the spirited Viola, who is destined to become apprentice, partner, wife and soulmate to Theophilos throughout the series, in their many adventures on behalf of the Guild.Who doesn't want the Fool to get the girl? This is by far the most delicious wrinkle in Gordon's audacious design. This is a wonderful launch to what is now an 8-volume series. Despite its fictional inspiration, the series is deeply rooted in the history of its age (the dawn of the 13th Century).

  • Karin
    2018-11-15 09:12

    This is a sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, a mystery novel from the late 20th century.Fifteen years after the play, Feste hears of the death of the Duke of Orsino, and goes, in disguise, to see if he can find out who killed the Duke. However, Malvolvo, Feste's chief suspect, has been planning revenge on Feste for a decade and a half, so he has to move carefully. If you enjoy mysteries set in the thirteenth century, this will be a book you are likely to enjoy.

  • Claire (Clairby11xxx)
    2018-12-04 02:47

    (2/10) This wasn't badly written and it was moving along at an alright pace, it just didn't grab me, what's the point in making myself read something when my to read list has lots of books on it I know I would rather be spending my time on. Personal taste not a reflection on the book at all.

  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his)
    2018-11-22 09:52

    Again, another brilliant and hilarious book in the Fools' Guild series. Of course, this is technically the first book. Not as much humor to it since it was laying the ground, and more fiction than history in this historical fiction. I really enjoyed it, just as I have the others. Theo is a brilliant character, and I honestly can't wait until I get to the point where Helga and Claudia come into the story, since I think that they really make it in the later books.This one took a basis, as I said, more on fiction than history. It had characters from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in it, and since I always think of it as one of the comedies, not a history. So, if there is any historical basis to the play, I would love to know more about it. (History buff and I love Shakespeare, so you can obviously guess that I have a special place in my heart for his historical plays.) There was deception throughout this mystery, and some of the much loved Shakespeare tropes of people not being who they say they are.A really good start to the series, one that kicks it off very well. I might have liked to see a bit more humor and some actual historical facts in this, but it's still a very good start that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a cozy mystery.

  • Neil
    2018-12-14 05:04

    The premise of this series is that the fools have a secret guild which serves as a sort of superspy agency to maintain equilibrium in medieval Europe. Feste (that's how we know him here anyway), the jester from Twelfth Night is a dozen years older, and he's fallen into his cups a bit. When a message comes that Duke Orsino has died from a suspicious fall, Feste disguises himself as a merchant and returns to investigate, suspecting that Malvolio is back and after revenge on Orsino, Olivia, Viola, Sebastian, and the others.The premise is a bit silly, but this book was quick reading and grew on me as I read it. Feste is highly sympathetic and there plenty of clever wordplay and hijinks, with just enough gravity, particularly as the book progressed, to give the story some pathos. There are interesting details about the celebration of holidays, the skills of a fool, alchemy, and theatrics that made the book historically interesting. From my understanding, later books in the series quit trying to re-use the characters of others, which I think might actually be beneficial: Gordon does just fine creating his own version of Europe and its inhabitants.

  • Sabrina Flynn
    2018-12-14 09:08

    Thirteenth Night takes Shakespeare's Twelfth Night a step further and weaves a really cool secret organization out of the Fool's Guild. I was not familiar with Twelfth Night at all, and while you don't have to be familiar with the play, I think at least reading a summary of Twelfth Night adds depth to the book.Feste, the main character, remained a vague figure for me and I didn't really get into the story until over half way through. The writing is quick and witty and low on description, and I think that's why the main character never really took shape in my mind. Still, it was an enjoyable read, and was a nice spin on the classic mystery style.

  • Princessjay
    2018-12-10 09:57

    A medieval mystery in modern vernacular, and an imaginative sequel to Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT, with the Fool's Guild full of multi-talented jester-spys/assassins, maneuvering power behind the thrones.(view spoiler)[I find it difficult to imagine Malvolio to be such an evil character, since in the play his energy were spent in such unprofitable direction, and all ending in failure. Nevertheless, I guessed the culprit about 2/3 way through the novel. (hide spoiler)]An excellent, generally lighthearted tale -- despite deaths and depiction of what happens AFTER the happily-ever-afters. Highly recommended.

  • Mike
    2018-11-22 05:09

    Years after the events of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night a man once known as Feste is told that he must return to Orsino, because although his work behind the scenes on behalf of the manipulative Fools Guild led to a happy ending for some... happy endings don't always last forever.The Duke has been murdered, and it is up to an old fool to find out who did it. It's a light, well-written mystery with interesting characters and some interesting world-building.

  • Michal
    2018-12-14 08:09

    I liked this but I didn't like the ending. It was very interesting from the history side. He writes well. It held my attention because of the red herrings and I didn't know until the end who was up to what. that's the bottom line in a mystery: not knowing who dunnit until the very end and having it make sense. so I gave it 4 stars.

  • Barbara
    2018-12-01 02:57

    I hated this book alot; I feel betrayed as a mystery reader and a medievalist. I am still mad at it; if you would like to know, ask me why.

  • Eric
    2018-12-10 02:55

    I Liked this first outing of Theo Having read most of the others first it was good to meet him beforeClaudia and his family and I was not disappointed (Plus now I have to see Twelfth Night again) The Authors description of Foolery is always a delight as is his repartee between his wife or his enemies and to see it from the second start was perfect. As Medieval Mysteries go This is a perfect starting point and Delving into the past can only get better and at time bloodier.

  • Tomriddle
    2018-12-01 06:13

    odważne rozwinięcie sztuki Shakespere

  • jean kennedy-hubler
    2018-12-08 03:01

    Well written funI love the fools mysteries. Great story, great characters, and marvelous history. The wit is wonderful. So much fun. Love the stories.

  • Lindsay Gower
    2018-11-23 02:58

    Entertaining mystery and love story. Treachery and humor!

  • Dale
    2018-11-23 10:14

    Thirteenth Night is written as a kind of sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with the action taking place some 15 years later. All the characters are present: Viola and Sebastian, Olivia, the Duke, Toby, Andrew, Maria, and Feste who, this time, is the protagonist and narrator of the story. In this sequel and retelling, it is hinted that Feste engineered the original shipwreck for political reasons, on a mission from the Fool's Guild, a shadowy yet powerful network of court jesters with a mission to prevent the worst kinds of political mistakes.This was a very clever premise for this debut novel in Alan Gordon's jester series, and Gordon carries it off well. Malvolio, the fun-hating and much abused steward from Twelfth Night is the prime suspect in the murder of the Duke (not a spoiler, really - we learn of the Duke's death in the first scene, and suspect murder by page 20), but hasn't been heard from in 15 years. Feste goes to Orsino to investigate, and is soon joined by another Fool to provide backup.Despite the fact that Feste, and all the other leading characters, were well acquainted with Malvolio we are meant to believe that Malvolio would be able to disguise himself and escape detection: no less plausible, I guess, than the disguised Viola / Cesario from the original story. So there are suspects aplenty, and Feste has to fumble his way through his investigation.In all, an enjoyable book on a few levels: the invention of a confederacy of Fools dedicated to preventing political foolery; the character of Feste elevated from a minor role to that of a master agent; and the masterful way in which Gordon maps out the futures of the characters from Twelfth Night.

  • Kathy
    2018-11-25 04:10

    ss - nice love story of a werewolf who trains dogs, lost his love because he could not tell her his secret... the bad guys trap him, inject him with wolfsbane... his dogs, and some of the dogs he trained (including his girlfriends) come to his rescue... she follows... helps him - and now she knows and they are together... : )An interesting premise… 1200's, jesters, ie fools, with a Fool’s Guild that are secret agents trying to influence good & prevent bad, patterned after the First Fool, Christ (the original fool – “spoke the truth as well, through parable and paradox. And at the supreme moment, when he could have saved himself by doing a few simple magic tricks for the King, he chose silence. Then, he was led in a mock royal procession through the streets of Jerusalem to his doom and saved us all.” P224. And it takes Feste, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and makes him central in this story of the same elements of evil, intrigue, politics, disguise, humor, and intrigue, as Feste returns 15 years later…To face Malvolio, who has murdered the Duke… to dispatch him, and to protect the others… I don’t know Twelfth Night except she dresses and he, falls in love with him, and a different her falls in love with him/her… and when her twin shows up, the different her marries him, and the he realizes the he is a she, and they marry… all live happily ever after…The he is a duke… and his wife again dresses up as a man to act as the household steward, because the money does well under her tutelage… and now that the duke has died, Feste (actually Theolphilos) is back to facilitate everyone’s path…

  • Brian
    2018-11-14 07:52

    “Thirteenth Night” is a surprisingly good book, and much better written than I expected it to be. I have no reason why I thought it would disappoint, but I did. And I was wrong.First off, if you are not familiar with Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” I think parts of this novel will fall flat for you. The author, Alan Gordon, assumes a lot of familiarity with Shakespeare’s play on the reader’s part. The protagonist is a member of the Fool’s Guild named Theophilos, better known as the fool Feste from “Twelfth Night.” This story takes place fifteen years after the events of that play. Most of the cast of characters are lifted from that work.I really loved the premise that Mr. Gordon uses in this text of the idea of a medieval “Fool’s Guild” that is actually a secret religious organization righting the wrongs of society. The text also contains enough historical references to please the medievalist in all of us.One quibble I have is that the denouement is disjointed and felt a little rushed to me, like the author was trying to get to the final action. I thought it would have aided the book for that section to have been a little more developed.The ending is fast paced and abrupt, and it actually works for the text. When you finish reading don’t think about it. Just close the book with a smile and move on with your day. “Thirteenth Night” is a mystery novel, and it is a good one. I read it quickly, it kept my attention, and I enjoyed it. It is the first novel in a series and I will check the second book out soon.

  • Danielle
    2018-12-10 04:01

    I picked this book up because a) I love Shakespeare and Twelfth Night is one of my favs and b) I saw it mentioned on a list of favorite mystery series on goodreads. I'll admit straight off that I had high hopes. Another confession: I haven't exactly read Twelfth Night in almost a decade. I have a feeling my 3 star review is more my own fault than Alan Gordon's. Thirteenth Night is well written, the characters are nicely fleshed out, and the events are interesting. Unfortunately, something about this book did not sit quite right with me. I think my inner illustrations of what the characters of Twelfth Night should be were not well aligned with Gordon's take on their future selves. There was a closeness described between Viola and the Feste that I don't remember feeling in the play. I remember Viola as more of a solitary character, though granted that was some time ago, and if the Fool stayed in the service of Orsino for long that relationship probably would have changed. I think the main problem is that I really wanted to like this book and I set myself up for disappointment. I'm going to go back and re-read Twelfth Night, then maybe I'll see something I missed this go around. After that, I'll probably still go on to the next book in the series, especially now that I have a more realistic view of what to expect.

  • LJ
    2018-12-15 03:52

    THIRTEENTH NIGHT (Mystery-Feste-Orsino, Italy-1200) – VGGordon, Alan – 1st in seriesSt. Martin’s Press, 1999, US Hardcover – ISBN: 0312200358First Sentence: We were gathered in the tavern to taste the new beer.*** It’s December 1200 and Feste, the jester, is at a tavern near the Fools’ Guildhall when he receives a message at “Orsino is dead.” Although a play by Shakespeare, “The Twelfth Night,” relates the events somewhat differently, Feste had been in the town of Orsino 15 years earlier. Then, he disrupted the plans of Malvolio, a Saladian agent, who swore revenge. Now the Duke of Orsino is dead and Feste suspects Malvolio has returned. Feste is on this way to Orsino to stop him again.*** “Brush up your Shakespeare…” Although it’s not essential, it does help a bit if you are familiar with the plot of “Twelfth Night” and a bit of the history of 13th Italy. Even so, Gordon has created a cleverly, and delightfully plotted story. The language and dialogue are a joy to read. The character of Feste is fascinating. Who ever thought about the fools in history? I like that he’s not a young man, but more mature with a history which gives him wonderful dimension. The supporting characters are real and interesting. This is a wonderfully inventive book and I didn’t see the twist coming. I’m definitely reading more in this series.

  • John
    2018-12-15 06:52

    This book is a sort of sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.Duke Orsino, who married Viola at the end of Shakespeare's play, has been murdered. Feste, who is not just a jester but a member of a (very improbable) international Fools' Guildof entertainers who use their skills to work for the good of society, is sent to investigate. Some of what he finds is depressing -- Viola's brother Sebastian is now a drunk, for example, and Sebastian's wife Countess Olivia is ambitious and lecherous -- but some of the others are very nice extrapolations from their characters in the original play, notably Sir Toby Belch and Maria (though they are minor characters here). Ultimately, Feste solves the problem at a classic "meeting of all the suspects." in the traditional style. This is the fitrst of a series; judging from the opening of the second book (included with the first) it may be worth following. One oddity --the original play is fairly clearly set in the 16th century, but for some strange reason the author has decided to begin this series in about 1203. The second book apparently involves an attempt to prevent the sack of Constantinople by the 4th crusade.

  • Alethea
    2018-12-06 06:53

    Rating: 1.5..almost OK.I got through this, I am afraid, only on the basis of the fact that it is built on my favorite of Shakespeare’s comedies. Historical mysteries are a somewhat problematic for me, and this was not a complete success either as a historical novel (a handful of rabid inconsistencies, and a distressing tendency to cram in mention of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE of any import in that area of the world), or as a mystery (I have a particular loathing for limited third person where the author cheats—the detective is not allowed to claim he’s seen the truth if we’re in his head and haven’t seen the faintest sign that he has. Especially if we’ve figured it out on our own…I want to be surprised, darn it, and this was appallingly predictable.) Most of what I liked about it, in fact, I could have gotten from the jacket flap—the Fools Guild as an international secret society, and the fool who had been Feste returning to Illyria to solve Duke Orsino’s murder. Otherwise…frustrating.

  • LindaH
    2018-12-12 02:47

    I enjoyed this book because1. The author imagines events subsequent to those in Shakespeare's play. Since it is a mystery, I was caught up in the possibility of disguise, knowing how identity figures in Twelfth Night. 2. The narrator is a twelfth century "professional" fool. I have a new appreciation for that guy in motley.3. An historical detective story works well foor me, sending me to the Internet to look up place names, historical events, a couple of saints (a clue) the names of the characters in the play itself.4. The author has fun with word play. The witty repertoire of fools at the start of the book appealed to me. I found myself marking all the references to number.5. The back matter is good tongue-in-cheek.I did not love this book because1. In the end it's just a mystery: great beginning, hurried conclusion.2. There were too many loose ends to tie up neatly.

  • Dawn
    2018-11-28 06:48

    I am not a fan of Shakespeare and other than watching the occasional show based on his plays, I am unfamiliar with his work. But despite its basis in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, I decided that this looked to be an interesting book.The premise of the series is that the fool’s guild is actually a secret society dedicated to the well-being of 13th century medieval Europe. This story follows the events of Twelfth Night by taking us back to Orsino when the spy/fool Feste hears of the death of the Duke. I think that a familiarity with the original story would make the book more enjoyable. I am sure I missed many references to the Twelfth Night but I still found it to be a good and fulfilling book. The characters are amusing and unusual, the story curious and the mystery interesting.

  • Carl
    2018-11-23 05:45

    I generally enjoy a mystery/thriller when it has something beyond the usual whodunnit. I was unaware of this series until my 92 year old father suggested it. Interestingly, I had just finished Ariana Franklin's newest historical mystery, which takes place in the same era, and even has some similar historical backdrops, e.g., the Roman Church v. one its many "heresies," the Cathars.The main gimmick is the character of the crimesolver, the Fool from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, as outlined in the many reviews. Beyond that and the interesting setting, it's pretty standard whodunnit stuff.Still, that makes it more interesting to me than most in the genre, so I'll try another in the series.If you want more entertaining fare, as narrated by a Shakespearean fool, I'd suggest Christopher Moore's "Fool", a retelling of Lear by, of course, Lear's fool.

  • Janet
    2018-11-23 04:51

    I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It's a debut novel and the first in a series. I was looking for a new mystery series to get caught up in but I'm not so sure it's going to be this one. The story was okay but didn't really draw me in. Same with the characters. I didn't find that when I was away from the book I was just dying to know what was going to happen next to Feste/Octavius. I like to become invested in my characters. However, I'm not going to throw in the towel just yet. I'm going to order Gordon's second book in this series and see if he can manage to make me give a hoot about his characters and story. A plus was that this was a quick read (that's why I'll give another one a chance).

  • Nikki
    2018-12-01 10:57

    Enjoyable first in a series (I've already acquired the next two for my TBR stacks). The Fool's Guild series is set in the late Middle Ages and also brings in the characters from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night., especially in this first outing. Feste is a fool or jester, whose profession makes him a perfect spy -- the Fool's Guild is a sort of multinational CIA or MI-5, with some connections to the Church, whose mission is to prevent bloodshed if possible and maintain a peaceful balance in the world as they knew it. As one can imagine, this was not always easy. Set first in Italy and then on "the seacoast of Bohemia," Thirteenth Night reimagines and carries forward the plot of Twelfth Night. Definitely recommended for lovers of historical mysteries.

  • Pamela Bronson
    2018-11-20 03:10

    A delightful mystery that paints a plausible historical background for Twelfth Night and goes way beyond. Who knew that Illyria was really Croatia? You may learn a lot of history, some of which is true, but that shouldn't diminish your enjoyment. I especially enjoyed the Feast of Fools as part of a medieval Christmas celebration. The romance took me by surprise.One caveat: if you have only recently read or scene Twelfth Night for the first time and can't deal with the idea that Orsino is dead, wait a decade or two to pick this up. My daughter, who fell into that category, stopped reading on the first page. But as far as I'm concerned, they'd been married for 40 years (15 in the story) and I could handle it.

  • Tom
    2018-12-14 10:05

    This novel, a sequel to William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, is the first in the Fools' Guild series, which posits that the fool from the aforementioned play, Feste (AKA Theopolis, and also Lear's fool), works for a Medieval European Guild that acts as both the power behind the throne and as entertainers. Author Gordon paints the world well, setting Feste/Theo in a world that combines the Bard's works with real history, and the book will work regardless of how well the reader knows the original source work.

  • Ginny Whitehouse
    2018-11-26 10:45

    I started reading the series when Laurie R. King (Beekeeper's Apprentice) recommended it on Facebook as an Epiphany mystery. It picks up where Shakespeare's Twelfth Night leaves off with a focus on the jester Feste. Alan Gordon develops a world where the Fools' Guild exists to promote peace and prevent injustice. The entire series is an intelligent historical mystery ... at least I believe it is now that I have finished the third book. However, I am snowed in and there are no ebook or audiobook versions available from the fourth one on. Alan, please help us during the Eastern snowmedgedon and arrange for electronic versions.

  • Tripleguess
    2018-12-05 05:58

    I enjoyed this more than #7; the overall tone of the book is not nearly as debauched, though I had the same problem of the most important background characters being so nearly indistinguishable from each other that, well, I couldn't tell them apart. Viola and Olivia stood out, Andrew almost so, and "Bobo" of course. Perun too. The others were more like placeholders than characters. I guess I could have stopped and made a list but I didn't bother. It was still an entertaining read and did convince me to put #2 on hold.For the record, I have not read or seen Twelfth Night, though I've heard summaries of the story. That may account for some of my confusion.