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The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
In The Jester, Hugh de Luc comes home to his village in France after fighting in the Crusades with nothing more than a few trinkets and finds his inn burned to the ground, his son murdered, and his wife raped and abducted. Hugh uses his gymnastic and minstrel skills to go undercover as a jester in the court of a duke whom he believes took his wife. He is also unaware that one of his trinkets is the most sought-after item in Christendom. Hugh ends up in charge of a ragtag army using his religious relic to change France forever. It's a typical James Patterson story with non-stop action delivered in short chapters. The Rocky Mountain News calls The Jester, "an addictive, first-rate read."