The Crusades Trilogy: The Road to Jerusalem, The Knight Templar, XXX (not found it yet!!)
By Jan Guillou and Anna Paterson
8/10 from 1 review
The Epic Tale of a Crusader Knight (well 2/3rds of it at any rate....)
Intruiged by the strapline – The Epic Tale of a Crusader Knight – and convinced by the dedication to Dr Crawford, I had to try out this trilogy, or at least the first two novels of the set … and having devoured them over Easter weekend, I’m desperate to discover whether Battersea Library can furnish me with the third and final volume.
Broad in scope – geographical, religious and cultural - with a nice line in Just Deserts, this is quite rightly pitched as being “Well up to the class of Ellis Peters…” (TLS), although I’d venture to say that at 300+ pages each, these novels are a little meatier than Brother Cadfael, which I found a little on the thin side. But then I am a confessed Dorothy Dunnett fan.
Focussing on the human side of significant 12th century events, the first two novels range from the consolidation of the Scandinavian kingdoms and the growth of Christianity in the region through the monastic orders and the Cistercian movement, to the victories of Saladin against the robber barons of Outremer.
I’ve yet to discover what volume III holds in store – other than the hope for reunification of Arn, our warrior-monk hero, and Cecilia, 20 years after they were sent to Jerusalem and a nunnery respectively for breaking local traditional law against having sex with sisters. Sounds saucier than it is!! But a great read for any lover of historical novels, and you don’t need a degree in mediaeval history to enjoy them.
Oh no! amazon.co.uk tells me that I’ve got to wait until 17 June, 2004 for the publication of The Kingdom At The End Of The Road. WHY publish two in 2002 and then force me to wait another 2 years to find out what happens?? Right - time for the West Wing, by way of compensation...