"The galley pitched over without warning, her stability destroyed by the sea-water rushing into her hold, and Tancred was thrown helplessly against the rails. Unable to resist the pull of gravity, he catapulted over the bulwarks and plunged into the dark, hostile water, paralysed with shock and fear".
Pilgrim without a scrap of piety, Norman soldier of fortune Tancred of Varville is not a happy camper. First he's been forced by King Louis IX of France into undertaking a tedious pilgrimage as condition for the restoration of his family lands, now his reluctant journey to the Holy City has taken an abrupt turn for the worse. Ship-wrecked off the wild Dalmatian coast, he washes up on the shores of Frankish Greece, only to be delivered straight into the hands of his former employer and worst enemy, Guy de la Roche, Duke of Athens. Tancred's only hope of escaping summary execution lies with the Duke's devious Venetian companion, Angelo Sanudo, Lord of Naxos, who, it seems, has a purpose in mind for an expendable mercenary knight of dubious reputation.
The short-lived Latin Empire of Constantinople is the turbulent setting for this entertaining historical adventure full of intrigue and incident, treachery, romance and a host of colourful, untrustworthy characters, many of them actual historical personages. The fall of Constantinople in 1204 to Crusaders from Western Europe has thrown the whole of the Levant, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor into ongoing turmoil. Violence, lawlessness and piracy become commonplace as Frankish, Genoese and Venetian freebooters vie with each other and the Turks for lands and plunder, while deposed Byzantine noblemen plot and scheme to reclaim their stolen empire.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Crusade Era Novel11 Mar. 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is perhaps one of the most interesting books I have read this year. This is a historical fiction concerning a pilgrim Tancred, who on a quest to the holyland, gets waylaid by pirates, helps overthrow a ruler, falls in love and kills a few people along the way. Defintely kept my attention.