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on 8 May 2004
Pagan's Crusade is but one of four books in the PAGAN CHRONICLES series. At the time of writing (8 May 2004) the next, PAGAN IN EXILE, is scheduled for release later in the year but the remaining two are not yet planned.
Though unsuitable for readers below (say) 12 due to language and some issues of content, these books are truly excellent and I can honestly say I've not quite experienced the same level of anticipation while waiting for each to arrive from Australia that I have with other books.
Superbly researched with a strong historical background, the characters leap off the page and will involve, engross and captivate you.
Pagan is a wonderfully witty storyteller, but his sharp wit never hides his vulnerable soul. He is an orphan who though streetwise, seems to attract trouble. In the Templar Knight Lord Roland, to whom he is appointed squire, he finds an anchor, mentor and a friend.
I could ramble on for hours. Just read them! You'll be glad that you did!
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on 5 February 2000
And hope that the rest of the series is released where you live. (Lucky me, I'm in Australia so I've read all 4).
This book is told from the point of view of Pagan Kidrouk, a young Christian Arab trying to get by back in the bad old days of the Crusades.
No wimpy perfect character this, Pagan is a wise cracking young cynic who's been surviving on his own for quite a while. Then he meets Lord Roland, a Knight Templar, and is assigned to be his squire.
The authors style is very distinctive, very spare and it takes a little getting used to. But it certainly pays off as with very few words she manages to conjure up Pagan and the world he lives in, as well as entertaining us with the young man's witty sarcasm.
I adore this book and this series. You really will laugh and cry as you accompany Pagan on his various adventures.
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This is the first novel I've read by Catherine Jinks and I wasn't disappointed. "Pagan's Crusade" is also the first book in a series of four.

It's the 12th Century, the area is Jerusalem and it's the time of the Crusades. Pagan a 16yr old joins the Templar Knights to escape his all life as well as his debts that he owes. His new master is Lord Roland, and he finds him hard to get on with at first.

Pagan starts to wonder what he's done and if he's done the right thing, as his job with the Templar Knights is to help and escort pilgrims, but what he isn't cut out for is defending Jerusalem.

I don't want to go into the story too much as I really don't want to spoil it for other readers. This book if classed as a young adult book, but I`d say it's not for anyone that's 12yrs and under, mainly due to the language it uses and the actual story line.

The author grabs you right from the start, it's an excellent story, and her characters have great's personalities and a lot of depth to them. There's a little comedy in amongst the storyline and it can get pretty emotional as well with what the characters have been through and are going through.

I bought this for two reasons, not only do I love history but the novel sounded great. It doesn't matter whether you're a teenager or older if you want a good read then this is your book. :-)

It didn't take me long to read as it's enjoyable and a compulsive read. You'll find it's an action packed story and its pace is fast. It's one I'd recommend to young and old, if you're after a good story this is the book for you. If you're interested in the Templar Knights, (which I am) you'll also enjoy this. :-)

It's a book I'll be reading again and was worth every penny. I'm now looking forward to reading the next in the series. :-)
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2006
I read Pagan's Crusade after it was recommended to me on a historical fiction blog. This is an excellent novel and definitely crosses over from Young Adult into mainstream. Pagan, the narrator has such personality that he leaves the page and steps into your room. Roland, his master, is gorgeous and I defy any woman reading this novel not to fall for him hook line and sinker.

Basically it's the story of the last days of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the taking of the city by Saladin. Think Kingdom of Heaven, but with a far greater stab at reality than Ridley Scott makes in his film. It's a lot funnier too.

A fantastic book. I highly reccommend it to all readers of historical fiction - and I'm not easily impressed!
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on 29 February 2004
I read this book when it first came out in the UK over 10 years ago - loved it, but thought that was that, until some years later when I read that there were 3 more that never made it across from Australia. I got them via the internet and they are all just as good. It's so great that now everyone over here can read about Pagan, both as a young lad in Palestine and later on in France. Impeccably researched and both hilarious and heart-rending, this is a series to treasure.
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on 6 January 2010
From the very first page you're picked up and whirled, breathless into the world of Pagan - unlikely and unwilling squire and ultimately hero. This, the first of the Pagan books is just brilliant - you feel the heat, the dust, the thirst, the smells and the fear, and when you get to the last page will be reaching eagerly for the next volume.
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