Conquest set me thinking that we have a new author to carry on from Ryan and Cornwell. Could Binns step up and deliver better yet still remain true to the original theme of the founding of the mongrel race of Englishmen.
He did and he does in an epic way. The true King meets his nemesis William the Bastard. He thwarts William's heirs and counsels on enemies. He and his band of knights then set forth across plague ridden Europe and enter the first crusade to return as heroes, meeting the Bourne with surprising outcomes.
Good historic references, plenty to think about. A good book for the beach this summer. Well done.
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I was attracted to this book by it's subject (I enjoy historical fiction based on fact) and it's appealing cover. I found the historical notes and background information exceptionally good, being both interesting and informative. The maps were particularly good as they were simple and very easy to read. Also the family tree tables were very helpful. The characters were well developed but in some cases a little incredulous. I found it a good read and the storyline moved along at a good pace and led to a well rounded conclusion, with all the loose ends nicely finished off. Although it was a good my only two buts are :- in a few instances I found some expressions used in the narrative as well as the characters speech slipped into some modern expressions which seemed out of time. I also felt that I was being told the action rather than rather than being shown it, which had the effect of my feeling like a by-stander rather than getting involved. Having said all that it is a good read and filled in many interesting historical background incidents which related to the events portrayed.
Like the first book, Conquest, (Crusade is its sequel) Crusade takes a little while to get into. But this is because it tells a whole story with a great deal of historical accuracy. And it is a thrilling tale. Crusade really brings to life the detail of life in twelfth century England, Europe and the crusader countries, from the food through to the weapons. This book is a classic, reminiscent in style and breadth of the great Tolstoy novels, with elements of storytelling akin to the Icelandic sagas. A really great read. Because it is Written