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The Saracen Blade

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  284 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The story of Pietro di Donati, son of a 13th-century Sicilian peasant, who was born at almost the exact same moment as the Emperor Frederick. Their stories are linked against the early 13th century and backdrop of the Children’s and Albigensian Crusades.
Published (first published January 1st 1952)
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Sep 29, 2012 Darren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books one discovers collecting dust on a mother's or grandparent's bookshelf, or perhaps fallen behind the shelf or propping up a table. Or so it was with me, when I found this book at the age of ten or so. The dust jacket had long since gone; only a faded crimson hardback with the title in yellow ochre ink that may have been gold, once. I haven't read it again in the nearly three decades since then. I can't think of a single friend or acquaintance who has ever mentioned rea ...more
Sep 22, 2011 Violet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was my favorite book that I read in highschool.
L.   (Carl, that kills people!)
Pierto di Donati is born on the same day as the legendary Frederick II. Although Pierto is born to a relatively humble station in life, his early days are pretty good thanks not to his blacksmith father but to the kind Isaac the Jew. Alas, a peasant uprising doesn't go too well for the peasants, and Pierto loses everyone he loves.

Thanks to the luck of the Irish (of which he's not), the young orphan is quickly taken under the wing by Baron Rudolph, the man who had at one time planned to sexuall
Aug 10, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, adventure
Read this back in the 70's along with several other Yerby novels. I always thought this one was one of his best!
Mar 08, 2011 Brigitte rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2014 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-novel

When Yerby gets it right, his books are a delicious orgy of historical fiction. However, when he gets it wrong… it’s like getting soap in your eyes while biting into something a heck of a lot more spicy then you anticipated.

The “plot” here wanders all over the known places and events of the 13th century. The alliances, betrayals, fights, works, and progresses of kings, popes, emperors, sultans, queens, slaves, peasants, merchants, scientists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, saints,
Jun 15, 2008 Tabatha rated it really liked it
I had a difficult time getting into this story. It contains many characters and I often don't like stories that have incidental characters which you meet at one point and then never hear from again. I'm only about halfway through, and the read has gotten better. This one will take me a while to get through because it's been relegated to being my "car" book, the one I keep in the front seat for boredom emergencies.

So I finished the book and it got much better. The main character has an idealized
Oct 24, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
c1952. FCN: Emperor Frederick II, Pietro di Donati, Iolanthe Rodiano, Elaine of Siniscola, Haroun. "He had that feeling again that he had had before: that life was neither good nor pleasant nor worth the living. You started out in blood and stench with the echoes of your mother’s dying screams inside of you somewhere so that unrecognized, unremembered, they were there a part of you; then afterwards you were the hunted, always the hunted, running with that tiredness inside of you that was part of ...more
Feb 10, 2010 John rated it really liked it
A pretty good read. As most historical fiction, this book really immerses you in the culture. There were a ton of factual references, which I found interesting. The somewhat annoying romance plots were thrown in there as well, many loves (although not at the same time now, jeeze). Ha, and the typical Frank Yerby 20th-century language randomly in there. But I did enjoy the discussions of battle-tactics and the cultures / histories involved. I felt like I knew prince-> king Frederick of France, ...more
Brian Brackstone
I read this book over and over again.

The characters, the places, the adventure, the love, the drama, the strength.

This is a book that allows me to transport to another place and time and enjoy spending time within the story, even though some of the events recounted (based on historical events) are somewhat barbaric.

I'm a fan.
Beatrice Drury
Jul 13, 2013 Beatrice Drury rated it it was amazing
This is the first of Frank Yerby's books the I read. It made me continue on to read all of his books. All the characters in his books are well defined, fascinating and ultimately very human. Their lives are filled with joy, horror and angst. All his books are worth reading and only a few are not reading more than once.
Pam Brown
Jan 18, 2016 Pam Brown rated it it was amazing
One of the first adult level books I read. It swept me off my feet as a teenager. I read it several times, and every other book by Frank Yerby I could get my hand on. I'm tempted to re-read now and see how my perspective has changed.
Overall, I liked this book. It was well researched and an entertaining story a la Sabatini/Shellebarger. My only real problem is that the author frequently put 20th Century attitudes into the mouth/thoughts of the protagonist.
Mar 05, 2012 Kdavid rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was 13 along with Yerby's 'The Goat Song' and they started me off on a fantastic journey through historical fiction that I am enjoying 40 years later. Wonderful story beautifully written.
Nov 05, 2012 David rated it liked it
Although well written and compelling the frequent romances throughout the main characters life are not my cup of tea.
Danielle Hamilton
Danielle Hamilton rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2014
Josh rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2012
Leonel Richard
Leonel Richard rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2014
Evelyn rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2012
Waneta Boyce
Waneta Boyce rated it really liked it
Apr 26, 2016
Lindy rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2013
Barbara rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2009
Katie rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2014
Ann Nitzschke
Ann Nitzschke rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2014
Teresa rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2012
Carolyn Johnson
Carolyn Johnson rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2009
Kusumjit rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2016
Evelyn rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2011
Johnnyz rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2012
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Aug 31, 2016
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Born in Augusta, Georgia to Rufus Garvin Yerby, an African American, and Wilhelmina Smythe, who was caucasian. He graduated from Haines Normal Institute in Augusta and graduated from Paine College in 1937. Thereafter, Yerby enrolled in Fisk University where he received his Master's degree in 1938. In 1939, Yerby entered the University of Chicago to work toward his doctorate but later left the univ ...more
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