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The Talisman (Tales of the Crusaders #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,374 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
The Talisman is Sir Walter Scott's tale of the Crusades -- a tale of chivalry, of violence, of virtue, romance, and deceit. In Scott's own words: ...the warlike character of Richard I, wild and generous, a pattern of chivalry, with all its extravagant virtues, and its no less absurd errors, was opposed to that of Saladin, in which the Christian and English monarch showed a ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published April 27th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1825)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,961)
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Henry Avila
A lone knight, heavily armed, covered with armor, travels through the hot, arid desert, to reach the Dead Sea, equally without life, on horseback, he looks at the empty surface, the small waves, a peculiar odor that omits from it, the strange color, unlike any other lake, the salt contents so thick, that a person floats to the top, without effort, underneath the Bible says, the wicked cities destroyed by God, lie, hundreds of feet below, at the never seen bottom. Sir Kenneth of Scotland, as he c ...more
Bill  Kerwin

The Talisman wins my respect for its sympathetic portrayal of a Muslim--rare for 1825--and it wins my affection not only for its memorable characterizations of Lionheart and Saladin, but also for its vivid descriptions of Crusader and Saracen dress and pageantry. The style is verbose, the dialogue is infuriating in its deliberate stiltedness (as if anyone ever talked in this pseudo-Medieval fashion!), and its plot--a far cry from the carefully structured "Ivanhoe"--is thin and melodramatic (with
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Talisman, Walter Scott
عنوان: طلسم؛ نویسنده: والتر اسکات؛ مترجم: حسین دره باغی؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1340؛ در 345 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 م
در سپاه صلیبیون مستقر در سرزمین مقدس، به رهبری ریچارد شیردل، نفاق درگرفته است. رهبران دیگر عبارتند از: فیلیپ، پادشاه فرانسه؛ لئوپولد، دوک اتریش؛ مارکی دو مونتسرات، و استاد اعظم شهسواران پرستشگاه. شهسوار بیچاره اما جسوری از اسکاتلند، معروف به سرکنت یا شهسوار یوزپلنگ، احترامی راستین و البته متقابل نسبت به امیری عرب احساس میکند.
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
The Talisman is the finale of Scott's novels set during the crusades but this one features the dying dog days of the Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart is de facto leader but the military expedition has ground to a halt and the allies are getting itchy feet. They are sick of Richard's over-bearing leadership and, to make it worse, very few of them still believe Jerusalem can be reconquered.

To the modern reader this must be a rather recondite setting. Beyond the joustin
...more
booklady
Sir Walter Scott writes wonderfully enjoyable historical fiction. He first ventured into this realm in 1814 with the novel, Waverley which was published anonymously as Scott's first venture into prose fiction and possibly the first-ever historical novel. His subsequent novels came to be called Waverley novels, including this story. The Talisman is the middle in the trilogy about one of England's most popular kings ~~ King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted), which begins with The Betrothed and conclude ...more
Bruce
Mar 06, 2015 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1825, The Talisman is certainly not Sir Walter Scott’s most weighty work in terms of either length, complexity of plot, or profundity, but it is interesting in several respects. Set in 12th century Palestine, during the Third Crusade, it features Richard I of England (the Lion-heart) and figures both historical and fictional that surrounded him at that time. This Crusade eventually broke up without having achieved its goal of capturing Jerusalem from the Muslims, largely because of ...more
Lisa
Sep 09, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, c19th, britain
Sir Walter Scott was a much-loved author of the 19th century: he wrote great tales of adventure, as appealing now as they were then, but today we read them with a keen awareness of the British sense of entitlement which guides Scott’s characters’ actions.

The Talisman is a tale of the Crusades, set in 1190 and beginning when there was a truce between the Saracens and King Richard the Lionheart. As with many another historical novel, Scott takes liberties with the historical record, and probably w
...more
Alger
Sep 05, 2007 Alger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who like Historical Fiction or the movie "Kingdom of Heaven"
As with 'Ivanhoe','The Talisman' is a humorous, exciting, romantic adventure that deals with the Crusades, the Church, ambitious Europeans lords of Christendom, and Richard the Lionheart. This book, however, takes place in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade and contrary to expectations contains little Christian/Mohammadan hostilities, but rather is driven entirely on the conflict of in-fighting and conspiring within the Christian camp.
There are so many intriguing facets to the novel. The por
...more
Jefferson
Jan 01, 2015 Jefferson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir Walter Scott's second Crusades novel, The Talisman (1825), is an absorbing and humorous book set in the holy land during the 3rd Crusade. The Crusaders are not unlike the invading and besieging Greeks in The Iliad: formidable fighters riven by the mutual pride, suspicion, envy, and hatred of their leaders, a connection that Scott highlights by comparing Richard the Lionheart to Achilles and King Philip of France to Odysseus. And the major movement of the plot hinges on an argument over the r ...more
Esdaile
This is the best of Walter Scott's works which I have read to date I think. I hesitate before giving four stars because this writer is extremely predictable. His approach and opinions and manner of presenting historical events is (I have read five books so far I think) always the same. In this work, his strengths are especially favourably utilised. By his strengths I have in mind his pictorial presentation of historical events and persons. The opening scenes of this tale are like a painting in w ...more
Christy
Jun 02, 2010 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
In a nutshell:

Set in the time of the Crusades (circa 1191), The Talisman primarily follows the travails of a Scottish knight, Sir Kenneth. Due in part to the extreme illness of King Richard, the European allied armies have established a temporary peace with Saladin, the Sultan leading the Muslim forces.

The story opens as Sir Kenneth travels alone in a desert. He soon encounters another lone fighter, an Emir from Kurdistan and they battle. When each recognizes the other as a worthy adversary, the
...more
Maya Chhabra
Jan 25, 2015 Maya Chhabra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


"...for know, that had my assailant been in very deed the Prince of Darkness, thou wert bound not the less to enter into combat with him in thy comrade's behalf."



If you loved Ivanhoe, as I did, and want something similar with more Richard the Lionheart, this is it. If you, like me, love the legends of Coeur de Lion and Saladin and aren't particularly interested in the accuracy of the details of the Crusade, this is also for you. It can be read as a prequel to Ivanhoe, though it shares only one
...more
Melissa
Jan 15, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Scottish knight, Sir Kenneth, is alone in the wilderness of the middle-east, seeking help for his squire who is deathly ill. He becomes unlikely companions with an Islamic Kurdish warrior. At first the two hold the other in contempt, but a grudging respect grows between them. Sir Kenneth is looking for a certain mysterious hermit to ask him for healing for his squire, and on secret business for the knights templar.
King Richard lies ill and his crusade is on the brink of failure due to infightin
...more
Pam
Jan 17, 2008 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not an easy book to read as it was written in 1825, but it is well worth the effort. However only one person in my book club agreed, but we were the only two who finished. Sir Walter Scott's insight into the location and people of the crusades is incredible given that he never traveled to the Holy Land.
Robert Hepple
Jul 18, 2015 Robert Hepple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Talisman is a Walter Scott novel first published in 1825. Set mainly in Palestine at the time of the Third Crusade, it is a tale of chivalry, romance and intrigue and features many characters based on actual personalities of the time. There is some casual racism, yet the novel is dominated by its sympathetic portrayal of moslems. In fact, there is more prejudice directed against Europeans, possibly as a result of a long European war being a recent memory when the novel was written. All of th ...more
I'mgonnabe Ateacher
قد لخصنا هذه الرواية من رواية إنكليزية شهيرة اسمها الطلسم (تلسمن) للكاتب البليغ "ده تذييل الكاتب - يعقوب صروف وهو مترجم اخر لذات الرواية - فى نهاية الكتاب "
السر والتر سكوت، وتصرفنا فيها بزيادة، وإسقاط، وتغيير، وإبدال؛ لتوافق ذوق القراء
في هذه البلاد، وهي تطابق الحقائق التاريخية في أكثر وقائعها. وأشهر مخالفتها لها
في أن دوق النمسا لم ينصب علمه بجانب علم الإنكليز في وسط المحلة، بل على أسوار
عكاء، ومركيز منسرَّات لم يقتله رئيس الهيكليين بل اغتاله اثنان من الخوارج في مدينة
صور، وصلاح الدين لم يقتل رئيس
...more
Kath
Sep 07, 2015 Kath rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-scotland
The story of The Talisman promises a lot of dry dialogue during the first four chapters, between a Saracen and a Nazarene about their respective religions. For a 20th century girl there was an alarming quantity of bigotries throughout the entire novel… Oh well, I guess that’s what they did in the middle ages. The dominant feeling I did get while reading this novel was that ‘not a lot has changed, has there’

The Talisman is actually the second book in Scott’s Tales of the Crusades, the first one b
...more
Paul
In the beginning this book was very slow. But it was interesting. Not that everyone would find it so. But its strength was in its slowness. We so rarely let our minds become quiet, and slip into another time, or rather a reconstruction of another time. The handkerchief falling from the hand of Edith Plantagenet had the meditative quality of the images in medieval literature. While reading it I was taken back to Chrétien de Troyes, to the blood spots in the snow that Perceval stared at, transfixe ...more
Natalie
Mar 03, 2010 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of the classics
Recommended to Natalie by: Julie Jones
Shelves: recently-read
Sir Walter Scott is a master of historical fiction. I enjoyed The Talisman, not only because of its well drawn characters and plot intrigues, but for all that I learned about the Crusades. I had never understood just how and why they were begun, why the kings had to lead them (leaving their distant homelands vulnerable), why the crusaders abandoned their task, and the fact that there were Christians in Jerusalem at the time. I knew a little about Suleiman, the Ottoman Sultan, whose sense of hono ...more
David
Oct 20, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Talisman’ is set during the Second Crusade, and skilfully interweaves historical facts and personalities with the fictional narrative. Scott single-handedly invented the ‘historical novel’ as we now think of it, and this is one of his finest.

The story follows the fortunes of Sir Kenneth, a Scottish knight who is in the Holy Land - occupied by an army of Christian allies (France, England and Austria) - to restore his family fortunes. At the opening of the novel he has a chance encounter with
...more
Craig
Oct 22, 2011 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-british
This epic takes place in the land of Isaral during the third Crusade. King Richard the Lion Heart is in charge of the Christian armies, though many of the various factions are divided in purpose. He and his forces are arrayed against the Saracens under Saladin, though during the narrative the warring armies are at truce. The book opens with a Scottish knight confronting a Saracen warrior in the deseret near the Dead Sea. They fight to a draw then make peace and become respected friends. A carefu ...more
Even
Apr 10, 2012 Even rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tailsman gets some points for originality, being the first of the Waverley Novels set outside of Europe, and only the second outside of the British Isles. It also deserves some credit for presenting a flattering image of the Muslim Saladin, as many of Scott's previous portrayls of non-Christians were decidedley less so. Scott's presentation of Saladin was so favorable that it almost single-handedly resurrected Saladin from obscurity to a modern day icon of Arab nationalism.

The story starts
...more
Perry Whitford
I had recently bought a full 19th century set of the Waverley novels, and as there are over twenty of them I thought I better get stuck in!

The story is set during the 3rd Crusade, with the towering historical figures of Saladin and Richard the Lion Heart figuring prominently. The hero, however, is the fictional Kenneth of Scotland, a noble but (seemingly) lowly knight who conducts a (seemingly) fruitless courtly romance with the high-born Edith Plantagenet.

It's all about love and honour and - a
...more
Libby
May 15, 2012 Libby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my May selection in my challenge to myself. I plan to read a classic novel each month this year. So---how does May stack up?

I chose The Talisman because, long ago, when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, I read and loved Ivanhoe. The Talisman is set in roughly the same time frame and is in the period of history that I just love to read about. Our hero is a Scots knight on crusade with Richard the Lionheart. How could this be better? Well---several ways. Ivanhoe was acutely plotted. Every tu
...more
Ross
Sep 15, 2014 Ross rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another poor suggestion from GR. This started out OK as an over-the-top melodrama of knights in armor. Generally I don't like melodrama of this sort, but I always liked knights in armor stuff, so it had a kind of appeal. About half way through, however, it descended to the level of a silly nonsense farce. Not worth reading. That this was deemed to be literature in the early 19th century is an awful commentary on the intelligence of the time.
Jean Gill
Great research material if you're interested (as I am) in the 3rd Crusade and the characters of Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, as seen through the eyes of Sir Walter Scott. History is turned upside down with throw-away remarks along the lines that the Saracens must have 'caught chivalry from contact with their Christian foes' but despite Scott's intentions, Saladin is by far the most admirable character in the book (apart from a very noble hound, who plays an important role). The details suc ...more
Stuart
Feb 18, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long long time to finish this book, but I am done now. It took so long becasue I was reading a heavy leather-bound edition that I could not take on the train, so it had to be read on other times. But, in the end, it was worth it. I enjoyed it a lot. The classic tale of a Scottish knoght at the Crusades, led by Richard the Lion Heart. How true was it? Who knows? But it was good swashbuckling stuff, along the lines of "faint heart never wins fair maiden". Saladin and Richard are portr ...more
Bruce Mcfarland
Jan 06, 2013 Bruce Mcfarland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh. I like this stuff. I get the overblown language and the time period mistakes in culture. But, the plot twists and the heraldry. The chivalry and secret hideouts. The disguises and mysteries of mixing cultures. It all reinforces may favorite conspiracy, to wit: The Europeans returned from the Crusades with the knowledge gained from Saladin and the Saracens to improve the life of the people and leave the Dark Ages. The twist is, it did not come from Christ, it came from their adversary. Since ...more
Victoria Jackson
I loved this. One of the best beginnings of any novel, to set the scene- two solitary men fighting in the desert. Richard the Lionheart makes an appearance in this story of the crusades. It has romance, moral dilemma, and a scene stolen by Ridley Scott in his Kingdom of Heaven film. Excellent
Richard Stueber
A novel of King Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade. It was not meant to be history. What was true in it was that Richard was taken deathly ill, perhaps from scurvy, late in Jun 1191, so this probably starts in July 1191.
The romance between the Scottish knight Sir Kenneth and Lady Edith Plantagenet is totally fictional, as is Richard's cure from a Saracen physician by means of the Talisman (an amulet). Some of the characters turn out to be somebody else later on.
Richard did have a lot of
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic
...more
More about Walter Scott...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Crusaders (2 books)
  • The Waverly Novels: The Betrothed

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“Blessed be his name, who hath appointed the quiet night to follow the busy day, and the calm sleep to refresh the wearied limbs and to compose the troubled spirit.” 16 likes
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