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Knights of the Cross (Demetrios Askiates #2)

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  197 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Knights of the Cross follows Tom Harper's critically acclaimed debut, The Mosaic of Shadows

Byzantium, 1098.Two years prior, the legions of armies of the First Crusade were called upon by the Byzantine emperor to reinforce his position as the mightiest power in Christendom. Fighting as mercenaries, and claiming no particular allegiance, their presence was strained within th
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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In the flower of my anger, I became the angel of vengeance and struck him down. I put the mark of Cain on his brow, so that men might know him as a murderer, and left his body to be devoured by carrion-eaters.

After bringing down the conspiracy against the Emperor, Demetrios Askiates is sent as an agent of the Empire with the First Crusade. And when a Norman knight is brutally murdered in the crusader camp, the unveiler of mysteries has to call on his old skills again while the Army of Light face
Mar 03, 2014 Kenny rated it it was ok
This was one of those books that should have been better. The background gives plenty opportunity for battles, intrigues and with a who submit thrown in, this should have been a diverting read. But I never was convinced why I should like the character, jumping in at book two may not have helped. The best pieces were around the historical events, and the truly fictional murder case was disappointing. The characters felt flat, but it is frustrating as some pieces ticked along nicely. Potential for ...more
Sarah Messick-Milone
Mar 11, 2008 Sarah Messick-Milone rated it did not like it
I'm not really sure why I read this one. I barely liked the first one in the series, but this one was even worse.

I really like historical mystery novels, but this one was bor_ing with a capital B. The main character is full of himself (for no good reason) and the only parts of the plot that are interesting are the actual historical events. At least the first one in the series had somewhat of a mystery (who's trying to kill the emperor?) even if the answer and indeed most of the novel is cliche.
Mar 17, 2012 Alethea rated it it was ok
Not nearly as much fun as the first, unfortunately, and I like the first crusade. No real quibbles on the historicity; it failed as a book, and partially as a mystery. Mystery and history struck an odd and less appealing balance in this book, with the mystery evaporating for chapters at a time, blown away by events. At the same time, despite managing to be present for an improbable number of historic events, Demetrios is peculiarly passive. Though he uncovers heresy, he doesn’t actually solve hi ...more
Aug 16, 2009 Tom rated it it was ok
Set during the siege of Antioch in the First Crusade (1098 AD). While the Army of God faces starvation and deprivation, first outside the walls of Antioch, then inside while besieged by a Turk army, a Greek scribe is given the task of solving the murder of a Frankish knight. During his investigation, he uncovers a heretic cult which worships the false god Mithra, a critical clue he must use to solve his case. While the story is good, the book has no heat. I really didn't make much of a connectio ...more
Dec 28, 2010 Ghost14 rated it liked it
Shelves: periodical
This is more political than its predecessor and the follower. The author tries to squeeze in a mystery sub plot into the main plot but somehow, the flow doesn't come as naturally as it did in the first part ('mosaic of shadows')

Apart from that, its the most stand-alone book in the trilogy if one reads only this and avoids the other two.
Jul 17, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whatever, crusades
Starts a little slow. The character-building is a little rudimentary, to say the least. The dialogues taste a bit like paper.
And battle-scenes... :sigh: I know the whole story takes place at a siege, but that doesn't make them any more of an enjoyable read.
Gordon Love
Jul 09, 2016 Gordon Love rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Intrigue, murder, mud and treachery as the Crusaders rampage across Anatolia to invest Antioch on their way to carving out new kingdoms. A detailed and convincingly historic background make this detective novel of sorts a recommended read.
Oct 07, 2010 Liviu rated it it was ok
Shelves: mainstream, read_2010
Awful sequel - modern thriller in the Crusade setting, no suspension of disbelief, only the author's sort of engaging style and the narrator makes me rate this above the one star it deserves based on content
Kevin Keating
Apr 22, 2015 Kevin Keating rated it it was ok
It started out pretty good, but just wasn't that interesting after a while. It was a murder mystery but I really didn't care after a while. Historical stuff wasn't that great either.
Paul Sinclair
Mar 10, 2014 Paul Sinclair rated it liked it
Disappointing after reading the first book in the series. I found the siege details interesting but the mystery really plodded along.
Mar 24, 2012 Winnie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this trilogy - not brilliant but good characters and quick easy interesting read.
Jun 03, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Melisende d'Outremer
The story of the First Crusade. A quite disappointed book.
Nathan Nolte
I'm glad it was wasn't that good.
Jun 06, 2010 Peter added it
Epic novel of the Crusades.
Jul 02, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those interested in the crusades
Knights of the Cross was a generally good book. It didn't cover much of the first crusade, just the siege of Antioch. It is an interesting book in the fact that it gives a lot of accurate information about this important siege. Although the stories of the characters are fictional, much of the book is based off of factual events.

The story isn't the strongest I've read, but it keeps you interested enough to turn the page.
Onyx marked it as to-read
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Tom Harper was born in West Germany in 1977 and grew up in Germany, Belgium and America; he now lives in England. He is chair of the Crime Writers' Association and also a member of the Historical Novels Society and the Society of Authors.

Tom Harper also writes historical adventures as Edwin Thomas.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thre
More about Tom Harper...

Other Books in the Series

Demetrios Askiates (3 books)
  • The Mosaic of Shadows (Demetrios Askiates, #1)
  • Siege Of Heaven (Demetrios Askiates, #3)

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