Josh's Reviews > Crusade

Crusade by Robyn Young
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's review
Nov 23, 2009

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Read in June, 2009 , read count: 1

I said I'd give the first novel in this series 4.5 stars if I could. I'd give this one 2.5. Please note, however, that it seems I'm in the minority on this; most of the professional reviews I've read and most of the amateur reviews on Amazon take the opposite position. It seems that most reader think this was the superior novel.

I couldn't disagree more. Young still alternates between the Mamluks and the Templars, and this dual sided story telling is still brilliant. She is still exceptionally knowledgeable and finds easy ways to portray information to her reader. The strengths, then, remain.

But Crusade has far more flaws. To begin, one of the primary antagonists, whose name I will not reveal for it would ruin parts of the first novel, is horribly developed. He acts with nothing but blind vengeance at multiple points, vengeance that never dulls no matter how many years pass. In so having a horrifically villainous character, Young only serves to herofy Will even more, a fact that I find troubling. Extremes are rare in the real world, and I strongly believe they should be rare in fiction as well.

Another flaw in Crusade is pacing. Parts move too fast and parts move too slowly. Some parts are skipped over entirely and relayed only in exposition.

Finally, the end really troubles me. While technically still related to the last Crusade the rest of the novel focuses on, I thought the novel's concluding section felt like an entirely different book. I also thought the supposed emotional pay off that finished the novel was thoroughly unsatisfying.

I will still read the third installment, but I hope it emulates Brethren instead of this one.
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