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Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  326 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In the year 1202, tens of thousands of crusaders gather in Venice, preparing to embark for Jerusalem to free the Holy City from Muslim rule. Among them is a lowly vagabond Briton, rescued from damnation by a pious knight who burns with zealous fire for their sacred undertaking. And so they set sail, along with dedicated companions—and with a beautiful, mysterious Arab "pri ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  326 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Toonvanelst
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
When I first rated this book, I gave it three stars. It was a good read for sure, and the 600 pages were finished at break neck speed. But there was just something about the history altering character of historical romans that kept lingering in the back of my mind.

Now I changed my rating to five stars. Reading Jonathan Phillips's The Fourth Crusade And The Sack Of Constantinople made me change my opinion on Galland's novel. Though she does alter some facts, she gives a very good representation
...more
Barbara Ardinger
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific historical novel. The Crusade is the one where, led by the Venetian Doge and venal representatives of the pope, the western European army attacked and sacked Constantinople, which was still a Christian city. It was done out of greed. The protagonist is an unnamed musician (he's probably Welsh) who rescues a woman he thinks is an Egyptian princess from a Venetian merchant and attaches himself to a fictitious German knight to take her home. The princess is really Jewish, the kni ...more
Cathy
Feb 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
I got about 1/3 through and just ran out of energy for this book. Most of the characters didn't appeal to me much except for the "Princess". It wasn't enough to keep me going. ...more
Christine Hair
Mar 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
I put this book down around page 160 or so to read something else. The fact that I never went back to it says something. I just could not get into this book no matter how much I tried. I thought the subject was interesting, I just couldn't seem to care about the characters. I had too many other books to read to try to slog through this one. I was saddened too, because I liked two of her others books very much.
...more
Elaine Nelson
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, fiction, religion
I seriously stayed up until midnight finishing this book. Unfortunately, I'm way too tired this morning to write much about it, except that it's got a lively narrative voice, although the narrator has an ahistorical feel (to me anyway), there's lots of twists & turns, and I almost cried near the end. ...more
Lindsey
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. It turned a serious subject-the disastrous Fourth Crusade-into an entertaining, informative page turner. And it was all thanks to Galland's invented Gregor of Manz and his motley entourage. These characters were wonderfully written, each and every one-Gregor himself, the pious knight who just wants to go on a pilgrimage and who's irritated by all these stops along the way; his half-brother Otto who is in love with a prostitute he shares with the whole tent and is up for an ...more
ellen
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nicole Galland wrote this story in the point of view of a man we only know as the Briton. He was a musician and therefore a sensitive man, accustomed to the friendship of women. For the time period and setting, I thought this would be unusual. The Briton is also somewhat a jester, with clever quips and a quick witted mind. When set against the backdrop of the serious pilgrimage of the fourth crusade, the Briton is quite entertaining. Another character, the German knight Gregor, writes in a journ ...more
Ken
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am kind of a fanatic for the history of the Fourth Crusade. I've read more non-fiction books on it than any non-professional historian has any right to. That interest and knowledge was in both the pro and con columns while reading this novel. The pro is that my intense interest in reading any historical fiction depiction of the period kept me reading when the other elements weren't so engaging. The con was that my knowledge of how the story ends resulted in a growing sense of dread as I neared ...more
Otavio
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly Heroic

The nameless hero, called the Briton, manipulates events far above his station by taking on the persona of an idiot musician. His friends are a motley crue, representing the wide variety of Pilgrims on Crusade. Many adventures ensue.
Ben Chenoweth
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took a few pages to get into this historical novel, but by persevering, one encounters a very readable, at times gripping, and wryly humorous account of the Fourth Crusade. (As the author says in the afterword, if Monty Python had made a film of the Fourth Crusade, the tag line would be "No infidels were harmed".) The author brings out the politics, both civil and ecclesial, admirably. And the love story that has been interwoven into the narrative also has some touching, and some funny, momen ...more
Christen
Mar 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: will-not-finish
I was really disappointed with this book. I was so excited to read it, when then I just could not get into it. I finally stopped on page 172. I just don't think pleasure reading should feel like so much work. I was never able to get into the storyline or relate to any of the characters. The history behind the story was interesting, but it took 172 pages for the crusade just to get to Zara. So slow moving; I don't think I could make it through another 450 pages. ...more
Tamara
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was full of excellent details and very well researched. My one problem with it was that I, probably much like the crusaders, wanted it to move a little faster. By the time I got to the end, I found I didn't much care any more what happened.

I loved the Briton, and would have loved him even more if we had learned his name. Gregor was boring. Jamila and Liliana I liked, but wanted to know more about them, their histories.
...more
Jan
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Galland is co author with Neal Stephenson onThe Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. I wanted to see what kind of stories she wrote. Not a fan of Byzantium or the crusades but she writes a wonderful tale of fictional characters interwoven with history. So, read this for the story, the history or the romance. You will not be disappointed.

...more
John Adams
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
An engaging historical novel, featuring fun, interesting protagonists with a Forrest Gump-esque ability to be present at major events (and occasionally explain inexplicable historical events). The story does a good job of depicting how a series of mostly comprehensible human decisions culminate in one of the worst excesses of Western Christianity, and how the truly faithful and well-meaning might go along with it.
Bob Ryan
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, a great read.
Connie Romani
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Gave up finally on this one. Too many others to read.
Ankhowk
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
The action is so slow!
Danielle Trynoski
Loved this!
Marie-France Gareau
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting to read about a crusade, and how things could have really taken place. The narrative was fun and I even had a few good laughs throughout my reading the book.
Linda Secondari
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-fiction
I loved this book! It was beautifully written. Nicole Galland is a wordsmith and storyteller. Those two skills are not often combined in my opinion. Her characters are rich and inventive. The story is full of well researched historical references but feels very contemporary and real.

I cannot write enough praise for this worthwhile read.
Denise
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
The Goodreads synopsis states:

"In the year 1202, tens of thousands of crusaders gather in Venice, preparing to embark for Jerusalem to free the Holy City from Muslim rule. Among them is a lowly vagabond Briton, rescued from damnation by a pious knight who burns with zealous fire for their sacred undertaking. And so they set sail, along with dedicated companions—and with a beautiful, mysterious Arab "princess" whom the vagabond liberates from a brutish merchant. But the divine light guiding their
...more
J.M. Cornwell
Feb 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Holy Crusade that never was.

A Briton pretends to assassinate the leader of the Crusaders, Boniface, once he learns the Englishman he seeks to kill is not there. He counts on Boniface’s strong and sturdy knight to kill him and end his suffering. Instead, the knight becomes the Briton’s protector and intends to deliver the Briton to the Holy Land alive and intact as a convert to Christ. The Briton has other intentions; he wants to die.

The knight, Gregor of Mainz, a strong and charismatic man
...more
Jenny GB
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this well written book by Nicole Galland. The characters are so real and the story of this Crusade is so timely. I loved the Briton and all his idealistic hopes in the company of people that are morally adrift (ironic because he's the one without any discernible faith). He gets into all sorts of crazy schemes that keep him in the center of the action and often he is the driving force of events in the Crusade. I loved Jamilla and Liliana as strong women that always had the better of the m ...more
liz
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary, historical
So I borrowed this from the hotel I stayed at on my most recent vacation (yes, I know I am damn lucky and I love my life). I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I got into it. Her writing style is engrossing and I really cared about the characters (including some damn strong women). Usually I could care less about the Crusades, apart from scoffing at the imperialistic hubris, but this makes me wonder if there's a lot more to them that I should be checking out. I'd certainly like to read ...more
L.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
It just couldn't hold my attention. I've read about 1/4 of the story and that was forcing myself to pick the book up and read it. And really, where's the fun in that? I'm going to blame the characters for my disinterest. I didn't understand their motives and didn't like the primary cast enough to want to find out what happens to them. The main narrator (who has no name in the first quarter at least) literally is on one page trying to figure out a way to successfully commit suicide, and on the ne ...more
Laura
Dec 05, 2009 rated it liked it
This is one of those cases when you need a half star. I think three and a half stars would be best. I enjoyed the middle of this book. However, the beginning and ending dragged a bit. It was a very long novel to read and there were a couple times that I almost turned to another book. However, this story of a Briton (he is never named) and his adventures in the Fourth Crusade was quite entertaining at times. The Briton is saved from suicide by a German knight named Gregor who believes himself to ...more
Savannah
Jul 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
I found it hard to get into Galland's The Fool's Tale at the beginning, but once I did, I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down. So I was excited to see Crossed come out. Once again, the beginning was hard to get into, so I kept going on faith. It would get better! I knew it would! But somehow...it didn't. I never connected with the characters. The most engaging character, Jamila, just wasn't believable: she was a spokesperson for modern times cut-n-pasted into a Crusade-ages book. The na ...more
Mieke
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's taken me a while to work my way through this book although I've enjoyed it immensely; Galland creates realistic, funny, and often flawed characters, and I enjoyed their journey. The subject matter is immense, so the book is dense in parts, which is partly why it's taken me so long to work through it ~ I enjoyed it far more as bite-sized chunks rather than a quick zip through to finish it. As it covers a part of history I'm rather unfamiliar with, I also wanted to take time to do some accomp ...more
Stacey
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: france
This was the most tedious book that I think that I have ever read! I put it down a couple of times, and then would read something else. The storyline is interesting enough, but blah blah blah when blah would suffice! I am glad that I had read "The revenge of the rose" before attempting this because I really enjoyed that book. I felt a huge sense of relief when I finished this book, and now I can read something else! Why did I finish it? I have never read a book about the crusades, and I wanted t ...more
Doria
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is rather fun and interesting, without being wholly satisfactory somehow. Historical fiction buffs will no doubt enjoy it, despite the markedly 21st century tone and dialogue. It is good mental floss, and I think I have a better idea of daily life amongst crusaders during the fourth crusade, although my sympathy for their goals and actions drops steadily the further I read. Those who throw around the word "crusade" should give this book a perusal, for a bit of a (sort of) reality check ...more
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Nicole Galland writes critically-acclaimed novels in several different genres. She is mostly know for historical fiction, but recently teamed up with Neal Stephenson to write the New York Times bestselling, time-travel-themed The Rise And Fall of D.O.D.O. (HarperCollins, 2017). She'll be releasing its sequel, Master of the Revels, in February of 2021.

Her historical novels (all published by HarperC
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