Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Wind from the Wilderness (Watchers of Outremer, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Wind from the Wilderness (Watchers of Outremer, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Wind from the Wilderness

(Watchers of Outremer #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Hunted by demons. Lost in time.

Welcome to the First Crusade.

Syria, 636: As heretic invaders circle Jerusalem, young Lukas Bessarion vows to defend his people. Instead, disaster strikes.

His family is ripped apart. His allies are slaughtered. And Lukas is hurled across the centuries to a future where his worst nightmares have come true...

Constantinople, 1097: Ayla may be
Kindle Edition, 422 pages
Published October 29th 2018 by Amazon Digital Services
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Wind from the Wilderness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Wind from the Wilderness

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Wind from the Wilderness (Watchers of Outremer, #1)
Sep 17, 2018 marked it as my-books  ·  (Review from the author)
*flails* IT'S COMING!

Four years in the making. The first instalment of my dearest brainchild, a meticulously-researched epic historical fantasy adventure spanning the 200-year history of the medieval Crusader States. Dear Reader, I am screaming!

Releasing October 29th - mark your calendars, watch out for the preorder!
Anna Mussmann
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have tremendous respect for fiction authors who take research seriously, and the historical knowledge behind this book shines. The attitudes and beliefs of the characters ring true--a feat that sounds simple but isn’t. The author neither demonizes nor glamorizes the crusaders and their Byzantine allies. Instead, she humanizes them. Intriguingly, Rowntree combines real historical personages with fantasy elements, and the two go together quite well. The impact of magic on the plot is is restrain ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I first began A Wind from the Wilderness, I wasn’t sure what I going to expect. I’m not fully familiar with the history of the Crusades, so this book was a chance to familiarize myself with the history before grabbing a non-fiction book.

To say that I adore this book would be an understatement. In fact, I want to shove this book into everyone’s hands and have them read it. Historical buffs will enjoy the retelling and the discordant characters who just jump out at you! As for fantasy lovers,
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable historical novel with a fantasy element in it. Set in the time of the first crusade, we follow the Frank armies from Constantinople to the siege of Nicaea, and finally to Antioch, where this first book ends. The two main characters are fictional: a Turkish girl named Ayla who has a mission to fulfill, and a Syrian youth named Lukas, who has found himself separated from his family (in a way I will not disclose) and is trying to rejoin them by following the crusaders as an interpr ...more
Liz Koetsier
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect to plunge into this world. I'm not sure what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised. This was such a clever and engaging tale. I was impressed by the amount of research the author did on the story, and the world and characters were original. I was not sure what to make of Ayla at first, but she really grows on you! There was nothing cliche about her and Lukas, which I really appreciated. There was a good balance of suspense, action, and fun throughout. (I laughed a lot at Lu ...more
Christina Baehr
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whatever you thought about the First Crusade, this novel is going to surprise you, keep you up late reading, and wring your heart.

Some things I love about Suzannah Rowntree’s novels, very much on offer in TWFTW:

1. She doesn’t just give you the accurate historical details of clothing, battles, etc - she really helps you see how people thought and felt in other time periods, while keeping it easily relatable.
2. Thematic unity. She always uses her fast-paced plots to build up really fascinating an
J.F. Mehentee
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Wind from the Wilderness is a first in series historical novel set during the First Crusade—this, time travel and dark magic are what drew me to the book.
Lucas Bessarion witnesses the sacking of his Syrian town. He is then flung four hundred years into the future and Constantinople, 1097. Before he knows it, he’s marching east to Jerusalem in the hope of reaching his former home and a way back to his time period.
From the moment he arrives in Constantinople, Lucas has to be saved countless time
Yes! Another epic tale from Suzannah Rowntree! Dazzlingly rich historical detail mixed with thrilling fantasy, complex characters, and intense action all beautifully interwoven with subtle but meaningful themes. Favorite quotes:

“We could have reconciled them through love, but we persecuted them through fear. Is it any wonder that they turned to destroy us?”

“Do you understand? You don’t lead men by lording it over them. You lead men like Christ did. You wash their feet.”

“His mouth twisted into a
Jared Abbott
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best fantasy novels I have read in a long time! It's never predictable. It would appeal to fans of historical, fantasy, adventure, and supernatural fiction. And this is only book one! There are at least two more books to come according to Suzannah Rowntree's author website.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review hopefully to come ... For now, looking for an epic historical fantasy saga based in the Medieval ages? You can't fail with this one.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a story. Young Lucas is trying to defend his homeland, but will he succeed? Definitely didn’t expect a story like this. Outstanding.
Abigail Hartman
Cover? Amazing. Story inside? Lives up to the cover.

I wasn't sure what to expect, beyond being fairly certain that the research would be excellent; and in the end it was the world that Rowntree created/recreated that charmed me the most. I wasn't at all surprised that she'd "done her homework," but the richness and reality of the setting proves she's done so much more than that: the topography, the events, the mindsets, the possibilities all feel alive and give the story such texture. It's both
Ness Kingsley
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first plunged into this book I wasn't sure what to expect - the Crusades have never been something that I've wanted to read about as they seem rather hopeless, political, and just ... rather pointless with an enormous loss of life. So, all in all, a bit depressing.

However, Suzannah brings it all to life in great detail and gives us some excellent characters which humanise the whole thing. I enjoyed the politics, lamented the loss of life, and found the battle scenes to be nothing short of
Eli Hinze
When I saw the cover of this book, which is ridiculously gorgeous, I was intrigued. When I read the premise, I knew I needed more.

First off, the historical accuracy is astounding. I learned so much from this book just by osmosis alone. As someone who has written historical fantasy, let me tell you, that is not an easy feat. With western authors, you wonder if there will be biases in the portrayal of the Crusades, but I personally found none. The characters from both sides were sympathetic, and
Carey Appling .
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! No other way to describe it. Imagine Downton Abbey but in the context of the 1st Crusade. Where generals and leaders of differing factions, presuppositions and loyalties attempt to take Jerusalem with Turks attacking at all sides. The worst enemies though may be found within the Crusaders themselves. A story of time travel, love, passion, theology and yes action. But the dialogue is really what shines in this novel. It is not verbose or exhausting. It gets to the point, advances the p ...more
J.M. Stengl
A Wind from the Wilderness is a historical novel with fantasy elements. Set during the Crusades, this well-researched book portrays historical characters and events based on history along with an entirely fictional hero and heroine.
It can be slow-moving at times yet is intriguing. I learned a lot about a largely forgotten period of history! Be prepared--this book is rather dark and not a light read.
I am interested to see where the author takes the series from here . . .
Josiah Russell
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always been one of those people that fell into the ‘fiction is a waste of time’ camp. That is until I read this book.
I’ll admit being new to the genre I found it hard at the beginning to get into the right headspace and click my unstimulated imagination into gear, but once I got over that little hump I was all in. I’m now impatiently awaiting the next instalment of my new favourite book series.
Oct 30, 2018 added it
This was an ambitious book! First of all, there's the detailed historical retelling of the Frankish campaign through Anatolia during the 1st Crusade. One of my favorite things about this author is that she introduces me to places, times, and cultures I've never been before. This was no exception, as I am pretty ignorant about the history of the Crusades (less ignorant now, having read this book. Also, my kids are learning about the Crusades in school, so it was fun to be able to talk about some ...more
Bethany Oetken
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a story! I guess I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book, I just knew I've loved everything else I've read by Miss Rowntree, so of course I was excited for her new book. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and I like fantasy too, but the combination throws me a little. But the characters were very vivid, and the story definitely draws you in. It's going to be a hard wait for the next book!!
Andrew Lacey
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Wind from the Wilderness is historical fantasy, a tale of intense action and history-laden content, full of suspense and mystery. The story starts dramatically, catapulting into the action, bearing the characters along from the noisy streets of Constantinople, to the rocky wildernesses of Syria, along the towers of walled towns and through the flutter of pitched pavilions… Being a historically situated story, this book is well worth the read! It does a good job of presenting the time and area ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. I rarely finish a book of this length in 2 days (well really a little over 2), but I had the time and inclination. I actually only read it because I agreed to be an early reader on the second book and wanted to catch up

I'm glad I did. Wind From the Wilderness really was a breathtaking, thrilling, rollercoaster of a ride through period of the First Crusade . Readers be prepared: this is not your typical Historical fiction. It has Time Travel, and evil sorcerer alongside the labyrinthine pol
Linda Romer
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I really liked A Wind from the Wilderness. This story about the first crusade was interesting, informative, imaginative and heartbreaking. I loved Lukas Bessarion, his courage is unwavering as he is thrust through time to help his people. As the armies move towards the holy land Lucas meets Ayla, a heretic. Their story is very touching. I'm looking forward to reading book #2. I enjoyed learning about the history of the Crusades.

I give A Wind from the Wilderness 4 stars for its blend of history,
Elles Lohuis
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is for you if you like action-packed historical fiction, sprinkled with fantasy and inhabited by intense characters. I so enjoyed this book from start to finish – Suzanna Rowntree really knows how to tell a great tale and to end with an excellent promise to a new favorite series!
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I need like...a week to recover from this.
Too busy to review. I expressed my thoughts in the longest, rantiest Kindle note ever.
M.K. Casperson
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Byzantine history addict, so when I realized this involved the First Crusade, I was desperate to read it. Many other reviews praise the historical accuracy of her research, and they aren't wrong. Suzannah brought history to life, in this book. The characters are believable. The mindsets felt accurate. I HATE IT when the MCs of historical fiction feel like 21st century figures shoved into the past. By letting the characters think how they actually might have thought and believe what they we ...more
Apr 06, 2019 added it
Review coming...
rated it liked it
May 14, 2020
David Nagle
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2020
Cortney Manning
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2019
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please create a new series page 2 17 Jul 17, 2019 02:20PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please remove my book from other author's profile 6 26 Oct 15, 2018 02:53AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • If It Bleeds
  • The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3)
  • Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey, #8)
  • Stories We Never Told
  • The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls, #1)
  • Emma, der Faun und das vergessene Buch
  • The Islands of the Blessed (Sea of Trolls, #3)
  • Seven Days
  • The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1)
  • The Magdalene Cipher
  • The Second Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #2)
  • Dunkel
  • Das Siegel
  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle
  • The Franciscan Conspiracy
  • Pyramid (Jack Howard, #8)
  • Freckles (Limberlost, #1)
  • Freckles & A Girl of the Limberlost
See similar books…
Hi! I live in a big house in rural Australia with my awesome parents and siblings, writing historical fantasy fiction. You can visit me online at

​If you like the mythic fantasy of Stephen Lawhead, S. A. Chakraborty or Naomi Novik, you'll probably like my stories too!

GOODREADS FRIEND POLICY: I'm afraid I don't accept every single friend request I receive, unless we alr

Other books in the series

Watchers of Outremer (2 books)
  • The Lady of Kingdoms

Related Articles

Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman know the radical life-changing power of a good friendship. The two launched their hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend ...
17 likes · 3 comments