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Deus Lo Volt!: A Chronicle of the Crusades
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Deus Lo Volt!: A Chronicle of the Crusades

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  204 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
God wills it! The year is 1095 and the most prominent leaders of the Christian world are assembled in a meadow in France. Deus lo volt! This cry is taken up, echoes forth, is carried on. The Crusades have started, and wave after wave of Christian pilgrims rush to assault the growing power of Muslims in the Holy Land. Two centuries long, it will become the defining war of t ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Counterpoint (first published May 4th 2000)
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Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crusades, reviewed
Excerpts from possible real chronicles of the crusades where the most famous French medieval chronicler, [used here fictionally] narrator, Seneschal Jean de Joinville, breaks in once in awhile. Odd book--mixture of fiction and nonfiction. Jean doesn't become part of the action until King Louis's crusade, the Seventh, near the end. He exhibits absolutely no personality; his function is to tie the excerpts together. He does attribute the various excerpts to real-life chroniclers of that period, su ...more
Laura Baugh
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: history buffs
I love history. I love historical novels. This was... not what I expected.

I'm totally cool with history reference books giving a dry narrative of a timeline and events. Apparently it was felt that wouldn't sell, though, and so this historical pseudo-novel features a nominal "character" (with absolutely zero characterization) reading us his... dry narrative of a timeline and events. It was actually quite jarring to hear the first-person come in occasionally, reminding us that the voice telling us
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
The subtitle, "A Chronicle of the Crusades," is a big hint that this is not a typical novel. There is no character development, not much dialogue, and the internal monologue is a twentieth-century imagining of the medieval mind ( and a disturbing thing that is ). Having just read "The Crusades through Arab Eyes," I recognized a lot of the events, and the violence on both sides was astounding. This book doesn't give you a very positive image of the human race.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. Evan S. Connell was an American treasure because he wrote unique books like this. This was truly, and credibly, written from the point of view of a French seneschal in the during the 13th century. I would have given it five stars but I thought it covered too many of the Crusades. Why the Albiginsian Crusade was include I am not sure. Glad I read this!
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Mer by: Book magazine, review
Very detailed read.
Alexander Seifert
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book starts of very slow. Once you get through the first couple of chapters/sections, it starts to pick up speed.

I went into the book with little idea what it would be about (aside from the Crusades). This is a historical fiction that's set up as a historical text written by a French nobleman (who is based on Jean de Joinville, a real-life French chronicler, although there are some fictional liberties taken). He tells the details of the various crusades over the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries in
Bob Rosenbaum
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this novel. It gave me a sense of life in the dark ages from one important perspective - that of a Christian crusader. Many will find this a hard read and a slog. The language used feels archaic - though I don't actually think it is; it's just successfully stylistic to help you feel you're reading narrative history. But it is rooted in well-researched history, has a compelling story and is loaded with point of view.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I tried to finish this book, I really did. But, after reading half of it, I just couldn't take the dry, somewhat uninspired narrative of "Jean," the narrator any more. This didn't read like a novel, it read more like a dry accounting of facts and happenings that I already know about. It does say, "A Chronicle of the Crusades" on the cover, and that's what you get. A Chronicle. If you're looking for a story here, try another book set in the Crusades, this isn't it.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm glad I finished this book as I've been curious about the crusades. This book, considered a novel, but with a tremendous amount of historical detail, had a little too much detail for me. I would have liked it to be about 100 pages shorter. Nevertheless, for anyone ignorant of what the crusades were like, this book will more than satisfy the itch. It can be pretty gruesome in parts, but this is what war was like at the time.
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is a little long in the prose. It reminds me of Tynneson's Idylls of the King. It's not poetry, but it has the same feel. I found the end of the book particularly powerful. For a book that comprises the entire 12th century, it is very concise and well thought out. Deus Lo Volt! is an amazing piece of art. I recommend it for anyone interested in the crusades.
Chris Tollefson
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I really, really wanted to like this book more. It's an incredible literary feat, and I'm in awe of the author. But I just couldn't get past the deliberately archaic language and structure. It reads like a monk's narrative of the time, and though informative, this style just feels mannered.
Dec 25, 2014 rated it liked it
A barely novelized history of the crusades. The deliberately archaic style takes a long time to get into, but once you do, it's a good read (for those who want to understand the real crusades, not the anti-western parody of hte crusades we are subjected to these days).
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008, fiction
I barely made it through this book. The writing style was so over the top that at times I thought it was a joke and at other times it was just plain difficult to understand. There were also passages I found some what offensive.
Martha Klems
Generally I love Evan Connell's episodic books but this one just got too bloody for me to finish.
this is about the crusades. i liked the rapist one better.
decent historical fiction about the first crusade.
Bryan Deemer
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put it down. I was absorbed from the first page. A fantastic look at the crusades from the soldier's point of view. Wonderfully written.
Kevin de Ataíde
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I liked this book for its pious Christian reading of a conflicted subject. The Christian ascend gloriously to their reward and the infidels fall screeching into the pit. :D
Serafina Sands
Sep 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
I LONGED to read this book, and have tried several times, but cannot, cannot get past the first section.
James Dayspring
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Honestly hard to read. Too much like a history book.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Slow, ponderous mush adrift at sea in a history that is full of character & color.
This is not that book.
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Kelly Cozy
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Aug 25, 2012
rated it it was ok
Apr 05, 2014
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Mar 05, 2013
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Jun 29, 2007
Jonah Ellinger
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Sep 16, 2011
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Evan S. Connell, over the last half century, has published nineteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays, several of which—including the best-sellers Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, and the erudite, anecdotal, and totally unique nonfiction book Son of the Morning Star—are American classics. I've admired his work for many years, since first reading Diary of a Rapist, and was happy for a chance to inter ...more