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The Book of the Lion

(Crusader Trilogy #1)

2.87  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  84 reviews
A National Book Award nominee!

Returning to the same era of his "In a Dark Wood", Cadnum's majestic novel--part mystery, part history--chronicles the pageantry and brutality of the Crusades under King Richard.

Edmund, a young apprentice, is awaiting punishment as a counterfeiter when a knight intervenes on his behalf--and compels Edmund to join Richard Lionheart's forces in
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Puffin Books (first published March 1st 2000)
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Average rating 2.87  · 
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 ·  246 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I felt like it didn’t have much content and the content it did have was very boring. It was really stretched out with useless words and could have been summed up in a single paragraph. I believe another reason that this book was not great was because of the way he was all over the place when he wrote. It felt moderately amateur. If the writer had clarified on several points and eliminated the fluff surrounding the plot, I think this book would have been okay.
Brenton Chesko
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book was educational on the topic but at times strayed and skipped too quick to get a full understanding of what I was reading. It really tells you about how horrible the time period was but I am unsure about why the book is in the characters perspective. I thought ni it may have been better if it followed a normal knight rather than some random person dragged in. The book had an odd ending that doesn’t really tell the end of the story.
Kevin Keating
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good book for middle school age kids. If you are teaching about the Middle Ages it is appropriate for them.
Kira Hutchinson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book to be interesting in the way that I learnt new things but since it is set back hundreds of years ago some of the concepts and words are hard to grasp. The author wrote the story thinking everyone would understand what is going on, for instance one minute they’d be doing something and then the next they’d have switched over to something completely different and you’d be left wondering what just happened!
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn’t mind the plot of this book. My big problem with this book was the style of writing. The author of the book has an incredibly scatterbrained style of writing, he’s always jumping from topic to topic. I think if the story was easier to understand this would be an incredible book with a fabulous story.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very interesting storyline, on the other hand, I didn’t quite like how any women didn’t really have any important roles in the book but, that’s how it was I guess. This book was pretty hard to understand, I was obligated to read each paragraph a second maybe third time just to understand what’s going on. The authors style of writing uses quite a lot of words that I have never heard of which is good since I’d like to learn more words but, too many that it takes me a long time to highlight and ...more
Rhino Hutch
Jan 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
It was hard to comprehend. The wording was from medieval times and very hard to follow and the story line was plain.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Although this book is very interesting to read and to learn the crusades the actual book was not my cup of tea. The characters lacked any real personality which lead to me not caring about the characters at all. The transition of time was sloppy and left me having to read through passages multiple times. However despite this I learned many interesting facts and it was still enjoyable to read once they actually got to the fighting part.
Ryan Chowne
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the plot line of the book and the way it was written, though it was hard to follow at some points. The books plot was engaging and had me wanting to read more but I found that the setting really restricted the way I think the writer wanted the story to go. Edmund does not feel like a real character as their is no real character building and he is quite a bland person. I really enjoyed characters such as Ranulf because he was portrayed as a very mysterious character and seeing him grow ...more
Malaika Javer
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was quite confusing because the author was bouncing all over the place. It felt like there was a metaphor in literally every single sentence. Once I adapted to his way of writing, the book got really fun and I actually enjoyed it a lot. The plot was also very intriguing, but the words used to describe some situations could use some revision. Overall I think think this was a good read.
NSAndrew Liebergen
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
"God wills it!" the Crusaders cry in battle. In this richly detailed and lovingly crafted story, Michael Cadnum explores the terrible paradox of holy war through the eyes of Edmund, a young apprentice metalworker, who finds himself unexpectedly rescued from prison and pressed into service as a squire to a knight. Without a bit of experience with horses or swords, Edmund goes off in terror and delight to help rescue the True Cross from the infidels in Jerusalem, and finds his manhood in surviving ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok

I thought The Book Of The Lion be Michael Cadnum was a very bead book. I think this for two reasons, the first reason is I thought the way some people talked in the book didn't really fit the dialogue for medieval Europe. The second reason I din't like it was because of the author did a lot of showing not telling because when their were fighting scenes there was only about ten to twenty pages of action but like 30 to 50 pages of preparation and how they felt after, but there wasn't a lot going
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
"The Book Of the Loin" by Michael Cadnum showed that those with a strong will and a good mind can archive greatness and that friendship and loyalty will sculpt the world into a better place. Edmund is loyal to his master Otto by still believing or at least defending him, although he is dead. Even in battle he must protect and come to the aid to his knight or lord. In battle he ignored the pain of spears, spear shafts and missiles (rocks). I would recommend this book to those readers who like a ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book begins with the promise of a good adventure/romp. A young man is forced to go off to war. But it doesn't deliver. Oh, we go to war, but the book has a heavy literary feel. Some of the writing is beautiful and gripping, but that's mostly in the description. It's choppy in its progress, with more than 40 chapters squeezed into 200 pages. We're not given any sort of closure or sense of completion. It's disappointing, because Cadnum clearly knows how to write very well, and he knows his ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was quite an enthralling book to read, as I did enjoy the authors superfluous and vivid descriptions of the situation, ad though it may be too much for others, I found it provocative that the author chose to portray the book in this way, making me feel like I was there on the beaches. What I did not enjoy was the storyline itself. This category of book has never been my cup of tea, and for that reason, I didn’t enjoy the storyline as much as I could have. Not to mention the fact that a lot ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Good prose, a realistic look at a time period I want to know more about, but otherwise just pretty ehhh? Sometimes I appreciated the subtle portrayals of characters, how it isn't obvious whether the author thinks they're right or wrong or even what the characters themselves are feeling or thinking. But here it's overdone to the point where the characters feel sterile and the whole story feels pointless. Historical accuracy and detail is important and impressive, but without compelling characters ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The Book of the Lion is an interesting adventure that takes you back in time to the dark ages. I learned so much by reading this book, and inquiring about it, that I'm inspired now to read more novels based off of real history.

Though the book gets gruesome at times, it really lets you imagine what life was like in the time of the crusades. I feel that its very important that they put in all that detail, and really describe the horrors of war, and the impact it can have emotionally on an
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wait, this is a trilogy?

This has been on my list since sometime around 8th grade. ...I would have it enjoyed it much more back then. It's a great choice for middle school boys, as they will be amused by the pissing and such, and keep reading because war! I don't know if would do any good in the teaching-kids-that-violence-is-bad realm, but I mostly remembered thinking, "Oh. Well, then," every time a chapter ended because they always seemed to end with pissing or puking or punching.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I was not a huge fan of this book personally, but this is pony because it is not a style I generally enjoy. It had good parts and bad parts, like to little description in some places and to much description in some places. I likes the use of language they used although in some places it was hard to understand. Overall I thought this book was just okay in my opinion but only because I am not really a fan of this style of writing/ the genre of the book itself.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The plot of the book was well thought out and I didn’t mind it as a basis for the novel. My only problems with the book came from the style of writing. I really enjoy old English literature and it bothered me when the author jumped from old European speech to modern speech. The book would’ve really done it for me if he had chosen to stick with one style of writing. Still a great book that I would recommend!
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think that this book was interesting once you got into the exciting parts such as the battle of Acre. The book is written using olden day speech with to some people is very hard to understand and follow along with the book. Another thing is that there is a lot of detail in the writing, even the smallest thing consist of great detail which does make the book seem a lot longer. Over all this was an interesting book with a good story line and definitely something that I would recommend.
Tracy Smith
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The story of Edmund, an blacksmith's apprentice who escapes prison by becoming a knight's servant and traveling with hm to fight in the crusades with Richard the Lionhearted. This book was very historically accurate and tells the story of the crusades without any commentary. It was a tad too graphic in places for a children's book!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I gave this book 2 stars because I found it very hard to follow which made me very confused while reading it. I also was not interested in the topic so I was bored while reading it. I think if I understood the book better I might have found it more interesting. This book was not exiting for me but others may find it more interesting.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book because. I feel like the author could have done a way better job at making it easier to read and understand. I also think this book is not for me because I am not really interested in this book so I found it harder to read.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Personally I thought this book could have been a lot better. It was to crazy at points. The author jumped quite frequently to different topics, some not including the last one. So in the end I think it is a 3 stars at best.
Megumi Birrell
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the book over all but I found that the author tended to jump from subject to subject and it got confusing to follow. This book was also not a genre that I usually read. The book would have been a 4 star, if it had been less confusing for me.
Jackson Floe
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
The book was very confusing for me and once I got confused I did not know what was going on!
Kaethe Gallagher
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a brutal, violent book. But a tale of history that came to life with vivid, poetic imagery. It was fascinating in it's depiction of the savagery of the Crusades.
Lisa W
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Ive had this book for years and finally read it, was surprised it was not bad, a few graphic parts, quiet a few parts that were just strange and made no sense
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Michael Cadnum has had a number of jobs over the course of his life, including pick-and-shoveler for the York Archaeological Trust, in York, England, and substitute teacher in Oakland, California, but his true calling is writing. He is the author of thirty-five books, including the National Book Award finalist The Book of the Lion. His Calling Home and Breaking the Fall were both nominated for the ...more

Other books in the series

Crusader Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Leopard Sword (Crusader Trilogy, #2)
  • The Dragon Throne (Crusader Trilogy, #3)