Robin Carter's Reviews > Crusade

Crusade by Stewart Binns
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May 04, 2012

it was amazing

Book one by Stewart Binns seems to have been a bit like marmite, you either loved it or hated it. I thought it was great and made an effort to get in touch and tell him so, and he was kind and polite enough to respond.
Since that book one i have been looking forward to what he would produce next, and there has not be a massive amount of advance notice, but when it came i was concerned it might be a bit of the band wagon, the crusades are popular right now.
Its not, what he has produced here is a very good well told credible tale of what might have been following on from Conquest: a book that for the first time ever made me stop and wonder why are the British reserved, why are they also adventurous, where does our mix of national make up come from, what forged this great nation.

Crusade goes one better and shows you the first founding layers of the type of people being created by the amalgamation of all these races and ideals and personalities.

Also for the first time since i started reading David Gemmell back in 1986 i think i now know who Druss the legend is modeled on, and i don't know why it didn't come to me reading book 1. Gemmell had a penchant for making some of his characters a mirror for characters from history EG: Ulric = Genghis. I think Hereward = Druss. I'm not sure if that made me love it more, but i suddenly saw in Hereward the same ideals, the same blunt honesty, the same brotherhood, the same implacable killer if he had to be, but ultimately a man who just wanted the world to be better.
Stewart's writing is not a new Gemmell, but to have his writing make me think of him, that's impressive enough for me.
The story..well read the blurb I'm giving none of the plot away. But the characters slowly come alive on the page, and it brought to life a period of history again i knew little to nothing about. That make it a winner for me

Im going to be very interested to see what book 3 brings.

Buy this book

(Parm)

Description from back of book

1072 - England is firmly under the heel of its new Norman rulers.

The few survivors of the English resistance look to Edgar the Atheling, the rightful heir to the English throne, to overthrow William the Conqueror. Years of intrigue and vicious civil war follow: brother against brother, family against family, friend against friend.

In the face of chaos and death, Edgar and his allies form a secret brotherhood, pledging to fight for justice and freedom wherever they are denied. But soon they are called to fight for an even greater cause: the plight of the Holy Land. Embarking on the epic First Crusade to recapture Jerusalem, together they will participate in some of the cruellest battles the world has ever known, the savage Siege of Antioch and the brutal Fall of Jerusalem, and together they will fight to the death.
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