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 the Holy Land. There, amidst the savagery of the twelfth-century Crusades, Edmund learns both courage and compassion, and discovers that cruelty is sometimes considered the will of Heaven. Set in medieval England and the war-torn shores of the Middle East, Cadnum's tale weaves together a rich tapestry of storms at sea, the brutality of hand-to-hand combat, and one of the classic horse and lance battles in recorded history--the Battle of Arsuf.
Edmund, a squire, awaits the joint punishment for his master's counterfeiting charges and escapes his fate when a knight asks him to join the Crusades. In a starred review, PW wrote, "The message about the romance vs. reality of war proves powerful, and fans of history and adventure alike will devour this well-crafted, dramatic quest." Ages 12-up.