Paulliver (paulliver) wrote in bookish,

Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade

Nicole Galland’s “Crossed” is a well-researched novel with an unlikely main character. It begins in 1202, but the hero is annoyed at everything in that time we would be, so obviously is annoyed rather a lot. It gets, well, annoying.

Fortunately the more historically valid characters are interesting as people try making moral/self-interested/honorable decisions within a 13th Century Christian context. Those three goals really are the stars by which each character attempts to triangulate their decisions. By moral I mean following the teachings of Christian and by honorable I mean living up to the Germanic warrior code. Self-interested is rather self-explanatory, but there are political and economic versions of it.

The entire Crusade is famously derailed by the need to pay the merchants of Venice for use of their ships, getting side tracked into fighting Venice’s battles against other Christians for them. Not a single Muslim is harmed in the prosecution of this Crusade, but Constantinople is sacked.

So if you can put up with the main character long enough, the book pays off as you get more interested in everyone else.
Tags: author: g, genre: historical fiction

  • The Apothecary Diaries 03

    The Apothecary Diaries 03 by Natsu Hyuuga Another manga of detection and life in the castle -- this time, also in the nearby pleasure quarter where…

  • Sweet Little Lies, by Caz Frear

    A police procedural about a lady DC who's kind of a trainwreck. Harper, 2017, 344 pages In this gripping debut procedural, a young London…

  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

    You can travel back in time for as long as your coffee stays hot. Picador, 2019, 227 pages If you could go back, who would you want to…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.