Among the many adventurous enterprises which rendered the age of feudalism and chain-armour memorable in history, none were more remarkable or important than the 'armed pilgrimages' popularly known as the Crusades; and, among the expeditions which the warriors of mediŠval Europe undertook with the view of rescuing the Holy Sepulchre from the Saracens, hardly one is so interesting as that which had Louis IX. for its chief and Joinville for its chronicler.
; and therein I should only be acting according to the maxims of chivalry; for you know we are admonished to be dumb as to our own deeds, and eloquent in praise of others; and, moreover, that if the squire is vainglorious, he is not worthy to become a knight, and that he who is silent as to the valour of others is a thief and a robber.'
And thus conversing, the brothers-in-arms returned to the castle, and entered the great hall, which was so spacious and so high in the roof that a man on horseback might have turned a spear in it with all the ease imaginable. It was, indeed, a stately apartment; the ceiling consisting of a smooth vault of ashlar-work, the stones being curiously joined and fitted together; and the walls and roof decorated by some of those great painters who flourished in England under the patronage of King Henry and his fair and accomplished queen, Eleanor of Provence. Here was represented the battle of Hastings; there the siege of Jerusalem by the Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon and
the good points:
A decent retelling of Louis IX's crusade to Egypt, it handles the famous characters well, even giving background on the saracen leaders. reads like a textbook at times.
the bad: one diementional protagonists, one is happy, the other morose and thats about it.
spends far too much time trying to make the English look good and the French bad. Hard to do in truth when your main subject is the irreproachable warrior Saint King who happens to be French. If the author could have got off this bigoted nationalism long enough to put more effort into the story it could have been a great novel rather than average