What they're saying...

"Heartbreaking and poignant with a touching, positive conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews
"Gripping." - Booklist

Crusade is a tale which follows two children, Georgette and Robert, who join a children’s crusade heading for Jerusalem to save the Holy Land from ‘the infidels’. Set in France during the early thirteenth century this is definitely a story for history lovers and those interested about how religion effects people, particularly those who lived during that time period.

Characters: You really feel for the characters in this book. Our story is told in third person narrative and switches between Georgette and Robert as they embark on the long and treacherous journey to the south of France where their leader Prophet Stephen has promised that the sea will divide for them like it did for Jesus so they can make it by foot to Jerusalem. Georgette joins the crusade through her strong belief that it is God’s will and soon discovers that things will be far from easy for her and the others as pilgrims begin to die through exhaustion and disease. Robert joins to learn from the Prophet, as he wants to know why God chose him to do his bidding rather than he who has devoted his whole life to him and begins to have his suspicions about Stephen. One of the things that I like about these two characters was the fact that even in the bleakest situations they still had hope which made for an interesting read.

Originality: The crusades have been an area of interest for many writers over the years and I love how this book is aimed at younger readers.  Not only is it a good story but it is also very educational and it soon had me looking up the crusades online to learn more about this fascinating time in history. The necessary fictional aspects of the book were unique and I liked where it took the paths of our two main characters and their fellow travellers.

Plot: Crusade is a fictional story based on historic facts and theories. As there is little known about the crusades it has allowed Wulf to explore what could have happened and I love where she went with it. The facts that are known have been excellently weaved  into the story making it seem very realistic and all the more heart wrenching when things take a turn for the worst. This is a shocking and gripping story that, although may not be the most exciting book I have read, will certainly stay with me for a very long time.

Writing: Wulf’s writing is very vivid and really sets the mood for the entire book. One thing that I really like is that you are always made aware of how our characters are feeling and what they are thinking. I feel that the pacing could have been better to make the story more exciting and enjoyable however the way that the story is told makes it almost seem like an account of the lives of real people giving it a biographical feel which is very unique.

David’s Rating: I am not the biggest fan of anything concerning religion but I do love historicals. This was a very interesting read that left me pondering the effects that religion can have on people and I have found myself thinking back to book numerous times since I finished it a few weeks ago. Definitely recommended to those interested in religion, France in the Middle Ages and fans of historicals in general.