A harsh, patchy tale of the first Crusade. Bradford yokes a conventional romance between a young stonemason and the daughter of an apothecary to an ugly account of the unreasoning fervor, multiple treacheries, genocide, and bloody massacres that marked the People's Crusade, from Cologne to Jerusalem, in 1096. It's an uneasy match: Gentle, pacifist Bruno and 16-year-old Ursula, with her preference for hot baths and disdain for money, are not credible products of their times, and are never seriously affected by the violent events. Rather than burn at the stake as a witch, Ursula accompanies her feeble father on the march from Cologne to Constantinople. As the other Crusaders pillage towns and massacre Jews (offstage), Ursula heals an injured dog, rescues an abused child, repels assaults on her virtue, and survives two attacks, all without injury; Bruno is forced to kill a man (also offstage), but his depression lasts only until the two get back to Cologne and discover that they love each other. In the end, Ursula finds a bag of money in her burnt house, but gives it away, saying, ""I already have everything I need."" Steer readers to Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice (1995) for its more richly developed characters and vivid, better-integrated picture of medieval life.