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Sub-titled The Chronicle of a Crusader this- in mood and style- purports to be just that, as ""newly set forth by Evan John"". There seems, to this reader at least, little to set this apart from stories of the Crusades through the years. The period is the Twelfth Century; the story relates the tragic impasse of the First Crusade, torn by bickerings among its leaders, reaching disaster and frustration and defeat. The Crusader whose story this is, Andres Vaeringer by name, a Norseman, was involved in a quarrel and drunken brawl, and thought he had killed his hated step-father when pursuit caught up with him in Stavanger. Dogged by his fear, he became a wanderer; shipped in secret to England, served a year as a monastery servant, became a squire for a kindly Lord Andrew and set out with him for the Crusade, only to be left masterless on route when Sir Andrew died. Then came some six years of serving, now under one, now another, of fighting and loving and eking out his boredom and discontent in inactivity and mischief. Then he met by chance his mother, who had followed him from Norway, when dispossessed by her dead man's heirs, and through her he learned the probability that he had not killed his step-father after all. The Crusade ended, in defeat, he turned toward home- a fighter by profession, via Constantinople, where he served some twelve years, only to fall, wounded and blinded, before Italian swords, to be harbored for his declining years by monks of Trebizond. Fully caparisoned, this tale of so called chivalry, but superficial tale telling and overlong and dull for the most part.

Publisher: Putnam