SILVER LEOPARD by Mason F. van Wyck


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There's a military look to this account of the First Crusade and the expedition under Bohemund that made their way to Jerusalem in 1096-99 as it follows the adventures of Sir Edmund de Montgomerie and his twin sister, Rosamund, landless Normans who are shipwrecked in their flight from England. Edmund's prowess at arms wins him the patronage of Count Turgis and the preaching of Brother Ordericus wins him to Pope Urban II's call for soldiers of the cross. Thinking he has killed Turgis' son to protect Rosamund, they hurry to Duke Bohemund's banner and are sent to spy out Constantinople before his arrival. There, through the Countess of Corfu, who plans to marry him, Edmund is coached in strategy and manoeuvers by her uncle, learns the double play that the Greek emperor uses to achieve his ends through the Crusaders, and consents to marriage when he hears that Turgis' daughter, Alixe, to whom he had pledged his troth, has entered a nunnery. Proof that she has not causes him to Jilt the Countess, sends him to Nicea, the battle of Dorylaeum, the siege of Antioch and the taking of Jerusalem there to be reunited with Alixe. All the ramifications of this ""Journey of God"" color the story -- the chivalry, the treachery, the brutalities, the impact of eastern civilization on the Franks, the bickerings and the wary diplomacy, the epic quality of the battling -- so that the oft told tale has a new surge of interest.

Publisher: Doubleday