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Cross and Crescent

1 rating: -1.0
A book by Susan Shwartz

Sequel to the 11th-century historical fantasy Shards of Empire (1996). The First Crusade is under way: A mixed force of Normans, Franks, and other northerners under Bohemond has assembled, intending to attack the Holy Land and wrest Jerusalem from the … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Susan Shwartz
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
1 review about Cross and Crescent


  • Oct 25, 1998
The basic take-off point of the tale seems to be the machinations and ambitions of Anna Comnenus, the Byzantine princess who celebrated her father, the Emperor Alexius, in her well-known text, The Alexiad, itself a rather dry though intriguing document of the political twists & turns and military escapades undertaken by the Byzantine Greeks of that time. The promise of it all was great. But not so, the execution. There are elements of intrigue and fantasy and adventure here but they are not well meshed. Some of the characters were promising and I did like the attempt to depict the life of the Byzantines on their wharfs and in their palaces. But the mixing of pagan deities with the real world of religious Byzantium just didn't work for me. Although I like this kind of stuff, I put this one down about half way through -- though I tried mightily to see it through to the end. But I failed. And so, regrettably, did this book. -- SWM

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