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Carpe Librum

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The Last Crusade by KT Tomb

The Last Crusade - K.T. Tomb

Those who follow my reviews know that I love a good Plantagenet story. You also know that I am more willing than most to give an indie author a shot. But this book....


I was greeted by dialog such as this on the first few pages:


"I watched you in the battle at Acre. Speak freely!"
"Your Majesty, I have urgent news from near Jerusalem. Is that where you travel, to fight Saladin again?"
"Yes. This time, we shall finish him off. What is your news?"
"Our Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa is dead."


Stilted. Inaccurate. Oh, Richard, remember that the HRE is Barbarossa? And I'm not even going to go into the puns.


Yet, I persevered.


Then the alternate history element of the story began. At least I assume that's what it was when Richard the Lionheart expresses guilt over the number of his infidel enemies that lie dead. I'm sure that Richard I had many feelings about his time in Outremer, but if he felt any guilt it was probably over not killing enough of his enemy to retake Jerusalem. I could be wrong.


Once Richard decides to partner with Saladin in order to go on a quest for the Holy Grail, he also begins doubting Christianity. I'm not naive enough to believe that every man who went on crusade did so because he was devout, but for Richard to say, "It is the same God that we both worship," was taking things a little too far. Not as far as when the French speaking king who spent little time in his island kingdom wished for a "good English tea," but still too far.


I know, I know. I can accept teaming up with Saladin to search for the Holy Grail, but not the mention of English tea 600 years too early, but there it is.