This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Saturday Rave: Knight Crusader by Ronald Welch

Ronald Welch wrote a whole series of books about the d'Aubigny family, and this is the first. Each book centres on an aristocratic and hugely fanciable young man (I read these first as a teenager), usually a junior army officer, but sometimes a spy.

I don't read much military history, but, basically, phwoar!

Knight Crusader is wonderfully written, hugely dramatic, and  there's plenty of humour as well as a great variety of scene and character.

The faint cry that Philip had heard was repeated...It had hardly died away before Philip acted. He ripped out his sword and urged his horse forward...
'Wait, my lord!' Llewellyn bellowed. 'It may be a trap!'

And oh, and what an extraordinary, long-drawn-out and honey-tinted trap it turns out to be, too.

Knight Crusader is far more than spills and thrills, though. It's a vivid portrayal of the clash of cultures between the West and the East in and around Jerusalem during the twelfth century. Each point of view is treated with affection and respect.

It won the Carnegie Medal in 1954, and on the whole instead of dating it's got more up-to-date. It's a simply brilliant book.

Word To Use Today: knight. This word has come up in the world in a big way. It comes from the Old English cniht, which means servant, and before that from the Old High German kneht, which means boy.

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