Edmund and Herbert, newly made knights, return to England expecting to revel in the pleasure of being home. Instead, scheming Prince John has a new task for the weary Crusaders; they are to escort two young women on a pilgrimage to Rome, a journey that will take them through the perilous Alps, controlled by bands of brigands. And once in Rome, even greater hazards await. Suspenseful, exciting, and filled with colorful details of 12th century Europe, this final volume of the ...
Edmund and Herbert, newly made knights, return to England expecting to revel in the pleasure of being home. Instead, scheming Prince John has a new task for the weary Crusaders; they are to escort two young women on a pilgrimage to Rome, a journey that will take them through the perilous Alps, controlled by bands of brigands. And once in Rome, even greater hazards await. Suspenseful, exciting, and filled with colorful details of 12th century Europe, this final volume of the trilogy that began with The Book of the Lion will thrill readers.
In a starred review, PW called The Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum "a majestic novel-part mystery, part history" chronicling the Crusades under King Richard. The Dragon Throne completes the trilogy starring Edmund and Hubert, and follows the two while they achieve knighthood-just as Prince John attempts a coup to overthrow his brother, Richard. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
The Dragon Throne is the final book in Cadnum's trilogy that takes its readers back to the Middle Ages and the turbulent era of the Crusades. This novel follows two squires, Edmund and Hubert, who rise to knighthood and are immediately thrust into perils accompanying their new titles. The pair of new knights, along with two seasoned knights, are ordered to escort a young lady of the Queen's court on a pilgrimage to Rome. Along the way, the story focuses on young Sir Edmund as he encounters danger in many forms and wrestles with the clash of morals being a man of war presents. Cadnum's novel takes an interesting perspective as it reveals the important role religion played in the daily lives of the people and juxtaposes it with the cruelty of life in a wartorn age. The Dragon Throne is full of historical detail that will delight those with interest in the Middle Ages, but contains advanced vocabulary that may frustrate some readers. 2005, Viking, 212 pp., Ages young adult.
In this final volume of a trilogy that began with the National Book Award finalist The Book of the Lion and continued with The Leopard Sword, young Crusader squires Edmund and Hubert have finally made their way back to England, where Prince John is plotting to wrest power from his absent brother, King Richard. The rousing opening scene is a joust to the death between Hubert and a knight, for the chance to save Edmund's life, as he has been accused of theft. Hubert wins, of course, but in the melee that follows, a scholar is badly injured. His daughter Ester, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Eleanor, swears that if her father recovers she will undertake a pilgrimage to Rome. Meanwhile, the two squires are knighted by Prince John, who wants to make them his vassals. When they make clear they are loyal to King Richard, and then set out for Nottingham, Prince John sends men to kill them, and another gritty, gripping, and altogether believable battle scene ensues. The wise queen assigns Edmund and Hubert to escort Ester to Rome, to get them away from Prince John. However, their dangerous journey across the Alps is compounded by the men Prince John sends to kill them, as well as by murderous bandits—and further dangers await in Rome, where it is Edmund's turn to fight a joust. This is marvelous historical fiction, well plotted and well researched, with many details of clothing, speech, songs, weaponry, and food. The reader is easily convinced that this is what the Middle Ages were really like, in all their dirty glory. Cadnum continues to explore the brutality of fighting and war; as one character warns, "Fighting is not the stuff you've heard of in songs." Edmund, our hero here,fights only when he must, and he comes across as a noble soul; a sweet romance blossoms between him and Ester. Readers will be captivated by Edmund's brave adventures, even if they haven't read the previous volumes. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Penguin, Viking, 224p., Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Although this adventure story can be enjoyed on its own, it will be most appreciated by those who have read The Book of the Lion (2000) and The Leopard Sword (2002, both Viking). This concluding volume in the trilogy finds squires Edmund and Hubert back in England achieving the honor of knighthood. They find themselves in the midst of turmoil caused by Prince John's desire to overthrow his brother King Richard. Eleanor of Aquitane, the royals' mother, sends the new knights on a dangerous pilgrimage to Rome. During this journey through Europe, the dangers and unrest of the time period come alive. Some references are made to the events in the previous titles, which aid in readers' understanding and provide necessary background information. This is a quick read with nonstop action. At least a little knowledge of medieval history would add to the appeal of the book.-Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The third of Cadnum's 12th-century dramas takes battle weary, returned Crusader Edmund and three companions from the England of Prince John back to Rome, escorting comely young Ester de Laci, an attendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine's, on a pilgrimage. Once again, it's the violence woven into medieval society that sounds the loudest thematic chord. Sandwiched between brutal opening and closing duels (" 'Our English lad chopped the Frankish knight down like a stump!' " genially comments an onlooking scholar after the first fracas), the pilgrims twice battle bands of pursuers sent by John. Then, thanks in part to Ester's facility with a crossbow, they repel bandits in the Alps, and a gang of toughs in the lawless Holy City. The author does tuck in a pair of romantic subplots, while steering away from violence of the sexual sort, and draws the tale to an upbeat close with the pilgrims and re-met friends readying themselves to depart for England. Though not so vivid or bitter as Catherine Jinks's contemporaneous Pagan stories, this, like its predecessors, will leave readers pondering, as the author puts it, "the terrible paradox-that caring, responsible individuals can engage in acts of brutality." (Fiction. 11-13)