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The Book of the Lion (Crusader Trilogy Series #1)

The Book of the Lion (Crusader Trilogy Series #1)

3.2 9
by Michael Cadnum

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A National Book Award nominee!

Returning to the same era of his "In a Dark Wood", Cadnum's majestic novel--part mystery, part history--chronicles the pageantry and brutality of the Crusades under King Richard.

Edmund, a young apprentice, is awaiting punishment as a counterfeiter when a knight intervenes on his behalf--and compels Edmund to join Richard Lionheart's


A National Book Award nominee!

Returning to the same era of his "In a Dark Wood", Cadnum's majestic novel--part mystery, part history--chronicles the pageantry and brutality of the Crusades under King Richard.

Edmund, a young apprentice, is awaiting punishment as a counterfeiter when a knight intervenes on his behalf--and compels Edmund to join Richard Lionheart's forces in the Holy Land. There, amidst the savagery of the twelfth-century Crusades, Edmund learns both courage and compassion, and discovers that cruelty is sometimes considered the will of Heaven. Set in medieval England and the war-torn shores of the Middle East, Cadnum's tale weaves together a rich tapestry of storms at sea, the brutality of hand-to-hand combat, and one of the classic horse and lance battles in recorded history--the Battle of Arsuf.

Editorial Reviews

In twelfth-century England, after his master, a maker of coins for the king, is brutally punished for alleged counterfeiting, 17-year-old Edmund finds himself traveling to the Holy Land as squire to a knight crusader on his way to join the forces of Richard Lionheart. This sweeping medieval epic from the acclaimed author of Rundown, Heat, and In a Dark Wood, will be devoured by fans of history and adventure, alike.
Publishers Weekly
Edmund, a squire, awaits the joint punishment for his master's counterfeiting charges and escapes his fate when a knight asks him to join the Crusades. In a starred review, PW wrote, "The message about the romance vs. reality of war proves powerful, and fans of history and adventure alike will devour this well-crafted, dramatic quest." Ages 12-up. (Oct.)n Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Edmund's life as a moneyer's apprentice takes a terrifying turn when he is thrown in jail for counterfeiting the King's money. Waiting for death in a cold dungeon, Edmund is surprised to learn that Sir Nigel, a knight, has spared his life. Taken in as a squire to the knight, Edmund must learn the responsibilities and expectations of his new life. Despite his lack of training, he joins with Richard Lionheart's forces on a Crusade to deliver the Holy Land. As he journeys by ship and by land, Edmund learns much about courage and determination from his companions. Whether plunged into the depths of the sea or sword fighting on the plains of Acre, Edmund realizes that courage comes from within. Sharp-edged details mixed with compassion for innocence reveal both the cruelty and the misguided intentions of the twelfth century Crusades. The Book of the Lion allows readers to gain a new perspective on war as they journey with a protagonist who wishes to do the right thing for the right reasons. Cadnum himself explains that he hoped to illuminate the "terrible paradox" of war with a novel showing good people engaging in senseless acts of violence. 2000, Viking, Ages 14 up, $15.99. Reviewer: Leah Hanson
To quote KLIATT's May 2000 review of the hardcover edition: Young Edmund is an apprentice to a moneyer, a man who mints coins for King Richard in medieval Nottingham. But when the man is discovered to be cheating the king, his hand is chopped off—in a most gruesome scene—and Edmund, considered guilty by association, must run for his life. Salvation comes in the form of a knight, Sir Nigel, who is seeking a strong young squire to accompany him on a Crusade, a trip to the Holy Land "to fight for the True Cross."...In this gritty, gory, exciting tale, Cadnum, the author of In a Dark Wood and other YA novels, conveys the flavor of life in medieval times, replete with carefully researched details of daily life as well as armor and weaponry. It's not a tale for the faint-hearted, with its descriptions of "eyes and privy parts gouged, bellies swollen in the sun," and its realism makes the reader all too aware of the awfulness of battle and the harsh character of life in medieval times. But it certainly offers a new perspective on knights and the Crusades for readers who want a sense of what it might really have been like to be alive then. A 2000 National Book Award finalist. Category: Paperback Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Penguin Putnam, Puffin, 204p., $8.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Apprenticed to a minter of coins for King Richard, Edmund is awakened one night by the Exchequer's men, there to exact punishment for the minter's use of counterfeit metals. As Edmund watches, his master's hand is chopped off, and he knows that as apprentice, his hand is next. He escapes, but only because his arm is more useful wielding a sword in the battle to reclaim the Holy Land than nailed to a stake. As a knight's squire, he travels through Europe and across the Mediterranean, getting into a fair share of trouble and experiencing the vagaries of life on the move. Finally, arriving at Acre, he finds himself camped outside the castle walls. While all await the arrival of the king, the anticipation of the glorious battle to come is lost in the everyday reality of Crusader life-heat, poor food, sickness, and boredom. At this point the book seems endless, but in fact, the story just echoes the life they are leading. Cadnum paints a vivid, but not idealized, picture of the times. With the deft use of word and gesture, he delineates his characters in a way that makes them believable even though their mind-set is very different from ours today. What is most clear is that though the characters have faith in the rightness of their cause, the battle they are fighting is no different from any other ugly, brutal, and destructive war. Readers must be willing to stick with a tedious section of slowly rising action before the climax, but those interested in the subject should enjoy the story.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Crusader Trilogy Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.37(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Cadnum is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for adults and young adults, including the contemporary novels Rundown, Heat, and Edge (all Viking) and the historical novel In a Dark Wood (Orchard/Puffin). Michael Cadnum lives in Albany, California.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Book of the Lion 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay honestly? This is seriously the dumbest book I think I've ever read. Don't read it if you want to be a happy person. If you're really boring and have ABSOLUTLY no life AT ALL, then I strongly recommend this book to you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read The Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum. This story takes place in England around the time of the Crusades. In this story a coin smith is accused for adding copper to the silver coins. The coin smith¿s apprentice, Edmund, has to be punished as well, and the standard punishment is to lose your right hand. He tries to escape the King¿s Men, but their horses were too fast for him. He is thrown in jail and keeps his hand. He then fakes his ability to ride a horse and competes in training against another boy for the position of Sir Nigel¿s Squire so he may escape the jail. To his surprise they both are chosen and he begins an adventure to fight in the crusades. He soon experiences his first battle and is commended for saving the other boy by taking down his attacker as the enemy raises his sword. He helps in other battles, but to find out what happens you will have to read the book yourself. I recommend this book, because it is a great adventure novel. It is a wonderful tale that describes the life in Old England. I think that this book has a medium reading level. It uses simple sentences but also has some parts as written from the time period making it challenging to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In many ways the Christian Middle Agesis just as distant a world from ours as is the ancient Mayan civilization. Cadnum,who is known more for his almost bitter young adult contemporary novels, brings the religious devotion and the almost casual disregard for life and other cultures to sensitive devotion in Edmund and his companions.
Yasemin Clark More than 1 year ago
Not bad, you should read it if you enjoy historical fiction particularlly the crusades. Although very short it was well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has precise revelance to the religiously intimate story of the Crusades. It gives fantastic insight about the life, language, and culture of the people living during this time. Very dramatic, realistic, and is a great read for youg adults. Truly brilliant.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The great Holy War is just beginning. A young boy named Edmund is woken in the middle of the night to find soldiers in his master¿s home. Edmund is currently an apprentice as a smith. Edmund¿s master is taken and accused of stealing some of the King¿s gold. Edmund tries to fight back, but is knocked away. The soldiers slit his masters wrists and Edmund flees into the cold night. Edmund finds his way to a knight named Sir Nigel, who takes him to practice the skill of the blade. Edmund is faced with many difficulties in training, being that he has no knowledge of fighting. After months of training, Sir Nigel tells Edmund, Hubert(one of his other apprentices), and his fellow knight, Sir Rannulf, that they are going to travel to the great Holy cities Acre and Jerusalem to fight in the Crusades. The team travels for a few weeks to a port in which they set sail on the Holy ship, Sant¿ Agnese. They travel to the Holy cities to find many enemies and discover evil plots. This book isn¿t bad. It was exciting but also dull and boring. I think the author could have told a little less about the traveling and more of the actual action of the book. The author tells this in first person as Edmund and describes what he is living through. He does a great job telling how people would talk in the medieval times, but it does make the book a little difficult to comprehend. I would recommend this book more towards males than females because of the medieval theme. Females may like the book but remember that this is a medieval themed book. I would give this book a three out of five because the book wasn¿t horrible, but it had its weak points and time of poor relation. If you like fantasy, some history, and fighting books, you may like this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book if you like Crusades and such. We had to read it for school, and I hated it. But the class did learn about the Medieval times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old, and while reading this book, I was confused, and bored. To me, this book was a waste of time, and I think I was WAAAAAY too young for it. I recomend this book to HIGH SCHOOLERS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book,It is a great book if you are interested in the medievil times and the crusades,Again I enjoyed this book and I hope you do to