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Crusade    by Robyn Young order for
by Robyn Young
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Crusade is the second part of Robyn Young's epic trilogy depicting the fall of the Knights Templar. In it, conspiracies run rampant as the tenuous peace between Christians and Muslims starts to unravel. Caught in the middle of it all is Will Campbell, an up-and-coming Knight and a member of the secret Anima Templi. Even though he does everything in his power, Will is unable to keep the peace and a final crusade looms on the horizon. Adding to his stress is his secret relationship with Elwen, a seamstress for a wealthy Pisan merchant. Will finds himself divided between his Church and his love, but he is determined to serve them both, no matter what the final cost.

Crusade is a very powerful continuation of the tale started in Brethren. Young goes into great detail to help the reader see both sides of the conflict and get a feel for the religious politics of the 13th century, which in some ways mirror many things still going on today. Not only does Young give readers a good feel for the time and place, she also makes them connect with all of her characters, no matter which side they are on. Readers will even understand and maybe even sympathize with those who turn out to be traitors; it takes a highly skilled author to be able to do this, and do it so well.

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