Given a choice between sterile isolated life in a prison or the rough and tumble filthy life of the thirteenth century, what you would pick? Isobel of the far future, a condemned murderess, has chosen the past. She can stay alive there, avoid erasure, and the whole time period as well, on one condition. All she has to do is track down a young docile boy with naive ideas of the Crusades and bring him home to Mommy. Seems his seed is needed to establish a future dynasty on the throne of France. Once done, her life will be her own.
Given shots against all diseases and enough coin to keep her comfortable for a year until she can learn a trade, it seems a viable and more pleasurable choice than the constant pacing and no human contact of her cell. That is, until she arrives in the middle of the road, in a mud puddle, very hungry, wet, and a bit lost. By then of course, she is already part of the ”Angels On Crusade”.
”Angels On Crusade”.does not lack for historical detail. It brings you the gist of living day to day in the thirteenth century, in the time between the loss of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. History is only boring when you hear the facts but never when you have to live the dirt and joy of it.
Isobel is a living breathing character, as is Charles; a young child she takes under her wing, but who in many ways is her constant guide in this century. Written about a time that held the crux of all we became, both good and bad, it is a romp that gives both pleasure and intense learning without dry rhetoric.
Reviewed By Nancy Louise
© January 2007