A National Book Award nominee! Returning to the same era of his In a Dark Wood, Cadnums majestic novelpart mystery, part historychronicles 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 behalfand compels Edmund to join Richard Lionhearts 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, Cadnums 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 historythe Battle of Arsuf. In twelth-century England, after his master, a maker of coins for the king, is brutally punished for alleged cheating, seventeen-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.