Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: The Waste Land by Simon Acland

The Waste Land by Simon Acland

The Waste Land chronicles the adventures of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight, during the extraordinary historical events of the First Crusade. He journeys from the great Benedictine monastery of Cluny to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. He encounters the Assassins, endures a personal epiphany and discovers the ‘truth’ behind the Holy Grail.

Hugh de Verdon’s tale is retold by a group of desperate Oxford professors, based on his autobiographical manuscript, discovered in their College library. Their humorous - and murderous story also provides a commentary on the eleventh century events and shows that they are perhaps not all they seem.

My Thoughts:
Well-written and entertaining. In Hugh's tale there are historical facts mixed with myth, bloody battles, and crises of faith. At times it is amusing, interesting, and shocking. It takes a portion of history and relates it to a person, showing some of the grittier realities of war. There is also a modern-day story with a group of professors involved with telling Hugh's tale, which I thought added to the story, with the professors arguing over the accuracy of historical or religious points, or the writing. I think lovers of history, especially those interested in knights or the crusades, will enjoy this, as well as anyone who enjoys a good adventure with battles. And there are maps included, which helped to visualize Hugh's travels. An exciting story and I am curious to know what happens to Hugh next.

My Rating: *****
Steam Factor: !!!
*Notes: Violence, blood and gore, rape.

My Source: publisher

Where to get it:

Where to find the author:

**Taking Liberties with Myths and Legends - guest post

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