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The Third Crusade is on the horizon, and Henry II is on the throne.
Young Frederick Banastre has grown up hearing about his father’s adventures in the Second Crusade.
And now Frederick is being sent to court to become a steward to the young prince Richard, readying him for his own chance at glory.
Frederick and Richard soon become firm friends, with the royal household their personal playground.
But as the King ages, and the heir to the throne, Young Henry, prepares to take over, Frederick and Richard need to prove themselves on the battlefield.
They journey to France in an attempt to quell rebellious uprisings, and cement English rule.
But then disaster strikes, and with both Henrys in mortal danger, the way is paved for the rise of Richard the Lionheart…
‘Crusader’ is the first in a new series of historical thrillers chronicling the life of Richard the Lionheart.
"Full of action, intrigue and historical insight." Richard Foreman.
Paul Bannister is a journalist and author. His is also the author of the Lord of the Narrow Sea series, which includes 'Arthur Britannicus', 'Arthur Imperator', ‘Arthur Invictus’, ‘The King’s Cavalry’ and ‘A Fragile Peace’.
Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.
bystanders to fall back in alarm. No weapons other than our personal knives for eating were allowed in the hall and there were shouts for guards. Richard produced his own small knife as he backed away but the youth swung at him. Richard tried to put a table between them, the monk leaped onto the bench, and Lionheart casually stepped forward and kicked the bench legs away, dropping the monk into the dirty rushes of the floor. The cleric rolled, swinging his long blade, but Richard kicked hard at
force enough to pillage and burn English coastal villages and farms. However, the little ships carried only a few men, so my own crews in their faster, square-sailed longships not only outmanned them but could run them down in pursuits. We quickly learned that the flimsy ashwood frames of the currachs were defenceless against ramming, and the lanolin-soaked leather of their hulls was a poor shield against missiles. Then destroying the ships became even easier. One Lancastershire arbalister,
with us in our great fleet and convoys, and just a handful of men had to plan it all. Chapter XVII - Sword There was one thing more. I wanted a special sword made for my king, and I knew where it must be fashioned. Two days later, I rode out alone from Winchester, eastwards towards Canterbury. There, in the weald south of the magnificent cathedral that now contained Becket’s tomb, the Romans had mined iron ore and smelted it with charcoal from the forest. A decade ago, one of England’s
Yes. And these?” He indicated several cross motifs on the sketch of the pommel. “A crosslet,” I explained. “Four crosses with crossed arms, to symbolize the spread of Christianity to the four corners of the world.” He showed his teeth through his beard. “Very apt,” he said. “And the blade?” I shrugged. “You are the master. It is about balance and beauty.” His teeth gleamed again. “Look at this,” he commanded, striding across the forge to lift a long, leather-wrapped object from a shelf. It
has another, north of here. They say he’s there right now.” The wool merchant caught his eye. ”Aye, and he hunts a pretty prey at that hideaway,” he said, licking his lips. Father frowned, and the merchant hurriedly went quiet. “Let’s get into Oxford,” said Father. “There’s enough chatter here for a convocation of fishwives and nuns.” We clattered over an oak drawbridge that spanned the stinking green waterway, under the raised iron grille of the yett that stood before the gate, then passed