The Road to Jerusalem, The Knight Templar – Jan Guillou

Vols 1 and 2 of The Crusades Trilogy, by swede Jan Guillou, translated by Anna Paterson.

Borrowed from Battersea library in April 2003, and after a slow start, devoured over the chil Easter weekend in Walton (well, Good Friday and Easter Saturday at least).

Verdict: Haddock Review

Haven’t yet come to terms with prospect of waiting until June 2004 to read the third and final book – The Kingdom at the End of the Road.

Buy it: Amazon link

Update – April 2005

I contacted the UK publishers to ask when/if they would be publishing the third and final instalment in the trilogy. The bad news is that they won’t. From the sound of it, the first two weren’t profitable enough. How very annoying.

The Mulberry Empire – Philip Hensher

The first of the current spree of historical novel borrowing from Battersea Library, but this book has been on my To Read list (and Amazon wishlist) since I read the reviews when it came out.

A weighty tome, and slow going required as it shifts focus, characters and location, but by the time I completed it by end of March 2003 I felt I’d learned a lot about early Victorian Empire, and Central Asian kingdoms of the time.

Verdict: Haddock Review

Buy it: Amazon link

The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory

One for lovers (and avoiders) of historial fiction.

A fantastic page turner, with believable characters illustrating that events in the great Henry the Eighth’s reign were not the dry theological and poltical posturigs they may have seemed at school.

Philippa Gregory’s latest novel may have attracted criticism on the ground of historical inaccuracies, but it does not claim to be a text book. Rather, as a novel it provides a cast of the soap opera stars of the period and indications as to their motives, which in turn allows the reader to develop an understanding of what prompted the twists and turns of the court factions and of the king at its helm. This in turn underlines the signifiance of his power and his decisions, and their impact on the people living in the lands he ruled and in the wider European arena.

Personally I