Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Crusader Gold" by David Gibbins

I found this book at local library (ebook version). I like to alternate what type of books I read. If I just read sci-fi, next one will be historical novel. Usually I read second, non-fiction book in parallel.

This fictional book is one in a series about archeology and ancient history. The author combines novel's fictional narratives with real historical events.

For example, "Crusader Gold", is about fate of the treasure looted by Romans from Jewish temples during Jewish wars of the 1st century. In this novel, the treasure travels from Jerusalem to Rome, then to North Africa in Vandal kingdom and later in 6th century in Constantinople in Byzantine empire. Here, according to novels, in the 11th century, Viking-Varangian guard who served the Greek byzantine emperors, captured the treasure and took it to Scandinavia where Harald of Hardrada of Norway used it first to secure his hold on the throne and then to invade the England in 1066. However, he was defeated by another Harald (Harold Godwinson, King of England).

However, rather then dying on the battlefield, the novel suggests that Harald of Hardrada survived the battle and sailed west with remaining treasure and reached viking's settlement in North America and later ended up in Yucatan peninsula where Vikings died at the hand of Toltecs, Maya warlords.

In parallel, novel is focused on mystery society who claimed that they are maintaining secret traditions derived from the same viking king Harald of Hardrada. 

Basically, novel is quite wild in its scope and imagination. Too superficial to feel any satisfaction from reading it. It can be useful for 5th graders who want to learn little extra history from fictions.

posted by David Usharauli              

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