CROSSED: A TALE OF THE FOURTH CRUSADE
Tag line for the Fourth Crusade: “No infidels were hurt in the making of this crusade.” This is the one Monty Python would surely have chosen if they’d made a crusading movie.
A western military coalition decides (uninvited) to “liberate” a rich eastern land from its usurping tyrant, then gets stuck there as an occupation force fighting insurrectionists. No, it’s not the evening news, or the latest George Clooney flick – it’s the sack of Constantinople, one of the pivotal events of world history.
That’s real history; here’s the novel:
A renegade Welshman is horrified to find himself in the pious clutches of a knight en route to free Jerusalem of infidels. As the army sets out, the Welshman rescues (or rather, steals) an apparent princess of the Arab persuasion, intending to use the army to smuggle her back to “her people” in the Holy Land. But the army keeps getting diverted from its course, in its outrageous attempts to pay its bills to its suppliers. As the campaign sinks into tragic moral turpitude, the Welshman, his “princess” and his friend the (increasingly-disillusioned) knight attempt to “make things better” – with historical (sometimes hys-terical) results.