This is an excellent story about the fourth crusade in the 1200’s.

The Fourth Crusade
By Mark Butler

Mark Butler does an excellent job with showing his readers the world of the 1200’s. The historical fiction of the fourth crusade. The story takes place in Spain and Italy with the main character Ruggiero de Merafiza. His father Rayjo had fought in the third crusade and Ruggiero was hoping that his father would train him to be a warrior. After the almost fatal drowning of his sister, Ruggiero is sent off to become a priest. Ruggiero will get his chance to fight and live to tell the tale in this very well done story. Some of my favorite lines from the story.

“Shut up you yellow-bellied, snot nosed brats. None of you is fit to lick the dung off my boots or pry the ticks from my horse’s arse!” he stated. (Spoken by Balustras)

“For the worst of wounds, he told Ruggiero, a small spoonful of honey could give a moderately injured soldier the energy he needed to rejoin the battle.”

Ruggiero was my favorite character from the story, his weapon of choice was the “Holy Water Sprinkler” (also known as a Mace)
The character of Balustras was at times not my most favorite character, but he trained the men to be warriors and that was his job. He was a relentless taskmaster.

Another line that I really liked
“Son, this is war. If we don’t allow the men to be free of the leash from time to time, they will never trust us in times of war, there are no laws, no morals, and no rules.” (spoken by Ruggiero’s father.)
I rated this excellent and well written book a solid 5 stars. Mark Butler has done his homework and the story told was one that gave an excellent description of the early 1200’s.
I love this time period of history. I would enjoy reading more of the historical novels by this talented author.

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