Friday, January 1, 2016

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

"Dark sits the evening upon the thanes' castle,      The black clouds gather round;      Soon shall they be red as the blood of the valiant!      The destroyer of forests shall shake his red crest against          them.      He, the bright consumer of palaces,      Broad waves he his blazing banner,      Red, wide and dusky,      Over the strife of the valiant.":   I read this for the reading challenge - a book over 100 years old task.   I love Ivanhoe, it's one of my favorite books and this isn't my first time reading it.  It's set during the reign of  King Richard the Lionheart/ Prince John, his evil brother. It's full of chivalry, romance, loyalty, adventure and intrigue.   What's not to like?

Ivanhoe's father has disinherited him because, Ivanhoe is a Saxon and Richard a Norman and yet, Ivanhoe has sworn fealty to Richard which his father considers to be an act of treason.   Richard has gone missing - many are spreading the rumor that he is dead - when in fact, he is being held by the King of Austria for ransom.  John has no intention of ransoming Richard but means instead to steal his crown.

Ivanhoe has returned from the crusades to save Richard by raising the money.  He is helped in this quest by Isaac, a Jew and his daughter.  The largest part of this plot is how badly the Jews were treated, even in England.  Yet Isaac and Rebecca help Ivanhoe many times in order to find a better world for themselves and their people

This is a fantastic story  If you haven't read it, you really should.

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