There Will Be Wolves by Karleen Bradford

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Stars: ***1/2

This book is the 1992 winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award. It was read for the Canadian Book Challenge and Young Adult Challenge.

Summary: The daughter of an apothecary and the owner of a secret book of healing arts, Urusla is determined to become a great heler – but her ambition makes her an outsider in the Holy Roman Empire. When she is accused of witchcraft and sentenced to burn at the stake, she is given one chance to save herself: she must march in the People’s Crusade to the holy city of Jerusalem. Along with her father and her friend Bruno, Urusla joins thousands of other pilgrims on a harrowing journey, which will expose the dark side of the “glorious” Crusades, and change her life forever.

Taking place in 1096 AD, this could have been read for the Back to History challenge too. It’s definitely the oldest time period I’ve ever read about. It was interesting to read about life back then, although not a lot of it was shown, mostly that of the apothecary, how they handled criminals and the Crusade.

As I’ve stated before, Historical Fiction is not really my Genre and since I know absolutely nothing about the Crusades and what they were about, I had a hard time following the book. The prologue tells the basic story of how the crusade came about but even when I’d read it 4 times in a row, really slowly, I still wasn’t sure I understand what it was all about. I was confused mostly because they were (I think) trying to get rid of the Jews from Cologne (in Germany) to Jerusalem, including Constantinople (Now Istanbul, Turkey) This was confusing to me because Jerusalem is the home of the Jews now.

Anyways, the story was well told, even when I was confused, I kept reading. I did have trouble putting it down a few times. Karleen Bradford did a good job of making us feel like we were indeed in the 11th century since the characters talked differently.

“ I would see the dog again” meaning I would like to see the dog again.
“Good even, mistress” meaning Good Evening Mistress (not that we’d say Mistress at all today)

As I said, it was a good book and I’m sure a good introduction to the People’s Crusade. It would have recieved four stars if I liked Historical Fiction more.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.