Wednesday, October 5, 2011

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Road from the West: Book 1 of the Chronicles of Tancred by Rosanne E. Lortz

Road to the West: The Chronicles of Tancred Book 1 is the story of the First Crusade and follows the adventures of our young headstrong hero, Tancred as he tries to free himself from the shadow of his uncle and seek his own destiny.  That destiny becomes clear to him when during one siege at his Uncle’s side he kills a man, and realizing he is a fellow Christian, vows to never willingly spill Christian blood again.  He seeks the advice of Pope Urban who convinces him to join the Crusade and free the holy land of Jerusalem from the Infidels.  So begins Tancred’s adventures on Crusade.  Joining him on this crusade are his Uncle Bohemond, the ruthless German Baldwin, Hugh-brother of the King of France, Count Raymond of Toulouse, Bishop Aldhemar-the man chosen by the Pope to lead the crusaders, and a host of other characters who must put aside their differences to achieve their objectives.  It becomes clear all too soon that these men do not share the same objective as some are genuinely there in the service of the church and others may have ulterior motives.
As someone who has never read a thing about the First Crusade, I enjoyed this book quite a bit.   The descriptions of the terrain in which they were fighting and the hardships that the troops suffered to get to Antioch (which is where this book-the first in the trilogy-ends).  I liked the main character Tancred because it is clear that even though he was raised by his Uncle, their ideologies are completely different and Tancred proves himself time and again throughout the Crusade and shows that his Uncle’s way is not the only way.  Also as a former Soldier I liked that Tancred was all about what was best for his Soldiers and able to swallow his pride for their benefit. There was a subtle undercurrent of political intrigue going on throughout the novel as the most of the Crusaders have sworn to aid the Byzantine Emperor Alexios in gaining back his lands from the Turks and in exchange he would help them take Antioch.  As the Crusade wears on it becomes clear that Alexios has his own schemes going that may not include honoring the promises made to the Crusaders. 
One thought that occurred to me throughout the reading of this book is that I wish I had a bit more background on the characters.  I would have really liked to know more about their individual histories before jumping right into the Crusade.  Also, there were quite a few secondary characters in the novel and I am hoping they are developed in the next book.  It is understandable that in introducing the cast the spotlight was given to Tancred but there were many interesting people here that I would like to know more about.  I think this was an intriguing story and I am looking forward to the subsequent books in this trilogy. 

I received this book via the author from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Now for the GIVEAWAY:

I am happy to announce I have one copy of Road to the West to give away to one lucky reader!
To enter please leave your email in the comments.  Giveaway is international.  One extra entry each for spreading the word through Facebook/Twitter/Blog Sidebar.

Giveaway ends on 14 October.  Winner will be announced on the 15th.
For interviews with Roseanne Lortz, more reviews and giveaways please click HERE.


  1. Sounds like a book I'd really enjoy reading, please do enter me in for the giveaway. Thanks for hosting - coffeeandabookchick at gmail dot com

  2. Great review! I have always enjoyed reading about the Crusades, such an interesting time in history.

  3. Please count me in I would love to read this! Thanks!


  4. I have always found the Crusades to be a fascinating era with so many famous historical personages involved and things like the Childrens Crusade.

    It has been written about many times but I always learn something new whenever I read a new novel about it.

    And even the world reknowned King Richard the Lionheart is suppossed to have gone (thing Robin Hood).

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thank you.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  5. i want to enter too ^^ thanks for this giveaway.

    witchvela at web dot de

  6. Thanks for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. I love the books you review! glad I discovered you. just finished Road From the West, preparing to post on the Tour, on Oct 13. would love to win another copy to share with others. thanks for offering.
    following your blog, and just shared on twitter and facebook.
    Emma @ Words And Peace
    ehc16e at yahoo dot come

  8. I'd love to read this book!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  9. I love the stories about the Crusades. This book sounds fantastic.

  10. Please enter me n thanks for this giveaway.!/HFVBT/status/121634635561177090

  11. This sounds like a novel I'd save and reread. Count me in.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com