Book Review: Jerusalem: Kingdom of Heaven (The First Crusade, Book 3) by Richard Foreman

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Pub date: 13 October 2020
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

1099.

Jerusalem.

The crusaders have finally reached the Holy City, the Kingdom of Heaven.

A clash of arms – a clash of civilisations – against a formidable Muslim army awaits.

The defenders, led by the wily Iftikhar al-Dawla, are well-prepared and well-equipped. They only need to fend off the enemy, until a relief army arrives.

For the crusader forces, led by the allies and rivals of Godfrey of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse, it is all or nothing. There can be no retreat or surrender.

Godfrey and Raymond are fighting to capture and rule the sacred city. Edward Kemp, however, a veteran English knight, is fighting to get back to his wife and homeland.

Edward is in possession of intelligence which could help him make his fortune.

But at what cost?

The desperate, bloody assault will change the fates of various crusaders – and alter the course of history.

Jerusalem: Kingdom of Heaven is the final book in the bestselling and acclaimed series set during the First Crusade.

Having read the first two books in this series Siege and Besieged I was looking forward to the final instalment and it did not disappoint.

The characters I grew to love like Sir Edward Kemp, young Thomas and the archer Owen find themselves camped outside Jerusalem waiting to attack the Holy city.

Although the book doesn’t pick up straight after the second,  Besieged, I enjoyed how Foreman uses the characters to fill in the details of what happened in between and why some characters are not present at Jerusalem. This book allowed other characters like Godfrey to develop and by the end I really liked how he’d been depicted.

The crusaders have made the journey from Antioch to Jerusalem and now face a battle to enter the city with the added threat of a further army advancing on them. The main characters all have their own thoughts and hopes to keep them going even when things look bleak.

The details of the battle are bloody and detailed, showing how much both sides suffered. The pilgrims also face starvation and thirst but their faith gives them hope.

Without giving much away this was the saddest of the books but such a fantastic book and an incredible ending to the series. I definitely recommend reading the whole series and enjoying how the characters grow and change through their experiences.

I look forward to reading more of Foreman’s books. If like me you are a fan of Sir Edward there’s also a short story in By the Sword: A HWA short story collection.

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