Review: Siege, Richard Foreman

Rating: 2 out of 5

I found this dull and unimaginative, not to mention basic in its treatment of the Siege of Antioch. While the title does lead one to think about Antioch with the given context, this work would have proceeded more smoothly had the author started with how the siege came about. Instead, there are numerous veiled references to past events which can make the plot difficult to understand for people new to the time and period.

Our protagonists, meanwhile, are an English knight, an English scholar, and a Welsh bowman. The main antagonist is a Provencal knight, venal and base in all his doings while thinking themself the top of the world. Bohemund of Taranto and Raymond of Toulouse are the leaders of the opposing Christian factions who have the abovementioned protagonists and antagonists in their employ. Most of the plot is taken up by pointless plotting between either side to do the other one over.

While all of this is going on, Bohemund’s plot to take over Antioch has partial limelight though the situation where the Crusaders find themselves isn’t properly described. The advancing Muslim army is also not put into its context which can make things even more difficult to understand.

Overall, I found this below expectations, and am very unlikely to continue with the series. I’m also sure a much better book could be written about these events.

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