Galland skillfully allows a novice historian to have an in-depth look at the Crusades. From personal relationships to political coups to religious fervor, Crossed is a detailed novel which takes one small part of the Crusades in detail and turns it inside out. Told from the view of an itinerant musician, the reader is allowed to see the opinions that rule the throne, the underlying spiritual justification for a war that sought to spread one religion at the cost of all others. In addition, an underlying romance and the kidnapping of a wrongfully imprisoned queen serve to deepen the plot and add dimension to the story. Crossed is very well written, suspenseful, and served to keep this reader occupied for quite a while.
Tag line for the Fourth Crusade: "No infidels were hurt in the making of this crusade." This is the one Monty Python would surely have chosen if they'd made a crusading movie. A western military coalition decides (uninvited) to "liberate" a rich eastern land from its usurping tyrant, then gets stuck there as an occupation force fighting insurrectionists. No, it's not the evening news, or the latest George Clooney flick - it's the sack of Constantinople, one of the pivotal events of world history.