Val J. Jensen II

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For Honor. For Love. For Life.

In the year 1096, the Kingdom of France is set ablaze by righteous fire. Men, women, brigand, and knight - with a promise of forgiveness of sins - answer the pope’s call to retake Jerusalem. In a village along the Oise River, Anseau of Valois, a young ploughman, has defied his Church, enraged his lord, and disappointed his father.

A forbidden relationship with a Jew, Channah, forces Anseau into the service of a bishop. The bishop, seeing promise in the young man, offers him a chance to win his spurs and become his knight. Anseau rises to the challenge, knowing that in doing so, he can seek absolution by joining a crusade to Jerusalem and be free to find Channah upon his return. On the way to Jerusalem, Anseau distinguishes himself in battle which places him in a position rife with intrigue, subterfuge, and moral ambiguity. To survive and return to his love, Anseau must fight friend and foe, ally with the most unlikely of companions, and lead a resistance against the formidable Sultan of Rûm. 

Meanwhile, Channah and her family come under attack by a different band of crusading pilgrims, and though Anseau does not know it, his fate and the fate of his army rests with Channah's ability to persevere and win the graces of an emperor.

Date of release

December 12, 2018





Map Design

Rhys Davies

...a cast of richly-woven, believable characters... a thoughtfully written, intriguing novel.”
— Helen Hollick: author of Harold the King (UK) / I Am the Chosen King (US)

The Idea

The idea of writing a fictional account of the People's Crusade came to me while having a discussion with my best friend about the crusades. Crusade and medieval history always fascinated me, and after being inspired by that conversation and a couple non-fiction books I had read in my first MA degree, I decided to embark on the quest. It's been many years since I typed the first word, and the story has taken numerous forms, but it is now ready to be heard. 

Arise Crusader is a fresh, interesting novel featuring a strong storyline and original characters that feel and act like real people.
— Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize

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