Following in the footsteps of my The Broken Sword review is another Poul Anderson masterpiece, mostly unknown to modern readers.
The High Crusade is a book about English knights, priests, and peasants from the medieval period who take over an alien spaceship and begin to fight the aliens on other planets. It’s fun, exciting, and from that premise comes one of the most interesting explorations of the medieval mindset I’ve ever read.
To be honest, the weakest part is the characters. It was pretty clear which direction the characters were going to go, and with the medieval mindset it was clear the person who broke fealty was doomed from the get go. This is honestly a flimsy weakness, though, since the book is excellent despite this.
Before I get into spoilers, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you like science fiction or the medieval age, this is right up your alley.
The main thrust of the book is Sir Roger’s campaign against the Wersgorix Empire. He’s successful only because he’s modifying medieval warfare to the new technology they acquire, and because the aliens have had a relative peace due to the empire controlling much of the galaxy.
The most interesting element is the idea that Earthlings will go into space far in the future and find a feudal system throughout the galaxy!
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