Envoy of Jerusalem

Balian D'Ibelin and the Third Crusade (Balian D'Ibelin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem)

Fiction - Historical - Personage
512 Pages
Reviewed on 09/29/2016
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Author Biography

Award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader has a PhD in History from the University of Hamburg. She has published numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. Her non-fiction books include "Sisters in Arms" about women pilots in WWII, "The Blockade Breakers” about the Berlin Airlift," and "Codename Valkyrie," a biography of General Olbricht based on her dissertation. Helena has also published historical novels set in World War Two, Ancient Sparta and the Middle Ages.

“Defender of Jerusalem,” the second book in the Jerusalem Trilogy of which "Envoy of Jerusalem" is the last, won "Silver" for Christian Historical Fiction in the Readers' Favorite 2016 Book Awards. It also won the 2015 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction Set in the Middle Ages, and the Silver Award for Spiritual/Religious Fiction in the 2016 Feathered Quill Literary Awards. It was a finalist for the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction and a B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree.

Visit her website: http://www.helenapschrader.com for a complete description and reviews of her publications, or follow her blog: http://schradershistoricalfiction.blogspot.com for updates on current works in progress, recent reviews and excerpts. For more on the crusader kingdoms and Balian d’Ibelin visit: http://www.defenderofjerusalem.com or follow her blog on the Crusader Kingdoms at: http://defendingcrusaderkingdoms.blogspot.com.

Helena is a U.S. diplomat currently serving in Africa.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

In a wonderful new work of historical fiction by author Helena P. Schrader, Envoy of Jerusalem: Balian D'Ibelin and the Third Crusade (Balian D'Ibelin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem) has a story line that kept me obsessively turning the pages from the very first all the way through to the very last. The third book in the series, this story follows the enigmatic Balian d'Ibelin as he continues in his efforts to regain what has lost and to free the thousands of Christians being held captive by the Saracens. A partnership with the Crusaders, led by Richard the Lionheart, looks promising, but is certainly not without its own complications. Will Balian achieve his hope of freedom for the enslaved Christians and hope for his land? You'll need to read this epic book to find out.

Wow. Just, wow. That's exactly what I thought when I finished reading Envoy of Jerusalem: Balian D'Ibelin and the Third Crusade. This book was an action packed thrill ride that I simply could not put down! Author Helena P. Schrader has done a masterful job of writing this book, and providing an accurate historical context for her story line. Any reader who enjoys historical fiction, action, adventure, thrilling reads, or just a great work of fiction in general should absolutely give this book a chance. I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more from author Helena P. Schrader as soon as I possibly can!

Sefina Hawke

Envoy of Jerusalem: Balian D'Ibelin and the Third Crusade (Balian D'Ibelin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem) by Helena P Schrader is a historical fiction book that will appeal to an audience made up of adults and young adults who enjoy historical fiction on the Crusades. Envoy of Jerusalem is the third book in the biographical novel series about Balian d'Ibelin and follows the character known as Balian d'Ibelin throughout his life.

The first thing I noticed about Envoy of Jerusalem was the amazing cover. I really liked the fact that the cover had a picture of Balian d'Ibelin as it allowed me to have a clear picture of what he looked like while I read the book. The second thing I loved about the book was the genealogical charts and maps at the beginning of the book as they helped me to understand where the events took place and the relations of characters to each other. Helena P Schrader did such as amazing job in writing that at times I was not entirely sure if what I was reading was fiction or history. My favorite character was the dowager queen in the beginning of the book; she became my favorite due to the sympathy she showed to her escort, Sir Bartholomew.

Ray Simmons

I read Envoy of Jerusalem by Helena P. Schrader for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I love a good historical novel. Second, I wanted to get a little more insight into the struggle between Christianity and Islam. I didn't want to read a political tome. I wanted to visit the era through the eyes of the writer and the characters of the story. Envoy of Jerusalem: Balian D'Ibelin and the Third Crusade was exactly the kind of historical novel I was looking for. Some historical novels concentrate on the adventure at the expense of other elements. Some focus on romance or action at the expense of historical accuracy. I wanted something fun to read that is also historically accurate. Helena P. Schrader got it just right for my particular purpose. Not only is Envoy of Jerusalem historically accurate, it is a great story about a very interesting man, his family, friends, enemies, and contemporaries.

Balian D'Ibelin is a hero’s hero in an age of heroes. But his were the heroics of necessity in a violent and war torn land. To his credit, his wins outweighed his losses, though there were some big losses. His bravery is told and sworn to by others. He usually thought of himself as falling short of what he thought God wanted of him. This was not false modesty but a constant feeling that he had not really given his best. But those around him felt differently. There were a lot of heroes and villains during these times. Helena P. Schrader gives a good sampling of both, as well as their lives, the politics, their beliefs and, above all, the horror of war. This is a great look at the Third Crusade and the people who fought it. I found the writing good and the narrative balanced.