Ivanhoe serves with Richard I during the Crusades, while the King's brother attempts to take the throne for himself in his brother's absence. When Richard I and Ivanhoe return, a series of adventures takes place against the backdrop of a tournament where Knights Templar are entered into contests. Ivanhoe catches the eye of Rebecca, a beautiful and courageous Jew; he is taken prisoner, along with his father and hers, and Rowena as well; and they rely upon one Locksley (Robin Hood) and his band of outlaws to set them free. When Rebecca is subsequently charged with witchcraft, she asks Ivanhoe to champion her in a trial by combat. But have his affections shifted, or does he still love Rowena?
Sir Walter Scott's fanciful, vivid reinterpretation of medieval life makes for a successful novel that blends fact, myth, and romance.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tobin on 04-05-05
A great classic romance/adventure
This classic epic novel, written in 1819, was one I really enjoyed reading.
The story is set in medieval England. King Richard lies in prison in Europe on his voyage from the Crusades. Meanwhile, the Saxons and Normans are fighting over the remnant of England.
Ivanhoe, a disinherited son of a noble who was also on the Crusades, returns disguised as the Disinherited Knight. Together with the help of a mysterious Black Knight, they fight members of the Knight?s Templars, rescue the fair Rowena, whom Ivanhoe has fallen in love with, and perform other feats of heroism.
This is a great adventure novel: a disinherited knight who is forced to fight several times when the odds are against him in order to win his love. Many characters are featured as well, including Robin Hood and his merry men. Any reader with an interest in chivalry, medieval times, English royal history, or good ol? fight scenes will appreciate this novel.
The book does feature a character worth mentioning: Isaac is an elderly Jewish man, and he has a daughter, Rebecca, who falls in love with Ivanhoe. Though the anti-Semitic rhetoric by some of the villainous characters runs pretty thick at times (this does take place during the Crusades, after all), it?s pretty clear the author despises such treatment. In actuality, Rebecca turns out to be the strongest heroine of the novel.
It is clear why this book is still so popular. It?s a great story, with great heroes (and even better villains). You will really enjoy this book.
Frederick Davidson's voice is perfect for this role. He brings each of the many characters to life distinctly, and his depiction of the villains is especially good. I strongly recommend this recording
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
By Elliott on 07-12-04
A great listen
This was my first audiobook. I was determined to begin listening to all the classics that I never have time to actually read. I searched for the longest book that I could find that seemed interesting and "Ivanhoe" fit the bill.
I was truly impressed by the story. First I had to wait for an hour to get through the introduction and the forward, which didn't bode well for keeping my interest in audiobooks. After this however, the story began and soon I found myself listening at every spare moment.
It is a tale of knights and chivalry. Appearances by King Richard the lionhearted, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and Prince John, along with Ivanhoe and the two women who loved him, kept me entranced. At times the language was haughty and some words were unfamiliar to me. (It was written in the 1800's after all) But it never took away from my enjoyment of the book, and I never felt lost. There are many exciting scenes, and several suprises that are sure to keep any listener coming back for more. I was sorry when it ended.
The narrator was pleasant to listen to, having a deep english accent that complimented the story well, even when forced to sing.
All in all, an excellent book. The character of the fool, Wamba (If that is how it is spelled), was one of my favorites with many a jolly jest. If you have any interest at all in an exciting, medieval adventure/romance, with damsels in distress and knights in shining armor, then you will love this book.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful