Summary

The Crusaders, led by Richard I of England, are encamped in the Holy Land, and torn by the dissensions and jealousies of the leaders, including, besides Coeur de Lion himself, Philip of France, the duke of Austria, the Marquis of Montferrat, and the Grand Master of the Templars. The army's impotence is accentuated by the illness of Richard. A poor but doughty Scottish crusader, known as Sir Kenneth or the Knight of the Leopard, on a mission far from the camp encounters a Saracen emir, with whom, after an inconclusive combat, he strikes up a friendship. This emir proves subsequently to be Saladin himself, and he presently appears in the Christian camp in the disguise of a physician sent by the Soldan to Richard, whom he quickly cures.
Meanwhile, Sir Kenneth is lured from his post by Queen Berengaria, Richard's wife, who in a frolic sends him an urgent message purporting to come from Edith Plantagenet, for whom Sir Kenneth has a romantic attachment. During his brief absence, his faithful hound is wounded and the English flag torn down. Sir Kenneth, thus dishonored, narrowly escapes execution at Richard's order by the intervention of the Moorish physician, who receives him as his slave. Kindly and honorably treated by Saladin, he is sent, in the disguise of a black mute attendant, to Richard, whom he saves from assassination. Richard pierces Kenneth's disguise and gives him the opportunity he desires of discovering who wounded the hound and tore down the standard.
As the Christian princes and their forces file past the re-erected standard, the hound springs on Conrade of Montferrat and tears him from his horse. A trial by combat is arranged in which Sir Kenneth defeats and wounds Montferrat, and is revealed to be Prince David of Scotland. The obstacle that his supposed lowly birth presented to his union with Edith Plantagenet is thus removed.
Originally published in the United States, 1929; (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic reviews

"In narrating the romance, Robert Whitfield excels at phrasing, which, accompanied by his pleasant voice and British accent, makes this tape pleasant listening." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By colin monteith on 08-09-18

High Drama in Desert

Exciting tale of chivalry and treachery during a truce between Crusaders and Saracens. Intrigue romance and surprises mixed together make this intoxicating tale.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By GoryDetails on 19-10-05

Surprisingly enjoyable adventure!

I had only dim recollections of The Talisman as one of Scott's lesser-known works (as compared with Ivanhoe, anyway), but when I found this version, read by favorite narrator Robert Whitfield (aka Simon Vance) I had to give it a try. And I was delighted! It's a wonderful romp, with surprisingly liberal views of Saladin and his host; King Richard comes off rather poorly in comparison. The secret identities got a bit far-fetched, but it was all entertaining. Recommended!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Adam on 12-11-05

the talisman (unabridged)

I'll keep this short and sweet. I was so enthralled with the reader and the story that I lost track of time in my 1 1/2 commute into Seattle. My friends are tired of me talking about it.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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