Cover image for Devil's bargain
Devil's bargain
Tarr, Judith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : ROC, [2002]

Physical Description:
387 pages ; 23 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The year is 1191. The place is the Holy Land, where the knights of Christ are embroiled in a war with the armies of Islam. The prize is the holy city of Jerusalem. Led by Richard the Lionheart, the armies of the West are conducting a Crusade against the sultan Saladin. In Cyprus, the king's mother, Eleanor, has struck a devil's bargain to grant Richard victory at any cost. Only Sinan the sorcerer knows that victory will cost the king his immortal soul.

Author Notes

Judith Tarr was born in Augusta, Maine on January 30, 1955. She received a B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College, an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Medieval studies from Yale University.

She is the author of more than twenty novels including The Golden Horn, The Hound and the Falcon, Avaryan Rising, Alamut, The Daggar and the Cross, The Lord of Two Lands, Pillar of Fire, The Throne of Isis, White Mare's Daughter, Queen of Swords, Arrows of the Sun, and Spear of Heaven. She also wrote a juvenile book entitled His Majesty's Elephant.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Tarr's usual meticulous historical research distinguishes this historical fantasy concerning late-twelfth-century sorcery and holy warfare. The place is the Holy Land, and the occasion is the Third Crusade, led by Richard the Lionheart, king of England and count of Anjou. As the bastard child of the late King Henry II and the enchantress Gwenllian, the healer Lady Sioned is Richard's half-sister as well as an heiress to magic arts. Her gift of Sight allows her to walk right into the mind and memories of Richard's mother, Eleanor, once the black-eyed beauty of Aquitaine and a great and terrible sorceress whose soul was sold in a devil's bargain to ensure her son's success as charismatic leader of forces that include French and Germans as well as English. Sioned has to try to save Richard's soul as well as his quest for Jerusalem in a contest against the sultan Saladin that goes beyond mere bloodlust as earthly forces, mirrored by the supernatural, battle for dominance. Whitney Scott.

Publisher's Weekly Review

After the brilliant, subtle Pride of Kings (2001), in which England's Prince John refreshingly proved to be a hero rather than a villain, Judith Tarr stumbles in her latest alternative historical fantasy, Devil's Bargain, which concerns King Richard and the Third Crusade. Sorcery and witchcraft in the struggle for the Holy Land make for an interesting mix, but shallow, trite characterizations will put off readers expecting better. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As Richard the Lionheart leads his armies on a seemingly doomed quest to capture Jerusalem, his mother, Eleanor, bargains with the Old Man of the Mountains, the master of assassins, to secure victory for her son. The price: Richard's soul. Only his bastard half-sister Sioned, attached as a healer to the armies of the First Crusade, dares to risk her own life and soul to rescue Richard from damnation. Tarr (Pride of Kings; Kingdom of the Grail) crafts an alternate history of the First Crusade that blends magic and myth with meticulously researched historical fact to create a tale of romance and intrigue that belongs in most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.