There Will Be Wolves
Darleen R. Golke is a high-school teacher and librarian in Winnipeg.
In 11th-century Cologne, jealous neighbors accuse Ursula, the motherless
daughter of apothecary Master William, of witchcraft. Ursula’s passion
for the healing arts, her unfeminine literacy, and her uncompromising
pride contribute to a guilty verdict and the Archbishop’s sentencing
her to burn at the stake. Her only hope of pardon lies in agreeing to
accompany her father, hired as personal healer to a nobleman, on the
first Holy Crusade to free Jerusalem from the Turks. Ursula and her
father join some 20,000 others on the People’s Crusade, led by mad
Peter the Hermit.
Bradford paints a vivid portrait of the harsh realities and excesses of
the People’s Crusade, in which lofty religious ideology contrasts
sharply with the cruelty of the marauding crusaders. Less vivid are her
character portraits. Only Ursula changes as a result of her experiences;
the other characters emerge as types rather than as clearly drawn
individuals. Although some young readers may find the happy ending too
tidy, they will gain a strong sense of daily life in medieval Europe,
and a realistic glimpse into the history of the Holy Crusades.