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The Knights of the Cross or, Krzyzacy   By: (1846-1916)

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The Knights of the Cross, written by Henryk Sienkiewicz, is a captivating historical novel that takes readers on a compelling journey through the tumultuous times of medieval Poland. Set against the backdrop of the 15th century, this meticulously crafted narrative seamlessly blends romance, adventure, and political intrigue to create an immersive reading experience.

Sienkiewicz's impeccable storytelling skills shine through the novel, painting a vivid picture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, its noble knights, and their code of chivalry. The author's extensive research is evident as he masterfully weaves historical events, such as the Polish-Teutonic War, into the lives of his well-developed characters.

The protagonist, Zbyszko of Bogdaniec, is a strong and valiant knight whose journey serves as the heart of the story. Sienkiewicz skillfully portrays his growth and transformation throughout the novel, from a young and impulsive warrior to a mature and wise leader. The reader becomes emotionally invested in Zbyszko's quest for justice and dignity, rooting for him every step of the way.

What sets The Knights of the Cross apart is its richly detailed depiction of the era's customs, traditions, and beliefs. Sienkiewicz seamlessly integrates elements of Polish folklore, including legendary figures and superstitions, further immersing the reader in the story's vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, the author's use of descriptive language evokes a strong sense of place, allowing the reader to visualize grand castles, bucolic landscapes, and bustling medieval cities.

Sienkiewicz's prose is elegant and rich, which may occasionally pose a challenge for readers unfamiliar with the historical context. The novel's extensive cast of characters and intricate plot can sometimes make it difficult to keep track of all the storylines. However, those willing to fully invest their time in this literary journey will be handsomely rewarded.

The translator, W. S. Kuniczak, deserves special credit for masterfully capturing the essence of Sienkiewicz's writing. Kuniczak seamlessly maintains the lyrical tone of the original Polish text, allowing English-speaking readers to fully appreciate the beauty and depth of the narrative.

Overall, The Knights of the Cross is a remarkable novel that transports readers to a bygone era, immersing them in a world of honor, valor, and treachery. Henryk Sienkiewicz's masterful storytelling and meticulous attention to historical detail make this book a must-read for anyone interested in medieval history or simply looking for an enthralling adventure.

First Page:



Historical Romance


Author Of "Quo Vadis," "The Deluge," "With Fire And Sword," "Pan Michael," Etc., Etc.

Translated From The Original Polish By Samuel A. Binion

Author Of "Ancient Egypt," Etc. Translator Of "Quo Vadis," Etc.



Commissioner of Education

My Dear Doctor:

This translation, of one of the greatest novels of Poland's foremost modern writer, Henryk Sienkiewicz, I beg to dedicate to you. Apart for my high personal regard for you, my reason for selecting you among all my literary friends, is: that you are a historian and philosopher, and can therefore best appreciate works of this kind.


New York City.

To the Reader.

Here you have, gentle reader old writers always called you gentle something very much more than a novel to amuse an idle hour. To read it will be enjoyable pastime, no doubt; but the brilliant romance of the brilliant author calls upon you for some exercise of the finest sympathy and intelligence; sympathy for a glorious nation which, with only one exception, has suffered beyond all other nations; intelligence, of the sources of that unspeakable and immeasurable love and of the great things that may yet befall before those woes are atoned for and due punishment for them meted out to their guilty authors... Continue reading book >>

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