Crecy: Battle of the Five Kings
By Michael Livingston

Publisher: Osprey
Date Published: 2022

A Review by Chris Buckham

In "Crecy: Battle of the Five Kings," author Michael Livingston takes readers on a gripping journey through one of the most pivotal battles in medieval history. With meticulous research and a captivating writing style, Livingston masterfully reconstructs the Battle of Crecy, providing a vivid and detailed account of the clash between the English and French forces.

Livingston's narrative begins by setting the stage, delving into the political and military backdrop of 14th-century Europe. He skillfully navigates through the complex web of alliances, rivalries, and ambitions that shaped the events leading up to the battle. The author's ability to blend historical context with the personal stories of key figures creates a rich tapestry that engages readers from the start.

The book truly shines in its depiction of the battle itself. Livingston's descriptions are immersive and evocative, capturing the chaos and brutality of medieval warfare. From the thunderous clash of armored knights to the whistling flight of arrows, the author skillfully brings the battlefield to life, allowing readers to experience the tension and fear that gripped both sides.

One of the standout aspects of "Crecy: Battle of the Five Kings" is Livingston's attention to detail. The author's extensive research is evident in his comprehensive understanding of the weapons, tactics, and strategies employed by the opposing forces. He seamlessly blends historical accounts, primary sources, and archaeological evidence to paint a complete picture of the battle. This meticulous approach not only adds depth to the narrative but also enhances the book's credibility as a reliable historical resource.

Moreover, Livingston's exploration of the individuals involved in the conflict adds a human element to the story. By focusing on key figures such as King Edward III of England, King Philip VI of France, and the iconic English longbowmen, he provides insights into their motivations, personalities, and the impact they had on the outcome of the battle. These character-driven narratives offer a compelling contrast to the grand scale of the conflict, creating a well-rounded and engaging reading experience.

While the book excels in many areas, it occasionally becomes bogged down by excessive detail. Certain passages delve into minutiae that may overwhelm readers seeking a more streamlined narrative. Nevertheless, this level of detail will undoubtedly be appreciated by history enthusiasts who crave a more thorough examination of the battle.

In terms of structure, "Crecy: Battle of the Five Kings" is well-organized and easy to follow. The author guides readers through the chronology of events, providing clear explanations and helpful maps to aid comprehension. Additionally, the book is supplemented with stunning illustrations, photographs, and diagrams that further enhance the reading experience and aid in visualizing the battlefield.

In conclusion, Michael Livingston's "Crecy: Battle of the Five Kings" is a remarkable work that combines meticulous research, immersive storytelling, and compelling characterizations. The book provides a comprehensive and engrossing account of the Battle of Crecy, shedding light on one of the most significant conflicts of the Middle Ages. Whether you are a history aficionado or simply seeking an enthralling tale of warfare, this book is sure to captivate and educate. Livingston's expertise and passion for the subject shine through, making "Crecy" an essential addition to any history enthusiast's library.

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© 2024 Chris Buckham

* Views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent those of

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