Author: Sir Walter Scott
Length: 500 pages (the edition Word Nerd read had bigger type and several plates of pictures)
Plot Basics: Religion crosses with the politics of old England as Brian de Bois-Guilbert, a Knight Templar and supporter of Prince John who is trying to take over the throne of England, becomes enthralled with Rebecca, a beautiful Jewess. When she is tried by the Templar Order as a witch, it is Wilfred of Ivanhoe -- a supporter of the missing King Richard the Lionheart -- recently returned from the Crusades who comes to her aid.
Banter Points: It's a little odd reviewing a classic, but Ivanhoe was thoroughly enjoyable. Unlike some other classic novels, it doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary details.
Bummer Points: The book is full of high-falutin' language and "thees" and "thous." Every now and then, some of the sentences seem backwards because of it.
Word Nerd recommendation: It's a great classic and a story Word Nerd is glad she tackled in its original form, after growing up with the movie. If you'd rather discover this enchanting story without all the thee/thou language, find a copy of the 1982 made-for-TV movie version with Anthony Andrews as Ivanhoe, Sam Neill as Brian de Bois-Guilbert and Olivia Hussey as Rebecca.