The Last Crusade

Nigel Cliff

RRP: £11.99

1 February 2013

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781848870192

RRP: £6.99

1 April 2012

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9780857897749

In 1498 a young captain sailed from Portugal, circumnavigated Africa, crossed the Indian Ocean, and discovered the sea route to the Indies, opening up access to the fabled wealth of the East. It was the longest voyage known to history; the ships were pushed to their limits, their crews were racked by storms and devastated by disease. However, the greatest enemy was neither nature nor the fear of venturing into unknown worlds. With blood-red Crusader crosses emblazoned on their sails, the explorers arrived in the heart of the Muslim East at a time when the old hostilities between Christianity and Islam had intensified. In two voyages that spanned six years, Vasco da Gama would fight a running sea battle that would ultimately change the fate of three continents.

The Last Crusade is an epic tale of spies, intrigue, and treachery; of bravado, brinkmanship, and confused – often comical collisions – between cultures encountering one another for the first time. With the world once again tipping back East, The Last Crusade offers a key to understanding age-old religious and cultural rivalries resurgent today.


A stirringly epic book...Gama's incident-rich voyage [is a] thrilling narrative
Sunday Times

This excellent book tells the story [of Vasco da Gama] with the swagger and excitement it deserves

Lively and ambitious... Cliff has a novelist's gift for depicting character... He brings sixteenth-century Portugal in all its splendor and squalor pungently to life
New York Times, 'Notable Books of the Year' 2011