Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi (Remixed Classics #3)
Jerusalem, 1192. The Third Crusade rages on. Rahma al-Hud loyally followed her elder sister Zeena into the war over the Holy Land, but now that the Faranji invaders have gotten reinforcements from Richard the Lionheart, all she wants to do is get herself and her sister home alive.
But Zeena, a soldier of honor at heart, refuses to give up the fight while Jerusalem remains in danger of falling back into the hands of the false Queen Isabella. And so, Rahma has no choice but to take on one final mission with her sister.
On their journey to Jerusalem, Rahma and Zeena come across a motley collection of fellow travelers—including a softspoken Mongolian warrior, an eccentric Andalusian scientist, a frustratingly handsome spy with a connection to Rahma's childhood, and an unfortunate English chaplain abandoned behind enemy lines. The teens all find solace, purpose and camaraderie—as well as a healthy bit of mischief—in each other's company.
But their travels soon bring them into the orbit of Queen Isabella herself, whose plans to re-seize power in Jerusalem would only guarantee further war and strife in the Holy Land for years to come. And so it falls to the merry band of misfits to use every scrap of cunning and wit (and not a small amount of thievery) to foil the usurper queen and perhaps finally restore peace to the land.
TITLE: Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix
AUTHOR: Aminah Mae Safi
PUBLISHER: Feiwel Friends
LENGTH: 320 pages (9 hours)
AGE: Young Adult
Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Secondary Character(s).
*The Remixed Classics series is a collection of YA retellings/remixes, placing classic Western stories in new contexts. Each book is fully stand-alone and can be read in any order.
TRAVELERS ALONG THE WAY takes place during the Crusades (just as in the original Robin Hood tales), and features characters whose archetypes and circumstances are recognizable, but don’t require that similarity to be enjoyable. I like Rahma, and the generally breezy rapport between the party members. There are moment of tension, especially related to the actual war which is the whole reason Rahma and her sister are here in the first place. My favorite bit is the sequence with the Templars, and I like how the whole thing wraps up.
I enjoyed it while reading but I’m having trouble teasing out anything in particular for comment afterwards that wouldn’t be a huge spoiler. The audiobook narrator did a great job, and I’m glad this is part of the Remixed Classics collection.
Moderate CW for racism, religious bigotry, kidnapping, confinement, violence, suicidal thoughts, war.
Minor CW for sexual content, grief, islamophobia, antisemitism, slavery, cannibalism, parental death, death.