I should have read this book years ago but never found a copy, and didn't want to read it on my ereader or computer because it was so long. I finally found a paperback copy and nearly devoured it. I would have finished it in about two weeks but I caught a bad flu which put me behind on reading.
The story is hard for me to summarize. There was a lot going on in it and I have had trouble picking out the main points. It was really just a wild adventure with a cast of unforgettable, legendary characters. They were the part I loved best. Not that I disliked the plot. It was good, full of battles and jousts. After all, who doesn't love a good joust? And a good battle, even though most of the battle was seen from Rebecca's view point as she stayed at the window to report everything to Ivanhoe.
Though the book is called Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe himself spends part of it unconscious. Still, I loved him. He was one of those bold heroes which should be in books - though he did have Jewish issues like everyone else.
Robin Hood made an appearance, though he went by Locksley. I have always loved Robin Hood and wasn't disappointed by his portrayal in Ivanhoe. He reminded me a lot about Howard Pyle's Hood - one of my favourite retellings of him.
The Black Knight, full of mystery. The man who ever reveals his face until the end, but is someone who you know will fight for what is good and honorable. He helps invade the castle where Ivanhoe, Rebecca, Isaacc, and Rowena are held captive. (Cedric was there too, but let's face it, Cedric is only held captive when he wants to be, and he didn't want to be, so therefore he wasn't.) The Black Knight's attack on the castle was my favourite.
Rowena, Ivanhoe's true love. I didn't think I'd like her, because usually the true love is hardly in the story, faints, or whines. Or some other thing. Not Rowena. She was sweet and brave and I adored her. Especially near the end.
All of the characters - or at least most of them - are fun and gallant. The story is full of medieval heroes, the kind which should appear in jousting stories. (Also, it has Wamba!) Men who fought for justice and the honor of others. Definitely worth reading.