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Stephen R Lawhead
The CELTIC CRUSADES
This is as exciting as Historical Fiction gets! A generations-long story involving a Scottish family looking to reclaim their stolen dynasty, set during the time of the Great Crusades. Another tale which spans the Medieval world, from the heather-strewn Highlands, to the olive groves of the Holy Land. This series is notable for the controversy it generated when it was first published with THE IRON LANCE'S uncompromising depiction of the sack of Jerusalem. So much so that hardback copies of the first edition were stickered with a warning by the publisher. Masterfully conceived and warmly received, the CELTIC CRUSADES does not disappoint.
Scotland, 1095. While his father and brothers follow Pope Urban II’s call to win Jerusalem from the infidels, Murdo Ranulfson stays behind to guard his family’s interests. But when his home is confiscated by greedy usurpers, Murdo is forced to follow the Crusades himself. Hoping to find his father and redeem his family’s land, Murdo sets off on a journey that leads him to the Mediterranean—the heart of civilization now threatened by barbarian hordes—and on to the fabled city of Constantinople and beyond, to the Holy Land. Amidst brutality and ambition, Murdo discovers what he seeks—and obtains a relic that will guide him and his descendants for centuries.
Rich in heroism, treachery, and adventure, The Iron Lance begins an epic trilogy of Scottish noble family fighting for its existence and its faith during the age of the Crusades—and of a secret society whose ceremonies will shape history for a millennium.
“INTRIGUING . . . STEEPED IN HISTORICAL DETAIL . . .”
Amazon.com Editorial Review
Most of Stephen Lawhead's popular historical fantasies are part of one or another of his sagas, trilogies, or cycles. For readers who enjoy big galloping yarns set in distant lands, and don't mind having their hands held by the author every step of the way, the first volume of his new Christian trilogy should hit the spot.
The framing device begins at the end of the nineteenth century, in Edinburgh, where Gordon Murray is about to be inducted into an ancient brotherhood whose secret rites involve a sacred relic: the iron lance of the title. The main narrative is set in eleventh century Orkney. When Pope Urban II calls for the retaking of Jerusalem from the infidel, the local lord, Ranulf, joins the Crusade with his elder sons, leaving behind young Murdo to oversee the family holdings. When the Church, through a nefarious scheme, confiscates the house and holdings, Murdo has no choice but to follow the Crusaders to the Holy Land and bring his father home to fix the whole mess.
Lawhead paints a vast and exotic canvas of medieval world politics, then peoples it with colorful characters--cunning Byzantine rulers, bluff Norman knights, gap-toothed, shaggy-brained Saxon peasants--who encounter visions and miracles, brutality and ambition, love and justice. At the end of the main narrative, Murdo gets what he wants but not in the ways expected. The framing narrative ends with hints that, as the world lurches towards a new millennium, Gordon Murray's Christian secret society is the world's only hope for survival, and the time nears for the brotherhood to reveal itself. --Luc Duplessis
In a time of legends and heroes, blood and mystery, one man will carry on his family’s destiny as he sets upon a dangerous and glorious quest.
The Great Crusade is long over, or so Duncan, son of Murdo, believes until a long-lost uncle appears from the East bearing tales of immense treasure. Though the Iron Lance had been won for the emperor, an even holier relic has been found: the Black Rood—the prayer-worn, blood-stained remnant of the True Cross—now endangered by the greedy ambitions of ruthless crusader barons bent on carving kingdoms from the desert sands of the Middle East.
When Duncan’s life is shattered by tragedy, he sets sail on his own pilgrimage to Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of his father. But the gates to the Holy Land are guarded by the warrior priests known as the Knights Templar. These fearsome guardians hold the key to more than just Duncan’s fate—the very destiny of the West is in their hands.
“LAWHEAD KNOWS HOW TO SPIN A TALE.”
“HISTORICAL DETAILS BRING THE SETTING TO ROBUST LIFE.”
A story rich in history and imagination, here is the final volume in Stephen R. Lawhead’s magnificent saga of a Scottish noble family and its divine quest during the age of the Great Crusades.
A thousand years after its disappearance, the Mystic Rose—the fabled Chalice of the Last Supper—has been found, and the warrior monks of the Knights Templar, led by the ruthless and corrupt Renaud de Bracineaux, will stop at nothing to possess it. One brave, dauntless, noblewoman stands in their way . . .
Born among the hills of Scotland, and raised on the Crusader tales of her grandfather, Murdo, and her father, Duncan, young Cait is determined to claim the Holy Cup for her own. Guided by a handful of clues gleaned from a stolen letter, Cait and a small band of knights follow a treacherous trail that leads from the shadowed halls of Saint Sophia into the heart of Moorish Spain and a world long unseen by Christian eyes. A journey whose end means victory . . . or death.
From Library Journal
After her father's murder in Jerusalem by the Templar knight Renaud de Bracineaux, Lady Caitriona vows to avenge his death but finds herself drawn instead into a perilous journey in search of a holy treasure known as the Mystic Rose. Christian fantasist Lawhead concludes his trilogy of faith and heroism with a tale of a determined young woman whose love for her father leads her to a higher calling. Together with the other books in the series (The Iron Lance, The Black Road), this historical fantasy is recommended for most collections.
“LAWHEAD KNOWS HOW TO SPIN A TALE.”
“THOSE LUSTING FOR THE TRUE PATH WILL EAT IT UP.”