Schism (Crusader Chronicles) (Volume 5)

 
9781518850622: Schism (Crusader Chronicles) (Volume 5)
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As the thirteenth century progressed the military orders were often embroiled in the struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Emperors. The Popes, the spiritual leaders of Christendom, demanded obedience from the rulers of Europe, which was seldom granted. Indeed emperors such as Frederick II, a man of great learning and ambition, was frequently at odds with the Papacy and was not above making war against Pope Gregory IX when pressed. For his sedition he was excommunicated four times. It was inevitable that the Sword Brothers, who had created their own kingdom in the Baltic and were far from Rome, should be drawn into this rivalry because the Pope was eager to ensure that his military orders gave him unquestioning loyalty. For the castellans of the Sword Brothers, men who were not courtiers but warlords, this often proved difficult, especially when the Pope sent ambassadors to interfere in their affairs. A new Papal Legate has come to Livonia but he is no friend of Conrad Wolff or the Sword Brothers. Grave charges are levelled against the commander of the Army of the Wolf, leading to a series of events that threatens to rip apart the crusader state in the Baltic. For Conrad these are strange times as former enemies become allies and erstwhile allies seek to take advantage of Livonia’s weaknesses to further their own ends. This, the penultimate volume in the Crusader Chronicles series, sees Conrad fighting for his life and the Sword Brothers battling for their very existence against a backdrop of intrigue, international politics and betrayal.

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About the Author:

I was raised in Grantham, Lincolnshire and attended the King's Grammar School after passing the Eleven Plus exam. In the latter I clearly remember writing an essay on Oliver Cromwell – my first piece of military writing. Then came a BA in history and international relations at Nottingham followed by a Master of Philosophy course at the University of York. The subject was the generalship and cavalry of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, my boyhood hero, during the English Civil War. The year I spent researching and writing at York, Oxford and at the British Library in London was a truly wonderful time. However, like all great times it eventually came to an end and I was forced to find employment. By this time I was living in London and started work at the London Borough of Haringey. It was hell, but it did allow me to finish my thesis. Then fate took a hand and I landed a job as a research officer with the Defence Intelligence Staff in Whitehall. Writing top-secret intelligence reports was highly exciting, until I realised that their security clearance was so high that only a handful of people were cleared to read them. In 1990, therefore, I decided to apply for a job in the publishing industry as an editor. I joined a small company in said position in the summer of that year and the rest, as they say, is history. I also write under the pen name Steve Crawford, though not every book that has Steve Crawford on the cover is one of mine.

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