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The Iron Lance (Celtic Crusades S)

Stephen Lawhead

2,455 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0002246651 / ISBN 13: 9780002246651
Published by Voyager, 1998
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Iron Lance (Celtic Crusades S)

Publisher: Voyager

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First UK Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

In the year 1095, Pope Urban II declared war on the infidel. Kings, princes, and lords throughout Europe took up the cross and joined the Crusade. It was Murdo Ranulfson's duty to guard his family's interests while his father and brothers fought to win Jerusalem. But when a greedy king and corrupt clergy charged with the protection of Orkney become its worst enemies, Murdo must undertake the pilgrimage himself. Driven to the sea, Murdo follows the Crusades in the hope of finding his father and redeeming his family's land. His epic journey leads him to the heart of the civilized world, the Mediterranean, where the Emperor Alexius struggles to fend off the barbarian hordes that would rend Christendom and engulf the world in darkness. Murdo's quest carries him to the fabled city of Constantinople and beyond to the Holy Land, guarded by the sword points of the Saracens. Amidst unimaginable brutality and ambition, he finds the man he seeks. Steeped in heroism, treachery, and the clamor of battle, The Iron Lance begins an epic trilogy of a noble Scottish family fighting for its existence and its faith during the age of the Great Crusades -- and of a secret society whose hidden ceremonies will shape history for a thousand years.

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

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