Friday, 6 September 2013


The Road to Jerusalem
(The Crusades Trilogy #1)

The Road to Jerusalem - Book 1 in the Crusades Trilogy.Arn Magnusson, born into an aristocratic Swedish family, is raised in an old monastery because of an old promise made by his mother. From the start he shows the natural skill and aptitude of a born fighter, yet despite his strength he is innocent in the ways of the world. He is sent from the sheltered walls of the convent to experience something of real life. On his journeys Arn falls foul of various fighting groups, but is also delighted with the women he encounters. Seduced by one sister, he falls in love with the other and ends up sleeping with them both - a mortal sin in the medieval church. While his love is sent to a convent, Arn-s sentence is commuted to forced commitment to the cause of the Crusades, where he becomes a notable soldier and eventually a high ranking commander of the Knights Templar and both friend and enemy to the charismatic Saladin.Arn-s Story continues in the next two books: The Knight Templar and Kingdom at the End of the Road.

The Templar Knight
(The Crusades Trilogy #2)

The Templar Knight is the second in a trilogy beginning with The Road to Jerusalem, set in medieval Sweden. It has been ten years since Arn Magnusson and his beloved Cecelia were harshly penalized for prematurely consummating their anticipated marriage. Instead of wedding vows, Arn took the oaths of a Templar Knight and prepared to spend twenty years as a Crusader. Cecelia was sentenced to twenty years of penance in a convent under a vengeful abbess from a clan which, outside the convent, is battling Cecelia's for the Swedish throne. Brought up in a monastery and trained by a former Templar, Arn embraces the Crusader mission of holding Jerusalem. But despite his vow of obedience, he thinks independently. His intelligence and compassion embrace a wider vision; his years of service in Palestine give him perspective and practicality. He later comes to recognize that things are "sliding downhill" after changes in the Templar leadership. "Now in Jerusalem no prayers were permitted except by Christians, and no Saracen doctors or Jews could work for either the Templar knights or the worldly ones.... And the Knights Templar seemed to be doing whatever they could to sabotage the peace that the regent, Count Raymond, was trying his best to maintain." In Sweden, Cecelia's trials echo Arn's. She must use her wits to survive the abbess's severe penances for minor or imagined infractions, while the battle for the throne penetrates even the secluded life in the convent.

With lucid realism, The Templar Knight portrays battle strategies and the triumphs and failures of the Templars culminating in the fateful Battle of Hattin. Readers familiar with other Crusade novels will find it superior to many, but perhaps not as fresh a story as The Road to Jerusalem, although its depth of insight makes it well worth reading. For readers new to the literature of the Crusades, it offers an illuminating, unusually clear portrayal of a historical period all too relevant to the present.

Birth Of the Kingdom
(The Crusades Trilogy #3)

Arn de Gotha has become one of the most feared warriors of the Knights Templar fighting to liberate Palestine with the Crusaders.At the great battle for Jerusalem, a mammoth and bloody struggle where the Christians were finally defeated, Arn is saved from certain death by Saladin, his longtime enemy and trusted friend. Ravaged by wounds and sickness, Arn is at last granted his wish: to return at last to his homeland, it plagued by endless wars.Arn is determined to find her - the woman for whom he was exiled. He must discover if their love could endure so long a separation, and if it can sustain his new quest: the create a new people, a new society, both Christian and Muslim, both craftsmen and warriors, with Arn at its helm, fighting for peace in a savage land.A fitting conclusion to a great trilogy, a bestseller all over Europe, and now the basis for a major film.