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By Stephen R. Lawhead

“LAWHEAD is aware how one can SPIN A TALE.”
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In a time of legends and heroes, blood and secret, one guy will keep on his family’s future as he units upon a deadly and excellent quest.

The nice campaign is lengthy over, or so Duncan, son of Murdo, believes until eventually a long-lost uncle seems from the East bearing stories of significant treasure. even though the Iron Lance have been received for the emperor, an excellent holier relic has been came upon: the Black Rood—the prayer-worn, blood-stained remnant of the genuine Cross—now endangered via the grasping goals of ruthless crusader barons bent on carving kingdoms from the barren region sands of the center East.

When Duncan’s existence is shattered by way of tragedy, he units sail on his personal pilgrimage to Jerusalem, following within the footsteps of his father. however the gates to the Holy Land are guarded by way of the warrior monks often called the Knights Templar. those fearsome guardians carry the main to greater than simply Duncan’s fate—the very future of the West is of their arms.

“HISTORICAL information convey THE surroundings TO powerful LIFE.”
Publishers Weekly

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He looked me for a time, after which acknowledged, “You were despatched to me via the Khalifa of Baghdad. ” “That is right, my lord. without doubt he imagined i might be an invaluable addition for your illustrious courtroom. ” Al-Hafiz grunted at my small test at humor. “What is your identify? ” “I am Lord Duncan of Caithness in Scotland. i'm on pilgrimage, my lord, and was once sojourning in Anazarbus whilst it was once attacked by way of Amir Ghazi. i used to be captured and brought prisoner by way of the Seljuqs. ” “Khalifa al-Mutarshid says that you're a secret agent and a traitor to Islam. He has condemned you to dying. ” Then, with a dismissive wave of his hand, he extra, “I see no cause to change his judgment. ” Addressing the guards, he stated, “This one is to be accomplished straight away. Take him away. ” because the guards progressed and grasped me via the palms, al-Hafiz demanded, “Have you not anything to assert? ” putting myself firmly within the palm of the fast yes Hand, I answered, “No, my lord. All is because the nice King decrees. ” The guards seized me, grew to become me round, and led me from the corridor. Wazim, padding alongside in the back of, distraught, muttered platitudes of convenience below his breath. I paid him no heed, for i used to be accumulating my braveness to stand the headsman’s awl. We reached the nice ebony doorways and halted whereas they have been opened by means of blue-robed porters. From the throne at the back of us the caliph known as, “Infidel, who did you suggest? ” The guards halted, and that i was once hauled round to stand the caliph. “My lord? ” Lifting his hand from his lap, he motioned the guards to convey me ahead of him once again. “You noted the nice king simply now. Who did you suggest? ” “I intended our lord god, Ruler of Heaven and Earth, Shaper of future, Architect of the a while, and Champion of the devoted. ” those final have been titles the Muhammedans used for the Almighty, and which any Christian espouse in all solid religion. The caliph’s darkish eyes grew narrow—whether with anger or mistrust, i couldn't inform. “There is yet one God,” he declared, thrusting an extended finger into the air above his head. “Allah is One. ” “That is so, my lord,” I acknowledged, bowing my head in reverence. “There isn't any god yet God on my own. ” The frown reappeared upon his darkish, wrinkled face. “What have you learnt of such issues? ” “Very little, my lord. i'm yet an easy pilgrim—” “So you've said,” he snapped. “But now not as simple as you're making out, i believe. ” Frowning furiously, he leaned ahead, chin in hand, and glared as though attempting to come to a decision what to do with me. ultimately, he stated, “Do you deny you're a Christian? ” “No, lord,” I spoke back. “I am a Christian. along with your permission, i'd in simple terms indicate that i've got not anything to do with both Rome or Byzantium. Neither pope nor emperor carry authority over me. ” This shocked him. And, unusually, his shock gratified him. It used to be as though he had suspected whatever inquisitive about me, and now his suspicion used to be rewarded. The frown vanished immediately, and he seemed me with an expression of cautious curiosity. “So! You, too, are an Armenian. we all know of those Christians. ” “I beg your pardon, ideal Khalifa,” I responded, “but neither am I an Armenian.

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