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 . . .”
This massive historical-fantasy novel about the First Crusade begins a family-saga trilogy recounting the story of a mysterious mystical order founded upon the discovery of the spear that pierced Christ's side as he hung on the cross. The narrative is framed as a series of visions by a Victorian Scots lawyer, who begins by seeing his ancestors leaving the Orkneys on the Crusade, except for the youngest brother, Murdo, who remains behind to watch the family holdings. When fraudulent clerics take those lands, Murdo attempts to rejoin his family. In describing the young man's journey to the Holy Land, Lawhead displays considerable historical scholarship, some talent for depicting picaresque adventures and verbiage in such excess that the emotional impact of the climax--the discovery of the lance--is diminished. Lawhead is known for his ability to combine Arthurian and Christian fantasy, as in his Pendragon Cycle, blending disparate elements into engaging if frequently overlong tales. But here the historian overwhelms the storyteller. The novel fails to meet Lawhead's usual standard, let alone that of other time-binding fantasies such as the novels of Diana Gabaldon. Agency, William Morris.