Born and raised in America, Lawhead moved to the UK, to Oxford, in order to research into Celtic legend and history. He lives in Iffley with his wife, writer Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, and their two sons, Ross and Drake.
Undergoing an initiation into a secret brotherhood, a Scottish lawyer receives a vision from his ancestral past, reliving the epic tale of a young man's journey from Scotland to Jerusalem in search of his Crusader father. Lawhead's (Dream Thief, Zondervan, 1996) latest effort, the first in a series that combines historical fact with Christian legend, displays the author's deep convictions as well as his storytelling expertise. A good choice for most fantasy collections.
Praise for Byzantium: 'Fantasy writing doesn't get much better than this' The Express 'This is a rip-roaring adventure story; the pace rarely flags. There's scheming, murder and betrayal aplenty' Interzone 'Amusing and interesting' Locus 'A vivid historical setting and a credible and satisfying plot' Publishing News
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. (Dec.)