Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include the first two books of the Celtic Crusades, The Iron Lance and The Black Rood, Byzantium the Pendragon Cycle, The Song of Albion, and Dragon King trilogies, as well as the science fiction novels, Empyrion I and II and Dream Thief.
Lawhead, a prolific writer of historical novels, ably captures the colorful swirl of Crusader-era Byzantium and Spain in this final installment in his latest trilogy (The Iron Lance; The Black Rood). In Constantinople on a trip to the Holy Land, where her Scottish family has battled Saracen invaders for two generations, Celtic beauty Caitr!ona is desolate when her father is stabbed to death in the crowded cathedral of Ayia Sophia by unscrupulous Templar Renaud de Bracineaux. Eager to seek revenge, Cait steals a letter from Renaud disclosing the whereabouts of the Holy Grail, called the Mystic Rose, and sets off in her father's ship for Spain, with the Templars in hot pursuit. Romanced on the Iberian peninsula by a handsome Moorish prince, a Valentino clone lacking only a desert and a blue lens filter, Cait finds the Grail and defeats the Templars with the help of her faithful Norse sailors and the prince's men. Otherwise conventional, this historical potboiler takes an unexpected turn at its conclusion, when Cait sips "a darkly gleaming crimson liquid" from the Grail and has a vision of a da Vinci-like "Passover Feast." Blessed in the vision by a young man named Yeshua, she emerges bearing stigmata and is charged with making a distinct career change. The action drags in places, and an unnecessary early 20th-century subplot is wrapped up after the climax, but Lawhead's robust characterizations and vivid descriptions of exotic locales should satisfy fans. (Oct. 10) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
After her father's murder in Jerusalem by the Templar knight Renaud de Bracineaux, Lady Caitriona vows to avenge his death but finds herself drawn instead into a perilous journey in search of a holy treasure known as the Mystic Rose. Christian fantasist Lawhead concludes his trilogy of faith and heroism with a tale of a determined young woman whose love for her father leads her to a higher calling. Together with the other books in the series (The Iron Lance, The Black Road), this historical fantasy is recommended for most collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.