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The Iron Lance (Celtic Crusades #1) [Paperback]

By Stephen R. Lawhead (Author) & Steve Lawhead (Author)
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Item description for The Iron Lance (Celtic Crusades #1) by Stephen R. Lawhead & Steve Lawhead...

The first in a new Celtic Crusades trilogy, "The Iron Lance" traces the adventures of a young man and his discovery of a priceless religious relic.

Publishers Description
In the year 1095, Pope Urban II declared war on the infidel. Kings, princes, and lords throughout Europe took up the cross and joined the Crusade. It was Murdo Ranulfson's duty to guard his family's interests, while his father and brothers fought to win Jerusalem. But, when a greedy king and corrupt clergy charged with the protection of Orkney become its worst enemies, Murdo must undertake the pilgrimage himself. Driven to the sea, Murdo follows the Crusades in the hope of finding his father and redeeming his family's land. His epic journey leads him to the heart of the civilized world, the Mediterranean, where the Emperor Alexius struggles to fend off the barbarian hordes that would rend Christendom and engulf the world in darkness. Murdo's quest carries him to the fabled city of Constantinople and beyond to the Holy Land, guarded by the sword points of the Saracens. Amidst unimaginable brutality and ambition, he finds the man he seeks. begins an epic trilogy of a noble Scottish family fighting for its existence and its faith during the age of the Great Crusades - and of a secret society, whose hidden ceremonies will shape history for a thousand years.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Iron Lance (Celtic Crusades #1) by Stephen R. Lawhead & Steve Lawhead has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Ingram Advance - 06/01/1999 page 85

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages   512
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.52" Height: 1.29"
Weight:   1.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1999
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
Edition  US  
Series  Celtic Crusades  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  0310217822  
ISBN13  9780310217824  
UPC  025986217822  

Availability  0 units.

More About Stephen R. Lawhead & Steve Lawhead

Stephen R. Lawhead Stephen Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. His early life was lived in America where he earned a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological seminary for two years.

His first professional writing was done at Campus Life magazine in Chicago, where he was an editor and staff writer. During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of articles and several non-fiction books.

After a brief and unsuccessful foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he launched his free-lance career in 1981. In the Hall of the Dragon King was his first novel.

In 1986 the Lawhead family moved to Britain so that Stephen could conduct research for the PENDRAGON CYCLE books. They settled there permanently in 1990, with some years spent living in Austria and a sabbatical in the United States.

In addition to his twenty-four novels, he has written nine children's books, many of them originally offered to his two sons, Drake and Ross. He is married to Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, with whom he has collaborated on books and articles. They make their home in Oxford, England.

Stephen's non-fiction, fiction and children's titles have variously been published in twenty-four foreign languages. He has won numerous industry awards, and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Nebraska.

Stephen R. Lawhead has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bright Empires
  2. Pendragon Cycle (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Historical

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about Iron Lance?

Celtic Lore As It Should Be Told  Aug 24, 2005
Stephen Lawhead, long known for his tales of middle earth and refrence to actual history sheds refreshing light on the way the ACTUAL crussades probably were. The portrayal of a corrupt Roman orthodox is, in this day and age, sadly accurate and revealing. He does not glorify the brutality of war but instead shows that these things of our human history did happen...and to everyday people of the age. He shows how a person can surmout the impossible and grow as a creature created for a purpose.
If you like crusades you'll love this book   Jul 4, 2005
It's the first book in the Celtic Crusades series and is the first set of Lawhead books I read. I have lots of friends who have read his other stuff and I just happened to find these books available on sale so I bought the set and enjoyed it quite well.

I am one of those people who is finding Lawhead a little later in his career. This is the second book of his I have read - I missed the books surrounding Arthur and others he wrote earlier in his career. I read his novel about Patrick last year and it was pretty good, but it didn't make me a committed fan of his. After reading this one I am much more of a fan.

The story centers around the Crusade of the late 1000's and 1100's. The central character is Murdo Ranulfson, who wants to join the crusade but is too young. His father and brothers go on the crusade but he is unable to and it grates on his terribly. While his father and brothers are gone, his family is the victim of the treachery of some unscrupulous churchmen, and they lose their estate. This sets Murdo on a course of action where he journeys to the Holy Land to try to find his father, in order to bring him back to claim his lands.

On this journey to and from the Holy Land, Murdo grows from a precocious boy into a man of strength and character. As he makes his way across the sea and to his father he has many adventures which shape his character. He is befriended by Celtic monks who help guide and care for him and who show him the way of the True Path.

There are many reasons I liked this story - this is a "Christian" book by a "Christian author" with many Christian themes. But, the characters are not your stereotypical characters that are found in so much Christian fiction. There is a wonderful conversion scene involving Murdo but it is done in a very believable way. We see Murdo's struggles along the way, and he doesn't become a saint nor does this conversion scene wipe away all of his troubles. Instead, a very real and human person struggles along in his faith in a very harsh and brutal time of history.

Speaking of harsh and brutal, there are some scenes of pretty explicit violence. I usually don't get emotionally affected, but in one scene in Jerusalem the brutality took my breath away. This is a vivid picture of man's inhumanity to man, and it is all the more stark in view of the fact that much of this is committed in the name of Christ.

Lawhead doesn't really theorize on the morality of the crusades -he simply tells the story. To my mind, the story shows the futility of the crusades and the sinfulness of the whole project. But the real story in this is the transformation of Murdo.

not bad   Feb 21, 2005
Are you interested in the crusades? Do you enjoy stories that have to do with scotland, norway, ireland? Do you appreciate solid writing? If so, then this book may be of interest. After all, the crusades are the backdrop, the main character is from scotland, and the writing is solid.

That being said, there is nothing particularly special about this book. As I said, the writing is solid, not spectacular. The characters are passable, but in a week you will not remember anything about them. In my opinion, the spirituality / theology aspects are weak and distract instead of enliven.

However, if you are looking for something to read, then why not? The book is worth the money and you will not feel as if you have wasted your time.
Fans of the Crusades will enjoy this book  Feb 7, 2005
This is a story full of adventure that will keep you going all the way. It's entertaining, it's instructive and most of all, it's orginal. Nice to see the involvement of the men from Orkney in the Crusades. Same goes for the Norsemen. There are some endearing characters in this book as well as some interesting twists. In all, a different look at a very documented time in history, the Crusades, which atmosphere and horror are well detailed in this book.
Brilliant story set in the First Crusade  Feb 4, 2005
Lawhead tells the story of Murdo Ranulfson, a Dane from the Orkney islands, who finds himself thrown into the first crusade.

His story is told hundreds of years later by a member of a secret organisation to whom the Freemasons are children playing with toys.

Having read Byzantium by the same author, it is easy to see that he has a love of Celtic Monks, Vikings and Constantinople. This book, the first in a series of three, gives Lawhead free rain to exploit his vast knowledge of all these elements.

It is a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the first crusade. Historically this is a very accurate account of events, and I could find no discrepancies with the "Short History of the Crusades" by Reilly Smith.

But best of all, this reads like a good fantasy saga, complete with fortunes in gold, magnaminious kings, a holy lance and plenty of swashbuckling fun. I can't wait to read the next volume.

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