The second installment of the Crusades Trilogy by Swedish author Guillou (The Road to Jerusalem, 2009, etc.).
In his native country, Guillou is well-known as a journalist and as the author of a popular series of spy novels. His Crusades Trilogy features the fictional Swedish knight Arn Magnusson. The Road to Jerusalem chronicled Arn’s youth and his forced entry into the Knights Templar as a teenager. This second installment opens with Arn in the Holy Land a decade later, circa 1177. During the next several years he takes part in major battles of the period, including the brutal Battle of Hattin, and gets to know the powerful sultan Saladin, the leader of the Muslim armies. The novel also follows the complex story of Arn’s betrothed, Cecilia, who, after becoming pregnant by Arn before marriage, was confined to a convent. The prose style is reminiscent of ancient sagas, and the battle scenes are grand.
A fine second volume in an original trilogy.