About the Book:
A tale of Courage, Conquest, Intrigue, and Honor. You’ve heard of the Knights Templar, you’ve heard of Richard the Lionheart—now learn the story that started it all with the adventures of the First Crusade.
Haunted by guilt from the past and nightmares of the future, a young Norman named Tancred takes the cross and vows to be the first to free Jerusalem from the infidels. As he journeys to the Holy Land, he braves vast deserts, mortal famine, and the ever-present ambushes of the enemy Turks—but the greatest danger of all is deciding which of the Crusader lords to trust. A mysterious seer prophesies that Tancred will find great love and great sorrow on his journey, but the second seems intent on claiming him before he can find the first. Intrigues and passions grow as every battle brings the Crusaders one step closer to Jerusalem. Not all are destined to survive the perilous road from the West.
About the Author:
“Rose” is a medieval enthusiast, a history teacher, a book addict, a mom to two baby boys, and a native of Portland, Oregon. She graduated from New St. Andrews College. in 2005 with a B. A. in Liberal Arts and Culture and worked as a high school teacher for several years teaching classes in English, history, literature, and music. She married David Spears in December of 2009 and they were blessed with twin boys, Adam and Oliver, in November of 2010. When she’s not waking up with the twins at 3am, Rose is at work on her latest book, Road from the West, a novel set during the First Crusade and scheduled to be released on September 2, 2011.
In this book of the First Crusade we meet a young, impulsive Marquis by the name of Tancred. He is fighting with his uncle, Bohemund when he realizes that he is killing fellow Christians for mercenary reasons and this does not sit will with him. He impulsively leaves that battlefield and heads to Rome to see Pope Urban. There the Pope convinces him to “take the Cross” and head out to save Jerusalem from the infidel. Tancred returns to tell his Uncle of his decision only to find that Bohemund has decided to head to Jerusalem as well. But Bohemund’s motives are far more personal and have nothing to do with helping the Pope.
I was intrigued to read in the author’s note that Tancred was a true historical figure. And once I read that little things niggled in the back of my brain and I remembered that I had heard the name before. Ms. Lortz’s characterization is fascinating and it is a rare novel of the Crusades that does not have Richard the Lionheart at its center.
I found myself drawn into the world of Tancred and his family from the very first page. While a novel of war it’s not a book that is overwrought with scenes of blood and gore. The story progresses at a fast clip with unexpected twists and turns along the way. I am hoping that Tancred matures in the next books in the trilogy. He is a young, brash, impulsive character and he is going to need to develop as time and fate come for him.
Ms. Lortz has a way with words and most definitely has a way with writing about this era in history. I am certainly looking forward to Tancred’s future as it’s written by this author.