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Most of Stephen Lawhead's popular historical fantasies are part of one or another of his sagas, trilogies, or cycles. For readers who enjoy big galloping yarns set in distant lands, and don't mind having their hands held by the author every step of the way, the first volume of his new Christian trilogy should hit the spot.
The framing device begins at the end of the nineteenth century, in Edinburgh, where Gordon Murray is about to be inducted into an ancient brotherhood whose secret rites involve a sacred relic: the iron lance of the title. The main narrative is set in eleventh century Orkney. When Pope Urban II calls for the retaking of Jerusalem from the infidel, the local lord, Ranulf, joins the Crusade with his elder sons, leaving behind young Murdo to oversee the family holdings. When the Church, through a nefarious scheme, confiscates the house and holdings, Murdo has no choice but to follow the Crusaders to the Holy Land and bring his father home to fix the whole mess.
Lawhead paints a vast and exotic canvas of medieval world politics, then peoples it with colorful characters--cunning Byzantine rulers, bluff Norman knights, gap-toothed, shaggy-brained Saxon peasants--who encounter visions and miracles, brutality and ambition, love and justice. At the end of the main narrative, Murdo gets what he wants but not in the ways expected. The framing narrative ends with hints that, as the world lurches towards a new millennium, Gordon Murray's Christian secret society is the world's only hope for survival, and the time nears for the brotherhood to reveal itself. --Luc Duplessis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
First let me say that this book has ZERO fantasy elements, why it's cataloged as such is a mystery (at least to me). Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2003
Despite a certain amount of scepticism on picking this one up (after all, how many 'fantasy writers' can continue to come up with the goods trilogy after trilogy?) I'm sold. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2002 by MS N J HOLT
"The Iron Lance" was my first Stephen R. Lawhead novel and it was a novel that I enjoyed all the way through. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2002 by rzaster
This book definitely did not meet my expectations.
For starters, I didn't find Murdo to be all that sympathetic a character. Read more
The Iron Lance is a real disappointment after having read Byzantium.
The book starts out by setting up Christian conspiracy that has existed since (at least) the days of the... Read more
Some say the Iron Lance is a sequel to Byzantium, but Do Not Be Deceived! You do not have to have read Buyzantium, The Pendragon Cycle, or any other of Lawhead's books to enjoy... Read morePublished on March 5 2002 by kp
My mom brought this home for me one day, knowing that I was lacking a book to read and knowing, both of us having read Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, how much of a wonderful... Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2002 by Taryn
Author Lawhead writes a story full of action, adventure, and sudden realization. The story kept me so intrigued, I couldn't wait for the next installment of the series. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2001