The Road to Jerusalem

The Road to Jerusalem

Book - 2009 | 1st ed.
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For power. For passion. For glory. The epic story of the knights templar.

Born in 1150 to a noble family in the Kingdom of Western Gotaland, young Arn Magnusson is marked early on by a miraculous and fateful event. When the boy inexplicably recovers after falling from the parapet of his ancestral home, his mother finds herself beholden to a promise made in a moment of prayer. Arn, second-born son of Magnus Folkesson, will live his life in the service of God--sent from his family to do holy work and to prepare for a position in the priory.

At Varnhem monastery, Arn comes of age under the tutelage of Father Henri, a Cistercian monk devoted to his aristocratic pupil's education. However, grammar, math, and logic are not the only lessons: Brother Guilbert, the monastery blacksmith and former Knight Templar, finds Arn adept at training of a very different kind. Observing the boy's extraordinary talent with horse, sword, and bow, Father Henri, trusting in God's will, sends his charge into the world to fulfill a destiny that lies beyond the cloister walls.

Returning home, Arn finds his monastic habits at odds with his clan's old and tested ways. Yet his family soon discovers that Arn has learned more than poetry and farm work, and he proves himself useful at a time when he is needed most. The murder of a king has brought Western Gotaland into a whirlwind of intrigue, and cunning lords from East and West are vying for power. And, when Arn meets the lovely Cecilia, he discovers this new and dangerous world holds other surprises too. Before he can claim her hand, however, the headstrong and naive noble makes a fateful mistake that will wrench him from his love and send him to a foreign war--to the Holy Land to battle infidels for twenty years.

From the frozen landscapes of Northern Europe to the bloody battlefields of the Middle East, Arn will face brave knights, powerful queens, and treacherous kings. The first book in the international bestselling Crusades Trilogy, this thrilling epic of betrayal, faith, blood, and love sets "a Shakespearian quest for power" (Corriere della Sera, Italy) against the backdrop of the Holy Wars, witnessed through a vibrant, unorthodox lens.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061832864
Branch Call Number: GUILL
Characteristics: 399 p. : map.


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Jul 15, 2014

Love, absolutely love this trilogy.

Excellent historical fiction, military fiction,

This the first book, of the 'Crusades Trilogy' by Jan Guillou, focusses primarily on the birth, early life, and training of Arn Magnusson, the main protagonist of this trilogy. Not 'til book 2, do we move to the 'Holy land', the setting of the 1st Crusades! Enjoy

Great character development, super story telling!

Jun 06, 2014

It's an uncomplicated read. Often boring. Sometimes interesting.

The extreme naivete of Arn is not my most favorite trait in a main character. While later in the story he has a more 'in the world but not of the world' quality that stems from his religious upbringing, it wasn't enough to make up for the earlier naive innocence that annoyed me so much.

The characters had no real depth for me. They haven't been fleshed out to real people, just distant foreign historical figures thrown into a story. I did like Arn's mom, though how she magically seems to make money and be innovative with everything she does, seems a bit much at times.

The best part of the book is that the Scandinavian history is very clear. It's not just another medieval story that could technically be set anywhere, this one is very involved with it's backdrop. I think I would prefer a non-fiction work from this author though. His mix of too much fact and not enough story didn't work in this fiction setting, though I do really like the history, the location and the era.

The writing comes across as very simple, childish and choppy throughout. I'm not sure if this is from the translation alone or has been carried through from the original text.

The author has tried to create a story from medieval times, not just of medieval times and I appreciate that, but it didn't catch my imagination enough to read the next volume.

May 07, 2012

Good solid historical fiction. Great trilogy.

EuSei Jul 23, 2011

I love historical fiction, and am a voracious reader, yet couldn't go father than the first 5 pages of this book. Did I say BORING?!

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Jul 15, 2014

heydanl thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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