Amidst visions of the ancient past, a Scottish lawyer glimpses the harrowing pilgrimage of an ancestor whose fight for his family's future leads him into the terrifying maelstrom of the Crusades.
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—and obtains the relic that will guide his life and the lives of his descendents for centuries.
Steeped in heroism, treachery, and clamor of battle, The Iron Lance 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.
– Dust jacket blurb from the HarperPrism/Zondervan hardcover
The Great Crusade is over and long forgotten, or so Duncan, son of Murdo, thinks—until a long-lost relative appears in the Northlands. Returning home to die, his uncle, scarred and bitter from his years in the Holy Land, bears tales of treasure beyond all imagining.
Though the holy relic of the Iron Lance had been won and left in the emperor's keeping, there is another even holier relic left to win, one that lead the Crusaders to their greatest victory before it mysteriously disappeared. Duncan's uncle claims this relic is none other than the Black Rood—the prayer-worn, blood-stained remnant of the True Cross.
The Rood and its power mean as much to the Celé Dé, the ancient faith, as to upstart Christianity. And when Duncan's life is shattered by a loss too great for any man to bear alone, he sets sail on his own pilgrimage to the East, following the steps his father, Murdo, took to Byzantium long ago. Accompanied by a disobedient vassal and a most impious monk, he follows the White Priest on a road known to few, and deadly to all but those pure of hear.
The gates to the Holy Land are guarded by a magnificent and mysterious company of warrior-priests known as the Knights Templar. These fearsome guards hold the key to more than just Duncan's fate—the very destiny of the West, from the rocky hills of Greece to the heathered moors of Caithness, is in their keeping.
Steeped in heroism, mystery, and the lure of lost treasure, The Black Rood continues the epic trilogy of a Scottish noble family during the age of the Crusades and the secret society whose hidden ceremonies continue to shape our world, even today.
– Dust jacket blurb from the EOS hardcover
While undergoing the initiation into the highest order of a secret religious society, Scottish lawyer Gordan Murray discovers the greatest treasure of all...
A thousand years after its disappearance, the Mystic Rose, which is the fabled Grail—the Chalice of the Last Supper—has been found, and the Knights Templar will stop at nothing to possess it. Led by the ruthless and corrupt Renaud de Bracineaux, the warrior monks embark on a dangerous and deceitful quest to find the Holy Cup.
Only one person stands in their way: Cait, an young woman from the windswept hills of northern Scotland. Raised on the Crusader tales of her grandfather, Murdo, and her father, Duncan, the redoubtable Cait has determined to claim the prize for her own.
The trail is long, and it is treacherous. Guided only by a handful of coded clues gleaned from a stolen letter, Cait and her small band of knights will make their way from the shadowed halls of Saint Sophia to the marble palaces of Aragon, from Constantinople to Santiago de Compostela and beyond, deep into a world unseen by Christian eyes for over four hundred years.
Thus begins a race which quicky escalates into a battle of wits, will, and might between two implacable, cunning, and resourceful foes for the possession of the most valuable object ina all Christendom: the Mystic Rose.
– Dust jacket blurb from the EOS/Zondervan hardcover