‘The Quest for the Holy Lance’ by Andrew Latham

The year is 1191. A daring counterattack against the Saracens’ last-ditch effort to relieve the besieged city of Acre has not only saved the Christian host from a fatal defeat; it has also brought the leader of that counterattack, English Templar Michael Fitz Alan, to the attention of King Richard the Lionheart. In the days that follow, the king charges Fitz Alan with a life-or-death mission – to recover the long-lost Holy Lance, a religious relic widely believed to be responsible for the near-miraculous success of the First Crusade. The ensuing quest leads Fitz Alan and a hand-picked band of Templars on a journey deep into enemy territory, where they battle Saracens, Assassins, hostile Christians and even a traitor within their own ranks as they seek to return the Holy Lance to Christian hands and thereby ensure the success of the crusade.

I’ve always loved history, particularly the Middle Ages, so when I’ve read the premise of Quest for the Holy Lance, I knew this book was perfect for me.
When we first meet the main character in this story, Michael Fitz Alan, the Templar knight, he’s very busy fighting with Saracens. The victory that he achieved there brought him to the attention of King Richard. Fitz Alan is charged with the mission to recover the relict – Holy Lance.
The story is full of action, every battle scene is written realistically and vivid. I enjoyed the characters of Michael Fitz Alan and priest Da Ramla, as well as other Templar knights though I’d like for them to appear more in the next books. The political discussions, e.g. between King Richard and his chancellor bishop Walter, were also very interesting. I certainly learned more about the third Crusade and the siege of Acre than I learned in school. Overall I enjoyed reading Quest for the Holy Lance and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

The book is set to be released in 2015.


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