The characters are likeable, but the plot is rather drawn out.
Excellent read, very well done.
I enjoyed reading this book so much that I have requested the 'The Mystic Rose' on my wish list. I'm adding Stephen Lawhead as a new favorite author. If you like to read about the great crusade then you will enjoy this book along with the 'The Iron Lance'.
The Celtic Crusades is a trilogy of stories about a noble Scottish family whose successive generations venture to the Holy Land at the time of the Crusades to retrieve sacred relics. In the first book, The Iron Lance, Murdo Ranulfson went to Jerusalem and brought back the iron lance used at the crucifixion. Now Duncan, Murdo's son, must find and preserve the Black Rood--a piece of the true cross. As in The Iron Lance, the main narrative is framed by the memoirs of Gordon Murray, nineteenth century scion of the ancient Scottish clan and member of a Christian secret society whose mission is to bring the world back to the true path.
This middle volume follows a format familiar to fantasy readers: an unformed youth leaves home to find himself and fulfill his destiny. In his travels through distant and dangerous lands, our hero rescues and is rescued by a series of quirky characters who join his quest, encountering divine visions, politics in the court of the Caliph, and cult assassins. He returns from his adventures older and wiser, triumphantly clutching the Black Rood, and accompanied, as an added bonus, by a new and beautiful wife.
Lawhead sprinkles his tale with delicious hints about revelations regarding the potential offspring of Jesus, which, if expanded upon in the final volume, threaten to elevate this fiction from competent to genuinely intriguing.