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The Road to Jerusalem
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The epic story of one man's fight for his love, his God and his Country The Road to Jerusalem - Book 1 in the Crusades Trilogy. Arn Magnusson, born into an arsitocratic Swedish family, is raised in an old monastry because of an old promise made by his mother. From the start he shows the natural skill and aptitude of a born fighter, yet despite his strength he is innocent in the ways of the world. He is sent from the sheltered walls of the convent to experience something of real life. On his journeys Arn falls foul of various fighting groups, but is also delighted with the women he encounters. Seduced by one sister, he falls in love with the other and ends up sleeping with them both - a mortal sin in the medieval church. While his love is sent to a convent, Arn's sentence is commuted to forced commitment to the cause of the Crusades, where he becomes a notable soldier and eventually a high ranking commander of the Knights Templar and both friend and enemy to the charismatic Saladin. Arn's Story continues in the next two books: The Knight Templar and Kingdom at the End of the Road. Lead title / Jan Guillou is one of Sweden's foremost journalists and successfull authors / The three books of the Crusader Trilogy have sold more than 2.5 million copies in Sweden alone / The two films which are based on the three books opened in Sweden at the end of last year, grossing more than Lord of the Rings / The english version has been edited into one film and opens here in November 2008 (tbc) / Major marketing and publicity around the film

About the Author

Jan Oscar Sverre Lucien Henri Guillou was born in Sweden in January 1944. He made his name as a journalist and rose to fame when he exposed a secret intelligence organisation, was convicted of espionage and spent 10 months in prison, 5 of which were spent in solitary confinement. He is now a bestselling novelist and writes regularly for Sweden's leading tabloid, commenting on current affaris.

Reviews

Adult/High School-This novel not only tells one man's story, but Sweden's as well. Christianity was still a new religion to this region in the 1100s, and it is through the protagonist's experiences that readers see how cultures clash, merge, and change. Saved from certain death by the grace of God and the promise of his mother to give him to the Church, young Arn Magnusson is sent to be raised by the monks of Varnhem. He is taught all the monastic skills and learns archery, swordplay, and horsemanship. His exceptional talent in all of these areas makes it clear that Arn's vocation lies outside the monastery. And so he is sent home. Right from the start he falls prey to the greed, lust, and politics of common people. Every action he takes directs his destiny and creates the circumstances that force him and his true love, Cecilia, into 20 years of penance and sets him literally on the road to Jerusalem as a Knights Templar. The politics are challenging and tribal life is described within the context of its time. Offer this book to students who are interested in big, fat historical novels, who like to ponder big ideas, for whom discussions about Christian theology would be intriguing, or who are interested in military fiction and strategy. The Swedish names can be confusing, but the maps, plus the list of characters, help to sort things out.-Connie Williams, Kenilworth Jr. High, Petaluma, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Guillou has enjoyed smashing success in Sweden and Europe with his Crusades Trilogy, but American readers may be disappointed in this slow-starting first volume, which, for all its complexity and intriguing premise, doesn't get anywhere near the Holy Land. The epic kicks off in 1150 Sweden with the birth of Arn Magnusson, the second son of a minor nobleman. Arn is sent to a cloister where monks teach him to read, write and work hard. But Brother Guilbert, a former Knight Templar who fought in the crusades, also teaches Arn horsemanship, archery and swordplay. During Arn's training, his family is involved with court intrigues, treachery and war. Arn, meanwhile, commits cardinal sins and is excommunicated and ordered to serve as a Knight Templar. However, by the book's close, he's no closer to Jerusalem than he was when he was born (though a lot of colorful medieval Swedish history has been presented). Perhaps the next two volumes will be more focused and exciting. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

`He has a remarkable grasp of the mindset of the period and always puts the emphasis where it would be for the people involved at hat time, rather than ours. Some readers may find that disorienting, but a capacity for disturbing readers' assumptions is even more a hallmark of good historical fiction than the inclusion of the Knights Templar'
Diana Gabaldon

'Thrilling and inspiring, bloody and romantic; utterly of its time and utterly modern'
Tom Holland

'Destined to become a classic, a brilliant and dramatic recreation of the medieval world' Sharon Penman

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