Friday, April 3, 2009

The Road To Jerusalem- Jan Guillou

The Road To Jerusalem
Jan Guillou
Harper, May 2009, $25.99
ISBN 9780061688539

In 1150 Sweden Arn Magnusson is born; the second son of an aristocratic Swedish family. While still a child, he is air lifted by a rock, which when he lands below the castle should have killed him. Instead he returns from the dead leading his parents to believe he is special especially with the hair covering his forehead from the day he was born. His parents send Arn to a monastery where the monks teach him to read and write. However former knight, Brother Guilbert becomes his mentor teaching him archery and swordplay as well as guiding him into understanding the metaphysical spiritual realm.

Arn is attracted Cecilia; especially loving her voice when she sings. However Cecilia's jealous sister Katarina seduces Arn and subsequently confesses her sin. Excommunicated for his transgressions Arn is sentenced to serve his penitence as a Knight Templar for two decades in the Holy Land.

The aptly named THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM (Arn is still in Europe by book’s end) is a fabulous historical thriller that provides a refreshing perspective on twelfth century religion and society in Sweden. Arn is a terrific lead character who holds the vivid story line together; the support cast enhances the deep look into Swedish medieval society while also propelling the plot forward. Crusades historical readers will appreciate this opening gamut and anxiously await the hero’s return hopefully in Jerusalem.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: