The Iron Lance

Stephen R. Lawhead, Author Eos $24 (499p) ISBN 978-0-06-105032-9
This massive historical-fantasy novel about the First Crusade begins a family-saga trilogy recounting the story of a mysterious mystical order founded upon the discovery of the spear that pierced Christ's side as he hung on the cross. The narrative is framed as a series of visions by a Victorian Scots lawyer, who begins by seeing his ancestors leaving the Orkneys on the Crusade, except for the youngest brother, Murdo, who remains behind to watch the family holdings. When fraudulent clerics take those lands, Murdo attempts to rejoin his family. In describing the young man's journey to the Holy Land, Lawhead displays considerable historical scholarship, some talent for depicting picaresque adventures and verbiage in such excess that the emotional impact of the climax--the discovery of the lance--is diminished. Lawhead is known for his ability to combine Arthurian and Christian fantasy, as in his Pendragon Cycle, blending disparate elements into engaging if frequently overlong tales. But here the historian overwhelms the storyteller. The novel fails to meet Lawhead's usual standard, let alone that of other time-binding fantasies such as the novels of Diana Gabaldon. Agency, William Morris. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 656 pages - 978-0-06-174524-9
Open Ebook - 656 pages - 978-0-06-114401-1
Paperback - 498 pages - 978-0-310-21782-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 656 pages - 978-0-06-114399-1
Ebook - 656 pages - 978-0-06-134421-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 656 pages - 978-0-06-105109-8
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