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The Iron Lance (The Celtic Crusades #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,976 ratings  ·  74 reviews
In book one of the Celtic Crusades series, a Scottish boy travels to Jerusalem to try to regain his family's stolen lands, and ends up saving the relic Iron Lance that pierced Christ's side.
ebook, 656 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published June 1985)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2* of five

The Publisher Says: In the year 1095, Pope Urban II declared war on the infidel. Kings, princes, and lords throughout Europe have joined the Crusade. To Murdo Ranulfson has fallen the duty of guarding his family's interests while his father and brothers fight to win Jerusalem. But when corrupt clergy prove enemies rather than protectors, Murdo must leave his native Scotland in search of his father.

In the company of monks and warriors, he journeys far beyond the rolling fields
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Neil
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I have read it several times now; I probably read it once every other year or so [not quite once a year]. I think it has a good flow to it, overall. It was very descriptive in parts; it also helped me see the Crusades in a new light. So that was good.

The basic gist of the plot is this: a young man [Murdo] is unable to go on one of the first Crusades with his father and older brothers. Not realizing how large the world truly is, he anticipates his father and broth
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Elaine
I came to Lawhead via his much vaunted "Merlin" series. This, is quite a different series, and one in which he excels. More historical than fantasy, I am amazed that Lawhead doesn't have a wider following, as he recounts a riveting tale, populated by fascinating characters.The Celtic series spans some 1,500 pages-and if ps2+3 come up to parr with this first excellent intstallment, then I have much to look forward to, and will be reading the next 2 in quick succession-p2 starting shortly!

Two tale
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Olethros
-Ceñido a las fuentes pero con toquecitos fantásticos.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En Escocia, a comienzos de 1899, un anónimo narrador acaba de alcanzar un grado muy alto de iniciación en el Consejo de los Hermanos, sociedad secreta a la que pertenece. A finales del siglo XI, Murdo es un joven de cuna noble del Condado de las Orcadas que, junto a su madre, queda al frente de las tierras y posesiones de la familia cuando su padre y hermanos. En Levunium, el emperador bizantino A
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Katrin
today i finally finished this book and it was really good. first of all i liked the historical facts, i learned a lot with this books. i also loved that the main character is form the orkney islands. there were vikings, the varangian guard, greeks, other mediterranean people and of course asian people. how amazing it seems now that those people spent years on a crusade by ship! the book is very realistic and i love that. it is very easy to see that the church did not care about lives, some great ...more
Christine
Never having heard of Lawhead before, I picked this book up out of simple interest in the crusades, and what looked like an interesting story. I definitely was not disappointed. The book manages to spin a good tale following likable characters on a widescale adventure. Lawhead clearly excels at descriptive, almost pretty writing, and this kept the book interesting enough to start and finish the roughly 600 page book.

However, the book was over 600 pages, and definitely did not need to be. While
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Annette
I've been on a Lawhead kick lately; the "Celtic Crusades" series is another of his I've long put off reading for one reason or another. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I it. While told in third person, Lawhead avoids for the most part the "telling rather than showing" of his characters' emotions and motivations that is the bane of so many writers (and even himself in other books.) The history is fascinating, the plot compelling, and the pacing excellent - especially considering how easy i ...more
Kathy
I was reading Stark's history book on the Crusades and wanted to read an historical fiction set in that era at the same time, thus Lawhead's "The Iron Lance" made it into my Kindle. Lawhead is known for his mythical history.

I enjoyed the transformation of the main character Murdo from nonbeliever to believer, from boy to man. The tensions in this book are real to the reader; Lawhead is very good at writing action scenes. Great themes of love, family, church, government, humanity, war...

The side
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Annemarie
Dieses Buch habe ich nun schon mehrmals gelesen und immer wieder gefällt es mir.

Story:

Die Geschichte beginnt in Schottland 1096. Papst Urban II. hat die Gläubigen zum Kreuzzug aufgerufen. Drei der Kreuzfahrer sind Ranulf, ein Gutsherr auf den Orkney-Inseln und seine beiden älteren Söhne.
Murdo, der Hauptcharakter, muss alleine bei seiner Mutter bleiben und den Hof bewirtschaften.
Doch ein gieriger Bischof vertreibt ihn und seine Mutter vom Gut um sich den Besitz unter den Nagel zu reißen.

Murdo wi
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Heather
Rating B+
Review As I've found with all of Stephen Lawhead's books (my initiation into the world of Celtic mythology and the Fantasy sub-genre), this book was just a little slow on the ramp-up of the book, but, paradoxically, by the end, I couldn't read it fast enough.

The story of Murdo's travels cover a long-forgotten Scotland (with names of places that were entirely unfamiliar to me because this was a Scotland shortly after the turn of the 11th century) all the way across the Mediterranean to t
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Jane
Very enjoyable; to me one of the more engrossing books on the Crusades. Lawhead was, if not at the top of his form, very close to it. I feel that honor is reserved for his Byzantium.

Murdo, a young Orkneyman, sees his father and brothers go off on Crusade. To his disappointment, he is left home to take care of land and mother. When venal churchmen, by a trick, steal the family estate and it is now the property of a Norseman, Murdo takes ship for the Holy Land to bring his father back home. He me
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Elizabeth Hill
This is my husbands book and I started reading it as I had nothing else to read at the time. Was not expecting to get much from the book but I was mistaken. It starred off a bit slow but it didn't rake like and it had me hooked. A bit hard to believe in places but it is not supposed to be a completely factual story. I found it difficult to put it down at times. I can,t wait to read the following books in this series. Hopefully they are as captivating as this one was.
CB
“How long could it take to liberate the Holy Land from the slack grasp of a few Arabs?”

I wasn’t very far into Stephen R. Lawhead’s The Iron Lance before things started to feel a little familiar. The irony, of course, is that the book was written in 1998, well before our current Middle-East debacle.

Book I of the Celtic Crusades trilogy, The Iron Lance opens as the kings and princes of Western Europe answer the church’s call to go on crusade to the Holy Land. The book is deep in historical fiction
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Kiersten
Everyone I talked to absolutely raved about this author but hadn't read this particular series. I started this book with high hopes, but found it extremely slow, even despite my interest in Byzantine and Scottish history. I liked the characters and the settings, but the combination of Lawhead's somewhat intricate writing style with the rather bleak overall plot line made it a struggle for me to get through. I also didn't make it far enough to uncover the elements of fantasy fiction, which is my ...more
Jared Leonard
The Iron Lance, in case you aren't familiar with Catholic relics, is supposed to be the spear that was used to pierce the side of Jesus while He was on the cross. It's also called the Spear of Destiny and legend has it that the possessor of the spear is virtually invincible (of course, there are variations of its powers). During the Crusades there was an effort put forth by the Roman Church to collect the various relics associated with Christ's death. If you're interested at all in Church histor ...more
Josiah DeGraaf
Excellent story of the Crusades that excellently portrays a lot of interesting politics at that time, along with giving a well-done, though tragic, picture of what happened in the sacking of Jerusalem. The characters are sympathetic while remaining interesting and flawed.

4 stars. (Very Good)
Gail
This book moved at such a snail's pace that I totally lost interest. A big let down as I have enjoyed the Bright Empires series very much and was expecting some of the same pace and excitement. Perhaps I just didn't get far enough into it, but it became so boring I had to leave it unfinished.
Bladesct
The Iron lance is a story of the celtic Crusades. Fiction. Of how christians or in the book they are called Pilgrim's. That are called to go on a pilgrimage to come together and free jerusalem from arab's. By the early church and are told that what ever sins they make will be absolved because they are on a pilgrimage to save the holy city. They journey through rome. And as ever in the bible the romen emperor just want's to help for his own gain. While some of the family member's that are left be ...more
Matthew Fray
Another great historical adventure set around the crusades. So expect quite a few battles. The Templar element and Victorian period bookends make it almost see like fantasy.
Michael
A historical fiction story set in the First Crusade. 1000's AD. I enjoyed this story like I have all SL's books so far. A young man from goes on the Crusade to retake Jerusalem. (I was very interested in the sections on the Byzantine Empire. For some reason this gets the short treatment in history classes.) I know much of what is chronicled from the Crusades is true. Every man woman and child in a city killed. In Jerusalem, of all places. And I cannot help but think the Christian/Muslim feud tha ...more
Roslyn Lord
Hubby and I share my account he has read this
Mariana
I didn't like this book probably because in the time I read th book I was already tired of the crusade theme from school.
Tara
Favorite Quotes

We could but stand aside and watch as the manifold catastrophes of man and nature wreaked havoc great and dire upon the world. In this, I began to learn something of the heroic patience of the saints. To stand aside and watch while the worst mistakes were made again and again--and always, always to the cost of those who could least afford it--was almost more than I could take. Often was the time I sought retreat, sickened in my soul over the inhumanity rampant around me.
Stephen
This is a decent fictional look at the First Crusade through the eyes of the Celts who participated. I truly enjoyed Lawhead's interpretation. This book reminded me of Jack Whyte's Knights of the Black and White. Very well written and well researched.
David Elkin
Lawhead does a great job of blending real history with his protagonist. I enjoyed the book and plan on reading the second book in the series, the Black Rood. Hard to find locally so I will have to order from Amazon. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a good one to try out. The mixing on the mystical is pretty well done as well.
Ryan K
This book left me wanting more of a complex story line, it is good but just really straight foward. The parts of the British law assistant seemed pretty out of place and unneeded. I felt satisfied whenever I finished any parts of the other minor storyline about Emperor Alexius and later when it transferred over to the lords of the west. Would recommend it to someone who wants some history and a decent storyline.
Peter Krol
This was not Lawhead's best, but it was still interesting. I knew very little about the crusades before picking this up, so much of my interest was simply in the historical setting. Most of Lawhead's common elements are here: hero separated from his home, long journey, interaction with the religion of the day, portrayal of orthodox Christians as weenies and crooks, heretics are kind and compassionate.
Adrianna
I just happened to pick up this book and though it starts out a little slow it does get engrossing. The characters are engaging and left me feeling that I could be sitting with them as they went on crusade. The book follows the main character Murdo who happens to seek out the crusade to find his father and brothers due to a family injustice.

I do love a good historical novel.
Terri M.
While not as engrossing as some historical novels I've read, this novel was intriguing because of it's connection to the Crusades (how they were not so good) and the lineage (Scottish) of the main character to me. I would have liked more of a love story and less of a tied-up, happily-ever-after ending, it was a solid read with an engaging plot.
Jennifer
Lawhead is so great when he is writing historical fiction within the boundaries of Briton and Wales, but when he left the borders for this series it just didn't come alive for me in the way his other books do. The story is good, the concept interesting, just not as exceptional as his other books (Pendragon & Hood series especially).
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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/stephenlawhead...

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned
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More about Stephen R. Lawhead...

Other Books in the Series

The Celtic Crusades (3 books)
  • The Black Rood (The Celtic Crusades, #2)
  • The Mystic Rose (The Celtic Crusades, #3)
Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1) Hood (King Raven, #1) Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3) Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2) Scarlet (King Raven, #2)

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