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A Lança de Ferro (The Celtic Crusades #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,330 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Most of Stephen Lawhead's popular historical fantasies are part of one or another of his sagas, trilogies, or cycles. For readers who enjoy big galloping yarns set in distant lands, and don't mind having their hands held by the author every step of the way, the first volume of his new Christian trilogy should hit the spot.

The framing device begins at the end of the ninete

Capa Mole
Published 1998 by Bertrand Editora (first published June 1985)
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Richard Derus
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
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
I wasn't quite expecting the Knights Templar side story, but it was an interesting story of the Crusades. However, it is so, so, so very Protestant and therefore, the author doesn't always quite have his arms around Catholic piety (I'm pretty sure Lent was observed by this time in the West), the sacraments, and the heroes have an interesting ability to be schismatic.
I have the second of this series around and will probably read it.
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
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Big thank you to Adam, for recommending a book with my name in the title!
It was really interesting to read a post-grimdark fantasy series in 2016. I could feel the ideas evolving towards a bleaker world-view through the depictions of graphic violence against civilians and the flagrant self-interest of the highest ranking noblemen, although Bohemond and Dalassenus still came over as extremely charismatic figures. It was interesting to contrast this with the major plot resolution which upheld king
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
-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
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
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo primo romanzo della saga delle Crociate Celtiche, ambientato al tempo della I crociata e della riconquista dei cristiani guidati da Goffredo di Buglione di Gerusalemme fino allora dominio dei Selgiuchidi mussulmani, è avvincente e avventuroso al punto giusto e mi spinge a prendere al più presto in mano il seguito delle avventure di Murdo, il giovane signore delle Orcadi che ha partecipato alla crociata ed ora è tornato in patria pronto a costruirsi un regno come vassallo del re Magnus di ...more
The Nerd Book Review
I have to admit I read his book around 2000 and remember very little other than that I really enjoyed all 3 books in the trilogy and it was about several generations of k Igor’s fighting in the crusades. There was also a bit of a supernatural element in it. I was reading a book recently that reminded me a bit of a series I read back in high school and after a bit of research I remembered this was the series I was thinking of haha.
Marcia Chocinsky
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcia by: Frank
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, series
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
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
Jack Vasen
This is what I like best about Lawhead - real history mixed in with a fictional story.
Our unknown hero sets out on a personal quest in the midst of the first Crusade. His father has gone on the Crusade and our hero seeks to bring his father home to help obtain justice for his family and so he must follow him there. It is an interesting adventure with some quirky monks thrown in to lighten the story.
Lawhead seems to indict the 11th century church, the nobles and princes, and the horrors of war.
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch habe ich nun schon mehrmals gelesen und immer wieder gefällt es mir.


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
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Jared Leonard
Apr 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
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
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
Mar 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ryan K
Oct 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elizabeth Hill
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Peter Krol
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Laura Ribeiro
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the way the author described the Crusades...the violence inherent to those who make war for the wrong reasons under the veil of religion, and how Murdo resists doing the same although he had plenty of opportunities. He sticks to his values and embraces them....being rewarded in the end.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Taylor
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story and horror of the crusades from the eyes of a young Celtic lad. Murdro has his own agenda and fulfills it in a way her had had not foreseen.

Lawhead has a way with the times. I admit I sometimes skips over his narrative to hit the high points. I know I did near the end of the book to see what happened.
Mar 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Generally speaking, I take issue with the Crusades, but I thought that since I liked Lawhead so much (especially the Pendragon cycle) I would give this book a try.

No matter how good the author, I still can't get past the idea of sacking a city which was sacred not only to the supposed infidels but also to the invaders.
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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:

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