In the war-torn world of Louis IX's failed crusades, amidst the secret society called the "Knights Templar," a young warrior comes of age.
emed no thicker than a lance pole. The woman called Corba told him about Roland's climbing over the wall. The perfectus stared at the cross on Roland's chest.
Roland sensed his revulsion. "Forgive me for offending you. I had to wear this to get through to you." He dug his ragged fingernails in under the red silk and tore away the cross. The sound of ripping cloth in the quiet room made heads turn. Roland dropped the strips of silk to the floor.
"Who is that?" said Bertran d'en Marti in a voice that was soft yet carried across the room. "Does he bring news?"
Roland strode across the room before anyone could stop him and knelt at Bishop Bertran's sandaled feet. He reached for the old man's hand. It was as light and small as a bird's wing, and Roland's large fingers held it with care as he pressed his lips to the shiny knuckles. When he was growing up, Roland had often heard stories of Bishop Bertran, especially how, years ago, he had debated and won against the famous Catholic preacher Sain
The Saracen" is a sequel for "all things are light" in a way, as a character born in the later is a main character (grown up) in the "Saracen" so it continues the story, so to speak (but you don't need to read "All things are lights" first.)
I liked "All things are Lights". Not as good as "The Saracen" as I found it a lot more straightforward with clear "good guys" and "bad guys" whereas the Saracen felt more ambiguous (thereby more realistic for me).
I found some of the romance chapters a bit cheezy (How many times did the Lady have to sigh over how "tall and dark" her troubador was?). But it really nicely tied together a lot of interesting aspects of the times: crusades, cathars, trobadors, templars, King Louis, tournaments, the inqusition, etc. I found the crusading chapters with Saint Louis and Baibars the most appealing. Also interesting that the dastardly Charles of Anjou has cameos, considering the part he'll play in the "Saracen" novels.
A well-written and engaging historical account of 13th century France. Follow a dispossessed troubador and knight as he falls in love with the wife of an evil nobleman and follows King Louis on his quixotic crusade to Egypt. Heretics are burned at the stake, Saracens attack unmercifully and the Knights Templar are always lurking in the background.
This book really drew me in. Great story, great characters. Interesting background with the history. If you like historical novels, give this one a try!