Book Review: Road from the West: Book I of the Chronicles of Tancred by: Rosanne Lortz

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Madison Street Publishing

Publish Date: September 2, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon 

Synopsis: A tale of Courage, Conquest, Intrigue, and Honor. You know the Knights Templar, you know Richard the Lionheart—now learn the story that started it all in the adventures of the First Crusade.

Haunted by guilt from the past and nightmares of the future, a young Norman named Tancred takes the cross and vows to be the first to free Jerusalem from the infidels. As he journeys to the Holy Land, he braves vast deserts, mortal famine, and the ever-present ambushes of the enemy Turks—but the greatest danger of all is deciding which of the Crusader lords to trust. A mysterious seer prophesies that Tancred will find great love and great sorrow on his journey, but the second seems intent on claiming him before he can find the first. Intrigues and passions grow as every battle brings the Crusaders one step closer to Jerusalem. Not all are destined to survive the perilous road from the West.

Review: The Crusades were militarized efforts to reclaim Jerusalem for the Christians, given support and credence by the Pope. However, while some men fervently believed in the cause, others were out of make the most of the battles for themselves. Tancred went to see the Pope and Pope Urban told him that his sins would be washed clean if he went on the Crusades. Mind you, Tancred had committed the sin of murder and yet the Holy Father was telling him it was okay to go out and kill more people - this time for God. Talk about a mind-bender...but Tancred became a true-believer and promised to be the first Christian on the Crusade to enter Jerusalem. His uncle, Bohemond, joined the Crusades for more worldly (and financial) reasons, as did some of the others in the groups that met up to fight against the usurpers of the Holy Land.

Road from the West captures the beginning of Tancred's journey from sinner to Crusader. Wonderfully descriptive language brings to life the characters and settings of the Crusades. From power struggles, bloody battles, treachery, and even romance, Ms. Lortz easily transports readers back over 1000 years in the past. Fantastic fiction woven through the backdrop of history will capture your attention and leave you stunned and amazed.

The Chronicles of Tancred: Road from the West (1), Flower of the Desert (2), Prince of the East (3)


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