An impoverished young knight joins the First Crusade. Like most of his contemporaries, Roger has never travelled outside his county, let alone country. His fighting skills are untested. On the three-year journey, he discovers the yawning gulf between war as celebrated by the troubadours and the grisly reality of life and death on campaign. Then, in the summer of 1099, he finds himself poised to storm the citadel of Jerusalem itself.
The clash of the Two Swords, of spiritual and temporal power, rings through the 12th century. In England its most famous instance was the dispute between Henry II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, a complicated story which cannot be understood unless the backgrounds of the two antagonists are brought to life. The boyhood of the ambitious Thomas of…
‘Duggan looks upon the past with a connoisseur’s relish of villainy and violence.’ New York Times
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