Birth of the Kingdom: Book Three of the Crusades Trilogy

Birth of the Kingdom: Book Three of the Crusades Trilogy

4.1 24
by Jan Guillou
     
 

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An exiled warrior determined to unite his homeland returns to face his greatest battle yet in this stirring final volume in the trilogy that began with The Road to Jerusalem—a critically acclaimed epic "destined to become a classic" (Sharon Kay Penman).

Exiled from his home and the woman he loves, Arn de Gotha became one of the fiercest and most

Overview

An exiled warrior determined to unite his homeland returns to face his greatest battle yet in this stirring final volume in the trilogy that began with The Road to Jerusalem—a critically acclaimed epic "destined to become a classic" (Sharon Kay Penman).

Exiled from his home and the woman he loves, Arn de Gotha became one of the fiercest and most feared warriors of the Knights Templar. But now that Jerusalem has been lost to the man who saved him—his longtime enemy and trusted friend Saladin—the weary nobleman, ravaged by wounds and illness, can finally return to his beloved Sweden.

During his twenty years of exile, warring clans have torn Arn's homeland apart. Determined to reunite it under the Folkung lineage and establish lasting peace, he sets off with a band of skilled craftsmen and doctors from the Holy Land whose talents and knowledge are unknown to the northern world. With the superior skills of the foreign men, Arn sets about building an estate to rival those of the most powerful in the region.

And waiting for him is his beloved Cecilia. Emerging from a convent after their unfathomably long separation, Cecilia is beset by the clan's demands that she return to monastic life, while Arn is urged to marry into a competing family, for the sake of avoiding war. Arn and Cecilia are reunited, but new obstacles have been set in their path. They can only hope to convince their clan that love ranks higher than politics, and that it can sustain a new quest: to create a new people, a new society—both Christian and Muslim, craftsmen and warriors—with Arn at its helm.

A rousing, satisfying conclusion to an unforgettable and original epic, Birth of the Kingdom tells the story of a warrior's transformative journey, and of the love that founded a nation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This disappointing final installment to Guillou's Crusades trilogy (The Road to Jerusalem, etc.) is overlong, deadly slow, and like The Road to Jerusalem, the trilogy's first book, features very little of the crusades. Instead it takes place in 12th-century Sweden as Templar knight Arn de Gotha returns to his homeland after 20 years of exile. Arn returns rich with gold and silver, and accompanied by a curious band of Christians and Muslims, soldiers, physicians, craftsmen, and builders. He intends to rebuild the fortunes and military strength of his clan and seek out his true love, Cecilia, who bore him a son and caused his exile. Arn's plans are complicated by political intrigues among clans, with rivalries, feuds, and alliances settled by honor killings, arranged marriages, false promises, and tenuous agreements. This is a vivid history loaded with detailed descriptions of society, trade, politics, customs, and folklore, but it's unfortunately light on action or suspense, with only the last pages containing any excitement, and even that is diluted with sanitized descriptions of medieval warfare. As a history lesson this is excellent; as a novel it's underwhelming. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061688638
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Series:
Crusades Trilogy Series , #3
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

Swedish-born journalist Jan Guillou is the creator of the two most successful Swedish works of fiction of all time: the Hamilton series and the Crusades Trilogy. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Stockholm.

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Birth of the Kingdom 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Two decades ago Arn was exiled from his beloved Western Gotaland (see the Road to Jerusalem). For the twenty years he was away, Arn became a proud fierce Knight Templar who fought against his friend Saladin in a losing war (see The Templar Knight). In 1192 with a plan to rebuild his Folkung Clan, affluent Arn returns home accompanied by Holy Land Christian and Muslim knights, doctors and artisans. He also hopes to find his lost love Cecilia and their daughter Alde. However, he finds his country devastated by clan combat. When he locates his Cecelia at a monastery, Arn wants to marry her, but this further divides his clan who already has doubts with the retinue he brought home with him. The final chapter of the Crusades trilogy reads more like a historical tale that discerningly showcases life in incredible depth mostly in late twelfth century Sweden, but also deftly compares local customs to that of those in Arn's Holy Land retinue. The action is muted as the detailed history rules the story line. Not for everyone even some fans who read the first two books in the epic; readers who prefer a profound sense of time and place will relish the slow paced Birth of the Kingdom. Harriet Klausner
Max42 More than 1 year ago
Really, Really good, could not put the books down.
Ignash More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing series; the entire series gives the reader an inside look at the world of the crusades and, the choatic realities of the medieval world, while creating an immense and entertaining fictional storyline. Any lover of history must read this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this trilogy. First book started slow and hard to get into. Second and third books were very good reads!
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doug-433 More than 1 year ago
The whole series was well written with a personal twist to the theme. The second in the series was better than the first and the bthird was the best.
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Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"BIRTH OF THE KINGDOM" BY JAN GUILLOU This historic tale highlights the last few years of the life of a Templar Knight named Arn Magnusson. After completing his service to God he returns to his beloved homeland to begin life anew and bring peace to all. Bringing with him craftsmen and doctors from the Holy City of Jerusalem he takes us on his journey to find his beloved Cecilia, learning about a son he has never met, and creating a new society of both Christians and Muslims. This book is the last in an epic trilogy that history lovers will not want to miss. Jan Guillou's writing is wonderful as he paints the picture of life during those times so vividly. This is one I could read again and again. -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
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JLSNM More than 1 year ago
First I must say that I did not finish reading this book. The reason is that, through the first 100 pages, I could never find a plot. Just reading about the daily life of a returned knight was too boring.