Black Rood, The (Celtic Crusades S.)

Written by Stephen R. Lawhead
Review by Michael I. Shoop

A fantasy adventure set during the time of the Crusades, this entry follows the trials and tribulations of Duncan, son of Murdo Ranulfson of Scotland, in his quest to find the Black Rood – a piece of the True Cross – and fulfill his destiny. He is accompanied by Brother Padraig, a local priest. Along the way, he meets several unusual characters, travels through foreign lands, has divine visions (including one very brutal, gruesome episode depicting the Crucifixion), becomes involved in Middle Eastern politics and battles, and returns from his adventures older and wiser. A nicely written, fast-moving blend of historical fiction and fantasy that will entertain and intrigue its readers.