Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Kamran Pasha seems to capture the essence and life blood of the people during that period in history with piercing clarity. The plot unravels a little at a time and keeps the readers turning pages to see what will happen next. Mr. Pasha’s writing style is eloquent and detailed. Descriptions of places these characters travelled made the reader feel as if you were there with them. For instance, Mr. Pasha’s words created a vision whereby you could literally experience the heat from the sun and taste the long awaited water as it ran down your throat after crossing the dessert, or smell the stench of battle and disease as the characters fought their way into new territory, or linger in the sweet residue of a gentle kiss between lovers.
The main story line is about differing kingdoms clashing over acquiring more land to reign over and pressing their religion as the “one”. Contrary to what some may think, Islam is not the frenetic, erratic, terror plotting, blood thirsty religion it has been made out to be by some in the media. The basic teachings of the Quaran are of peace, diplomacy, and understanding: as were the tenants of other religions that have been misinterpreted by fanatics throughout the history of the world.
Basically the Knights Templar, under direction of King Richard the Lionheart and his counterpart, Conrad, meet up Saladin, the ruler of Islam for a fight like all before. Courage and bravery are in no short supply, on or off the battle field. There are religious undertones that hint at the plight of the Jews during this tumultuous time and three of the main characters are displaced Jews who have managed to get in pretty tight with Saladin and as such are largely under his protection. As the plot moves forward high profile prisoners are captured, exchanged, and sometimes killed. Lessons are learned by all.
This book offers a little something for everyone: war, love, deceit, betrayal, extensive travel, conquests, disease and pestilence, multiple languages and religions all wrapped up in the fight, friendships won and lost, and more. Mr. Pasha has done a marvelous job of spinning a very believable tale that borders on actual history from those times. His characters are complex, shrouded in mystery, and intelligent beyond their years. I found some endearing and some too awful for words. I loved the ending and would highly recommend reading this wonderfully moving and totally engaging book. Thank you Kamran Pasha for a great read!