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The Black Rood -- Stephen Lawhead Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 02 August 2009
The Black Rood is the second book in Lawhead's Celtic Crusades trilogy. The first book, The Iron Lance followed the story of a Celtic boy named Murdo as he traveled to the Holy Land and brought back the sacred lance. In The Black Rood Murdo's son Duncan follows in his father's footsteps, in rebellion, and returns to the Holy Land. Duncan's quest is to obtain the Black Rood.
The word "rood" derives from old English and means, roughly, a rod or a pole. In the context of this book the Black Rood is a portion of the cross that Jesus was crucified on. Duncan, being a devote Christian, accepts it as his mission to go to the Holy Land and rescue the holy relic from unworthy hands.
Lawhead's story takes on the flavor of an adventure story punctuated by strange visions and tantalizingly supernatural events. They are tantalizing because it's not quite clear if what the reader just witnessed was a supernatural intervention or if it was just a figment of the character's mind. And all along the object of the quest is a curious, mysterious, and sacred relic.
It seems to be Lawhead's trademark to end each book with a dramatic bit of tension, sometimes even shocking. This book is no different. After months of travel and captivity Duncan finds himself almost at the end of his journey when everything threatens to fall apart. And in the end Duncan learns that those things he thought were the most important were not.
Throughout the story Lawhead also delivers a history lesson of the Middle East during the twelfth century. Giving insight to the tempestuous relation between the various religious and ethnic groups in the region. He also gives glimpses into dark and interesting corners of Christian church history when he ties together the clandestine meetings in the twentieth century with the events that happened hundreds of years before.
A great book and a great continuation of the Celtic Crusades trilogy.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 November 2009 )

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