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Lord of the Rings

Stephen Lawhead

New Book, New Series: Hood: Book One in the King Raven Trilogy - release date September 5, 2006. Read more below.

Best-selling author Stephen R. Lawhead writes Celtic and fantasy fiction from a Christian perspective.

In making that "cross-over" from the Christian market to the popular market, Lawhead has relied on his skills as a story-teller, respect for his readers of every faith, his meticulous research of ancient myths and legends, and his deep love for the traditions of Celtic Christianity.

Lawhead's books are good reads whether you love Arthurian legend, ancient Irish or Welsh myths, the stories of the Irish saints, or the intriguing grail legends of the Crusades and the Knights Templar.

Buy Books by Stephen Lawhead
Hood - Raven King Trilogy Book 1
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Hood: Book One in the King Raven Trilogy (2006)
by Stephen R. Lawhead

Lawhead reinvents the Robin Hood legends as a Welsh tale set in 1093 - a great historical setting as during this period of unrest, the Welsh were still rebelling against the Normans, who are seeking to expand and consolidate their English holdings.

In this series, Robin Hood is renamed Bran ap Brychan, a young Welsh prince who flees upon the death of this father and leads a ragtag band of his people in revolt against the Normans. Strong Christian base, showing the conflicts between Celtic and Roman Catholicism at that time.
Patrick : Son of Ireland
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Patrick
by Stephen R. Lawhead


From the back cover: "In the summer of the year AD 405, Irish raiders under the command of King Eochaid attack the western coast of Wales....Many of those who survive the attack are rounded up and carried back to Ireland. Among the survivors is a 16-year-old boy named Succat...who is sold in the slave market to a merciless ruler. When Succat is gravely punished after a foiled attempt to escape, he comes to the attention of Cormac, a novice Druid eager to practice his healing skills.

Succat learns to respect the Druid's lore and love of learning and is given a new name, Patrick, the Celtic word for nobleman. What follows is the story of Patrick's missing years--years of calamity, defeat, and crushing disappointment that form him into a bard and advisor to the High King of Ireland, and lead to the mission for which his name will be remembered throughout history." Lawhead at the top of his form - don't miss this one.
The Iron Lance
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The Celtic Crusades Series
by Stephen R. Lawhead


These books trace the quests of three generations in an Orkney family who travel in the wake of the Crusades to save and protect the greatest holy relics - the lance that pierced Christ's side, the True Cross, and the Holy Grail. Marvelously compelling portrayal of Celtic Christianity admixed with a subplot involving a secret society in opposition to the Knights Templar.

The Iron Lance (The Celtic Crusades, Book 1)(1998) - Young Murdo is left behind when his father and brothers go off to the Crusades. But soon the evil bishop has confiscated their lands and Murdo is off to find his family and bring them back to seek justice. God has other plans, though, and Murdo ends up with the Iron Lance, his promise to hide and protect it (where better than the wilds of northern Scotland), and a new faith.

The Black Rood (The Celtic Crusades, Book 2) (2000) - Duncan, Murdo's son, travels to the Holy Land to retrieve the Black Rood (a sliver of the True Cross) and bring it to safekeeping. Marvelously exciting as Duncan travels from Byzantium to imprisonment in Egypt and out again, with the help of good allies, companions, and a new romance.

The Mystic Rose (The Celtic Crusades, Book 3) (2001) - After Duncan is murdered by an evil Knight Templar, Renaud de Bracineaux, daughter Cait vows revenge. Stealing his clue to the whereabouts of a great treasure, the Mystic Rose, Cait seeks to beat him there, take the treasure and take his life. Of course, destiny takes a hand when it is discovered the Mystic Rose is the Holy Grail. Sipping from the Cup transforms Cait's life and that of her sister as well, in surprising ways. A fine ending for the trilogy.
Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead
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Byzantium (1996)
by Stephen R. Lawhead


This epic historical novel recounts the adventures of St. Aidan (long before he was a saint, of course!). Young Aidan is allowed to accompany a group of fellow monks to the great city of Byzantium to deliver a beautifully illustrated manuscript and seek help from the Emporer. On the way, Aidan is captured by Vikings, enslaved, travels all over the place, finds adventure everywhere he goes, discovers his own capacity for evil, is tempted to break his vow of chastity, and so on. More plot twists than you can shake a stick at. Fundamentally, a story about having, losing and regaining faith.

St. Aidan later founded the monastery on the Holy Isle at Lindisfarne off the eastern coast of northern England, a center for Celtic Christian renewal today.
The Paradise War
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The Song of Albion Trilogy
by Stephen R. Lawhead


Based loosely on the Irish myth of Nuada of the Silver Hand, the Song of Albion is a fascinating trilogy based on ancient Celtic legend with, naturally, Christian allegory added in.

The Paradise War: Song of Albion, Book 1 (1991) - Simon Rawnson and Lewis Gillies accidentally walk through a portal in a Scottish cairn and reappear in another world - a Celtic medieval world. Simon, ambitious and vain, follows Nudd, King of the Underworld. Lewis is transformed into the mighty warrior Llew who fights for the good and attempts to return Simon to our world before both worlds are destroyed.

The Silver Hand: Song of Albion, Book 2 (1993) - My favorite of the three, the bard Tegid takes over the narration. Llew is crowned king, but the evil Meldron strikes off his hand (in Irish myth, the king must be unblemished) and blinds Tegid. Beset on all sides, Llew eventually prevails after receiving a Silver Hand, and regains the kingdom.

The Endless Knot: Song of Albion, Book 3 (1994) - Both our world and Albion are coming undone, as the Brazen Man seeks everyone's destruction. Llew must journey to the Foul Land to defeat his enemy and save both worlds. Eventually, Llew must sacrifice his life for the sake of Albion. The Christ imagery is not what bothered me - it was the sappiness of the ending when Lewis returns to our world. For me, it went just that much enough over the top to act as a spoiler. You may well disagree.
Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead
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The Pendragon Cycle
by Stephen R. Lawhead


Lawhead bases his Arthurian fantasy series in ancient Atlantean legend and Welsh mythology, placed in time just after the fall of Rome.

In the first book of the series, Taliesin, seer and bard in ancient Welsh myth, falls in love with the Princess Charis, fleeing the destruction of her homeland, Atlantis. Eventually, they become the parents of Merlin, and we move on to Book 2.

Merlin tells the tale of Merlin's boyhood, rise to wise prophet and seer and mighty warrior, and moves the story forward to the time when Merlin becomes a king-maker. Next comes Arthur which is, naturally, the story of Arthur's upbringing and his rise to glory. These first three books tell a complete story and may be read separately - they are also the best of the series by far.

Pendragon is a tale of one war against the Vandals during Arthur's reign, and may be read on its own, or with the others for a sense of completion. Has a lot of extraneous Welsh myth.

Grail, told from Galahad's viewpoint, has Arthur and his knights fighting the evil Morgian - again, lots of great info on ancient myths and various grail stories, but with poor characterization (this is Lawhead's basic problem as a writer). The final installment of the Pendragon Cycle proper.

Avalon: The Return of King Arthur takes place in the near future, and the title says it all. Britain is without a king, the evil anti-monarchists are gleeful, but Arthur returns to save the kingdom. An interesting modern retake on the legend, worth a read.

Lawhead is not a great writer, but he is a good storyteller. What he lacks in characterization and descriptive ability is more than made up for with his rousing tales and interesting plots. He always does meticulous research and is extremely well-versed on the history and legends he uses in his books.
The Dragon King Saga - all three in one volume
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The Dragon King Trilogy
by Stephen R. Lawhead


In Stephen Lawhead's first trilogy, we follow the martial adventures and spiritual journey of Quentin, formerly a pagan acolyte, latterly a servant of the Most High. Rousing battle scenes and magical medieval goings-on. Each book may be read alone, if desired.

In the Hall of the Dragon King (1982) - Young Quentin is sent by a wounded knight with a vital message to the queen. En route, he finds allies and enemies, experiences many exciting adventures, and finds God. One of Lawhead's more engaging characters.

The Warlords of Nin (1983) - An older Quentin, recalled from his studies by the king, must help prevent Nin the Destroyer and his evil army from overrunning the kingdom. An ancient prophecy about a Priest King points to Quentin, and off he goes to find the special metal required to forge the necessary sword - the "Shining One." A terrific story.

The Sword and the Flame (1984) - Quentin is now king and must face enemies who oppose the new religion of the Most High. But Quentin undergoes a crisis of faith and falls into despair. Has the Most High abandoned him and his people? Less action and more introspection mark this final installment in the Dragon King series.