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Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomine Tuo da gloriam. “Not to us, O Lord, but to Your Name give glory.” This motto highlights the vows of chastity and humility taken by the Knights Templar. But, it also speaks to their role as ferocious warriors, passionately and bloodily seeking out glory for their God.

Set in the Holy Land in 1187 A.D., Cecelia Holland’s historical novel masterfully explores the conspiracies and political maneuvers leading up to the Third Crusade. Following a stunning victory at the Battle of Ramleh, Norman Templar Rannulf Fitzwilliam must negotiate a truce with the enemy and determine the order of succession to the throne of Baudouin, the young Christian king dying of leprosy. However, Rannulf’s instincts are for battle, not diplomacy. Temptation and betrayal await him around every corner. The question is not whether he can survive on the battlefield, but whether he can survive the politics and protocol of the royal court.

“Holland's masterful layering of subplots, historical detail and multiple perspectives makes for a great read.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“She brings as much suspense to political intrigue as to the sprawling battle scenes at which she excels.” —The New York Times Book Review 
Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on
ISBN: 9781497619838
List price: $5.99
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I found this novel about the medieval kingdom of Jerusalem to be dull. Medieval Jerusalem, the Crusades, and a clash between European and Islamic culture are all fascinating topics and I have the feeling that this novel could have been so much better. However, Cecelia Holland fails to develop her characters enough for the reader to have a vested interest in their fates. At the novel's dramatic conclusion, I felt little for how the characters faired. Overall, this novel was a good idea with an interesting background but poorly executed.more
Jerusalem is a story of the Knights Templar in the Holy Land in the 1180s. The story centers around Rannulf Fitzwilliam, a Norman knight who, like many of the Templars, has a Past and has come East to do penance. The story is set in and around Jerusalem and Damascus, as the King of Jerusalem struggles to keep the monarchy intact, even as the Saracens threaten to attack from without.Rannulf isn’t exactly a likeable character—I didn’t like him much, and he wasn’t much liked by his comrades. He’s stoic, almost to the point of coldness, and so he doesn’t often show emotion—and when he does, it almost seems forced. For example, take Rannulf’s attraction to Sibylla—I’m not sure that he’s in love with her so much as in lust, given his past behavior. I liked Stephen a whole lot better, struggling as he does with temptation. Actually both characters struggle with it, but Stephen’s struggle is much greater, because the waters, so to speak, are much more muddy.The tone of the book, as other readers have mentioned, is grim. There are some fantastic descriptions of the battles the Templars fight in against the Saracens (that scene at the end is one of the most suspenseful battle scenes I’ve ever read), and I always got the sense that disaster was just around the corner, both for the Templars and Jerusalem. As a reader, you really get a “you are there” feeling when you read this book—from the sweat and blood of the battle to the saddle sores, its all in there. The feelings the Christians and Muslims had towards each other are also well depicted. Although I had reservations about the main character of this book, I’d still recommend this one to anyone who’s looking for a good novel about the Crusades and the Knights Templar.more
Why didn't I like this book more? Everything seemed to be in place. The story is unusual, and the internal struggles of Rannulf Fitzwilliam, a Templar knight, was exceptional. Holland's descriptive settings gave the feeling of place and it's time.Perhaps it was that I didn't like the female protagonist, Princess Sibylla. Perhaps I have become spoiled by Bernard Cornwell's Historical Note afterwords and want to know the intersection of fact and fiction. Holland's safe "all characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or used fictitiously" did not satisfy--particularly since this is an era about which I know little.This I do know. Before I had gone too far into the book I flipped to the last page--something I rarely do. Once I got to the middle of the book, I scanned the remainder and was content to slow down only to read the passages which concerned Rannulf.more
King of Jerusalem and his sister Sybilla play large roles in this novel about the Crusades and the Crusaders. More modern than real in most of their actions, appeals to those who liked Kingdom of Heaven, but not most interested in accurate historical figures.more
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Reviews

I found this novel about the medieval kingdom of Jerusalem to be dull. Medieval Jerusalem, the Crusades, and a clash between European and Islamic culture are all fascinating topics and I have the feeling that this novel could have been so much better. However, Cecelia Holland fails to develop her characters enough for the reader to have a vested interest in their fates. At the novel's dramatic conclusion, I felt little for how the characters faired. Overall, this novel was a good idea with an interesting background but poorly executed.more
Jerusalem is a story of the Knights Templar in the Holy Land in the 1180s. The story centers around Rannulf Fitzwilliam, a Norman knight who, like many of the Templars, has a Past and has come East to do penance. The story is set in and around Jerusalem and Damascus, as the King of Jerusalem struggles to keep the monarchy intact, even as the Saracens threaten to attack from without.Rannulf isn’t exactly a likeable character—I didn’t like him much, and he wasn’t much liked by his comrades. He’s stoic, almost to the point of coldness, and so he doesn’t often show emotion—and when he does, it almost seems forced. For example, take Rannulf’s attraction to Sibylla—I’m not sure that he’s in love with her so much as in lust, given his past behavior. I liked Stephen a whole lot better, struggling as he does with temptation. Actually both characters struggle with it, but Stephen’s struggle is much greater, because the waters, so to speak, are much more muddy.The tone of the book, as other readers have mentioned, is grim. There are some fantastic descriptions of the battles the Templars fight in against the Saracens (that scene at the end is one of the most suspenseful battle scenes I’ve ever read), and I always got the sense that disaster was just around the corner, both for the Templars and Jerusalem. As a reader, you really get a “you are there” feeling when you read this book—from the sweat and blood of the battle to the saddle sores, its all in there. The feelings the Christians and Muslims had towards each other are also well depicted. Although I had reservations about the main character of this book, I’d still recommend this one to anyone who’s looking for a good novel about the Crusades and the Knights Templar.more
Why didn't I like this book more? Everything seemed to be in place. The story is unusual, and the internal struggles of Rannulf Fitzwilliam, a Templar knight, was exceptional. Holland's descriptive settings gave the feeling of place and it's time.Perhaps it was that I didn't like the female protagonist, Princess Sibylla. Perhaps I have become spoiled by Bernard Cornwell's Historical Note afterwords and want to know the intersection of fact and fiction. Holland's safe "all characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or used fictitiously" did not satisfy--particularly since this is an era about which I know little.This I do know. Before I had gone too far into the book I flipped to the last page--something I rarely do. Once I got to the middle of the book, I scanned the remainder and was content to slow down only to read the passages which concerned Rannulf.more
King of Jerusalem and his sister Sybilla play large roles in this novel about the Crusades and the Crusaders. More modern than real in most of their actions, appeals to those who liked Kingdom of Heaven, but not most interested in accurate historical figures.more
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