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Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite
Born to the Sultan's concubine, Wasim ibn Baibars al-Bunduqdari was considered a lesser person, a bastard, and as such had really never been acknowledged by his father. He was, however, close to his older brother Barakah, who was destined to be the next ruler of the kingdom. The only hope Wasim's future held was to be a bodyguard to his brother Barakah, and as such he was introduced to and vigorously trained in the art of battle at a very young age; an art he skilfully mastered. Wasim's ultimate dream was to use these skills to exact revenge on those whose cruel hands had snatched his mother from her land and placed her in this shameful position. After their father's sudden death, Barakah became the Sultan as planned, but his stay in power was short-lived after his wife betrayed him and former enemies of his father overthrew him. Wasim was then forced to flee his land, leaving behind the life he knew and the two people dearest him - his mother and his brother. From the land of Islam to the land of Christianity and beyond, Wasim, now William, embarks on a new journey; and what a journey!
Lion of the Cross - Tales of a Templar Knight by T.M. Carter is a deeply engrossing tale and a thrilling read. It is an amazing historical tale that will take you across borders and beyond as you follow the amazing life story of William de Scotia, a man born and raised between the two religious worlds, each as fierce and unforgiving as the other. The story will transport you back years to a complex time in history. T.M. Carter brought the story to life with vivid and detailed scenes capable of completely drawing the reader in. At times I felt the book trod a very thin religious line, but T.M. Carter skilfully knew just how far to push it and then rein it in. At the end of the novel, all I could think about was how much things have changed since William told his story, and yet at the same time it felt like not that much has changed really.