There’s nothing new about holy war. The language of the Crusades is echoed in the news of today. You can hear it in Savior, a work of historical fiction that looks both at holy war and depression through the mirror of the 13th century.
Imagine living in a world where depression is not regarded as a disease, but as Satan trying to steal your soul. Imagine turning to your priest who counsels you to take the Cross and to travel thousands of miles to the Holy Land to kill people so that you can be free of Satan forever. Imagine you believe this so absolutely that none of the rational arguments offered by your parents, your friends or your beloved can persuade you otherwise. Imagine that this journey costs you everything but the one thing you had hoped to lose — your life. What, from that desperate emptiness, would you find to bring back? Savioris this story.
Savior is a coming-of-age novel, set in thirteenth century Switzerland, Palestine and Lebanon. Savior exemplifies the universal human journey of delusion, suffering, discovery, liberation, and transcendence that creates the individual.
Savior is the first book in the series, Across the World on the Wings of the Wind, a loose prequel to The Brothers Path which tells the story of the same family three hundred years after the events recounted in Savior. The final novel in the trilogy is The Price.
Excerpt: Battle of La Forbie
Rudolf rode to the front of his unit as it formed ranks behind him, making the most of the fragile dim safety of the hour before dawn. He looked at them as they were assembled, white mantles, one after the other, the black cross on their left shoulder; a cross embroidered on their white tunics and painted on their shields, broadswords buckled at their waists. Once his men were in ranks, he turned and got in place beside his brother. Flag bearers carried the white flag with the blood-red cross; others bore the double eagle of the Emperor or the colors of their families. They were assembled beneath a vast line of crosses held high, running the length of the mounted army.
“We do not choose this,” said the Grand Marshal. “The infidel has forced us by breaking the peace. We go into battle in defense of the Holy Faith and the Holy City. Before us ride the Knights of St. Lazarus; then we, the Hospitallers and the Poor Knights will ride together. The forces of the enemy are greater, but their cause is Satan’s, and in a fight with God Satan cannot win. Why do we fight?”
The crowd called out as one:
We fight for the honor of the most glorious Virgin,
The mother of our Lord Jesus Christ,
For the honor and defense of the Holy Church
And for all the Christian faith
And for the expulsion of the enemies of the Cross
Gott mit uns!
The priest prayed for God’s blessing and led them all in the Pater Noster. The minnesinger who had come with them – himself a knight – broke open the morning with his clear voice. Others picked up the thread and sang:
Now my life has gained some meaning
Since these sinful eyes behold
The sacred land with meadows greening
Whose renown is often told.
This was granted me from God:
To see the land, the holy sod,
Which in human form He trod…
Christians, Jews, Muslims contending,
Claim it as a legacy
May God judge with grace unending
Through His blessed Trinity.
Strife is heard on every hand:
Ours the only just demand,
He will have us rule the land.
Conrad reached for Rudolf’s gloved hand as it rested on the pommel of his saddle. Rudolf looked at his brother, seeing through the slits in his helmet mask the bright gleam in Conrad’s blue eyes. Here at last was the great adventure for which Conrad had yearned. They rode inland, and when the moment came, it broke like fever. Conrad and Rudolf fought side-by-side lifting and dropping the blades of their swords against the surging enemy. Sound of metal against metal gave way to screaming, the heavy thud of falling men and horses, and the brothers moved on, and then, in the whirling dust, Rudolf could see Conrad no more.