“So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them.”
-Perks of Being a Wallflower, written by Stephen Chbosky
The year is 1202 and the Catholic Church rules the hearts and minds of all Europeans. The leader of the Church, Pope Innocent III, issues a summons to every able bodied man and boy: Take up arms and reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims. The un-civilized world has been called to wage holy war.
In the streets of Barcelona, Spain, Rayjo de Merafiza is celebrated as a hero of the Third Crusade. His name is known throughout the land. But the peaceful life has never been Rayjo’s purpose, and now he must join the Fourth Crusade. His two adolescent sons are also deemed fit for service and they follow their father to war.
Ruggiero is Rayjo’s first son and his quiet, passive nature puts him on the path to Catholic priesthood. In seminary, Ruggiero is confronted with the horrors of religious fanaticism disguised as holy providence. When he joins his father, his pious teachings are put to the ultimate test. Juan is Rayjo’s younger son and is endowed with his father’s violent, unrestrained temper.
As the armies of Christianity gather for the greatest war of their lives, a few powerful men and unfortunate circumstances turn the Europeans away from their intended target and onto Constantinople, the most unlikely of targets. The Orthodox Greeks are forced to furiously defend their homeland.
Set against the backdrop of Europe’s tumultuous Dark Ages, Butler weaves the tragic tale of the Fourth Crusade. From the streets of Barcelona to the mighty battles in the East, readers will come to understand how the greatest army in the world assaulted the wrong nation. How Christians slaughtered Christians in the pursuit of money, power and perhaps most important of all…Legacy.