By John Wilson
(Key Porter Books, Hardcover, 9781554700967, 348pp.)
Publication Date: October 2009
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"Kill them all. God will know his own." These were the orders given to crusading Catholic knights before they stormed the walls of the heretic Cathar city of Beziers in 1209. The historic death toll was 10,000, and here author John Wilson imagines that among the carnage two childhood friends are forever affected. Peter assists the mysterious priest who leads the crusade; John, with the help of a heretic woman, barely escapes with his life. As the brutal war expands, Peter and John are caught up on opposite sides of the search for a secret that might change the world. When their paths cross later, both are fully committed to seeking the secret in their own ways -- John in the exotic world of Muslim Spain and Peter at the center of Catholic power in Rome. Wilson richly evokes the tempestuous world of the Crusades, and two young men's place in it, in this heady mix of action, adventure, and intrigue.