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Jul 24, 2012

On this show author and musician, Richard Warren Field is here to tell us about his book, The Swords of Faith: A Novel of the Crusades. Richard has described himself as a creative eccentric with serious interests in both writing and music. He is quoted, “Ever since high school, from the early 1970s, I’ve felt as if my life flowed along a dual track, always split between the pragmatist and the dreamer, as if the left-brain and right-brain remained in a still never-ending struggle for preeminence. (You can find Richard's blog here)

The Book, Swords of Faith is about a charismatic Muslim leader who takes control of Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities of Arabia, then leads a loosely-unified Muslim army to the conquest of Jerusalem after years of non-Muslim rule. The Muslims leave their enemies with only a desperate, tenuous hold on a few coastal cities. A fragile coalition army from the West, led by the most talented military commander of the time, storms into the area intending to reverse the Muslim takeover of the city sacred to three religions.

This could be the scenario for a present-day thriller. But it is actually a description of what history now calls the “Third Crusade,” a confrontation between armies led by two towering figures of the Middle Ages—Richard the Lionheart, and Saladin. The Swords of Faith is the story of the collision between these larger-than-life leaders, both believing they were destined by God to lead their holy armies to complete victory. The resolution of their irreconcilable goals offers fascinating entertainment, as well as insights that reverberate into the present day.