The Road to Constantinople
Imagine a religious movement that fires the passion of an entire continent. Imagine a preacher who motivates thousands to make a journey of untold miles through unknown lands to a destination they have only ever known in their dreams. Imagine yourself in the world of the First Crusade.
Brother Rabbit is an unlikely crusader. A student in Mainz eager for knowledge and innocent in the ways of the world, he hopes someday to rise high in the Church. But he is about to learn some deadly lessons. When Peter the Hermit arrives, preaching his vision of Jerusalem and a desire to reopen the pilgrim road to the East, Brother Rabbit’s future is suddenly forgotten. Now, he dreams of Jerusalem.
Standing in the way of his desire is his mentor and teacher, Brother Piccolo. The wise Benedictine monk, resident physician at Mainz Cathedral, knows Peter the Hermit is not all that he seems. How will he convince Brother Rabbit that the shared vision of a journey to the Holy Land is dangerous and fraught with almost unendurable hardships?
Enter Emicho, the Black Lord of Leisingen. Battle-hardened, a ferocious marauder, he is the evil antithesis of Brother Piccolo. Devoid of pious notions about the crusade, he is motivated by greed and a hatred of all non-Christians. His goal is the utter destruction of the Jews of Mainz. To get to them, though, he first must breach their sanctuary in the sacred confines of Mainz Cathedral. Brother Rabbit’s encounter with Emicho will leave him forever changed and take him to an unexpected destiny.
This dramatic and compelling tale is told with wit, compassion, and rare insight. Brenna Pearce triumphantly brings the world of the First Crusade to life with all its quirks, its glory and its human tragedy.
- Brenna Pearce, March 2013
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