Join us on a literary world trip!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Subscribe to read the full book or read the first pages for free!
All characters reduced
The Saracen: Land of the Infidel - cover

The Saracen: Land of the Infidel

Anonymous

Publisher: Project Gutenberg

  • 1
  • 5
  • 0

Summary

The Saracen is a two-part novel written by Robert Shea. The two separate portions, The Land of the Infidel and The Holy War are a continuous tale.
Basically ignored during its publication - and subsequently out of print, although still enjoying strong reviews and a cult following by those who have read it - the novel is the portrayal of an English-born man named David, who is captured as a very young child and sold into slavery to Baibars, a Mamluk officer. He becomes a devout believer in Islam and takes the Arabic form of his name and the surname of a convert, Daoud ibn Abdullah. He develops into a gifted warrior and assassin. He is sent to the Papal Court in Orvieto in the 13th century as a spy, in order to foil an alliance between the Christian West and the Mongolian descendants of Genghis Khan to exterminate the Muslim faith and capture the Holy Land.
Daoud was also trained by the Hashishyya, a heretical Islamic order. One of the many spellings of their name, Hashshashin, is where we derive the modern word "assassin". Shea spends considerable time discussing their techniques and philosophy, and it is a major theme of the book.
Many of the characters in the novel, such as Thomas Aquinas, Baibars, King Manfred of Sicily, Louis IX, and Charles of Anjou are historical figures, woven into the fictional canvas Shea invented. Some historians believe that an alliance was attempted by the Papal Court (with Louis IX's backing) with the Mongols against the Muslim world, which ultimately failed. Shea has created a fictional scenario to explain this failure, and his firmly historical figures (such as Aquinas) are set side-by-side with wholly fictional characters and semi-legendary figures such as the Italian poet Sordello, who appears in Dante's Purgatorio and with whom Shea has also taken considerable poetic license.
Other major fictional characters include Sophia, a Byzantine woman who is a member of Manfred's court (and Manfred's former concubine) who accompanies Daoud on his mission, and Simon de Gobingnon, a French knight assigned to protect the Mongol ambassadors. He is Daoud's chief nemesis and the son of the major characters in Shea's All Things Are Lights. While Daoud is unquestionably the hero of the novel, those who have read All Things Are Lights and are familiar with Simon's background will find themselves often sympathizing with the young Simon's attempts to live up to his birthright.
Ostensibly an adventure tale, the novel is also a thinly veiled look into secret societies such as the Hashishin and the Templar Knights. These are subjects which Shea has tackled in many books, most famously his Illuminatus! Trilogy, co-written with Robert Anton Wilson. While many of Shea's books after Illuminatus!, such as Shike and All Things Are Lights, deal with the secret societies he clearly had interest in, few of his other books interweave his scholarly investigations of these societies into as compelling a story.Description from Wikipedia. Order print editions from the author's webpage.Listed by Unglue.it.

Other books that might interest you

  • An Image in the Lake - A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery - cover

    An Image in the Lake - A Joanne...

    Gail Bowen

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    From Arthur Ellis Award–winning, Grand Master of Crime Writers, and “the queen of Canadian crime fiction” (Winnipeg Free Press) comes the newest installment in the Joanne Kilbourn series 
    		 
    A dark secret threatens the future of the Shreve family
    		 
    It’s August 24 and Joanne Shreve and her husband, Zack, are savoring the last lazy days of summer and looking forward to the birth of a new grandchild; involvement in the campaign of Ali Janvier, a gifted politician with a solid chance of becoming the province’s next premier; and the debut of Sisters and Strangers, the six-part series Joanne co-wrote that focuses on her early life. The series is the flagship of a new slate of programming, and MediaNation is counting on a big return. Joanne and Zack’s stake in the series’s success is personal. Their daughter, Taylor, is in a relationship with one of the show’s stars, and Vale Frazier is already like family to them. 
    		 
    It seems the “season of mist and mellow fruitfulness” will be a bountiful one for the Shreves. But when a charismatic young woman wearing a grief amulet that contains a lock of her dead brother’s hair and a dark secret becomes part of their lives, the success of Sisters and Strangers and the future of Taylor and Vale’s relationship are jeopardized, and only Joanne and Zack can put an end to the threat.
    Show book
  • The Murderous Affair at Stone Manor - A Completely Gripping Cozy Murder Mystery - cover

    The Murderous Affair at Stone...

    Laura Stewart

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Amelia Adams’s life is going nowhere. But when she inherits a Scottish mansion, she becomes the star of her own whodunit in this charming debut mystery. Mystery fiction fanatic Amelia Adams is stunned when she inherits a dilapidated mansion, complete with secret passages, hidden compartments and its very own legend. Helped by her brother, her best friend, and a documentary maker—who is determined to turn Amelia’s new life into a hit TV show—Amelia throws herself into renovating the house and unravelling old secrets. When an unknown saboteur starts ruining her plans, Amelia doesn’t know who to trust. Everyone around her is acting strangely and soon Amelia finds herself in the center of her very own murder mystery . . .
    Show book
  • People of Abandoned Character - cover

    People of Abandoned Character

    Clare Whitfield

    • 3
    • 10
    • 2
    What if you thought your husband was Jack the Ripper?
     
    London, 1888. Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes. His behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets.
     
    Lonely and frustrated, Susannah starts following the gruesome reports of a spate of murders in Whitechapel. But as the killings continue, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time he stays out late, another victim is found dead. Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man the papers call Jack the Ripper?
     
    Reviews for People of Abandoned Character:'A mistreated wife suspects her husband might be the Whitechapel killer ... Compelling' Sunday Times'An astonishing book' M.W. Craven'A gripping and original take on the world's most notorious serial killer. A perfectly thrilling read for those long winter nights' Adam Hamdy'This impressive debut builds up pace, pathos and intrigue superbly, with plenty of twists and turns' Woman's Weekly
    Show book
  • Borderline - cover

    Borderline

    Shabri Prasad Singh

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    With this true life narrative turned fictional, delve into the life and thoughts of Amrita Srivastava. 
     
    Harbouring an almost devotional love for her father, and unable to cope with the legal separation of her parents, this is the account of how she is subsequently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and the powerful story of how she eventually overcomes her demons. 
     
    Having shifted from Chandigarh to New York to study, Amrita has just about begun to adjust to the new city when her life is thrown into disarray by the death of her father. Acting as a trigger, this event leads to a series of abusive relationships. Forced by a breakdown to leave her studies in New York, she tries to make a new life for herself in Delhi. Unsettled by the continuous changes, Amrita descends into a hard partying lifestyle fuelled by alcohol and drugs. Written as part of her healing process, this is a searing confession about the challenges she faces before finally reaching to the process of rehab and therapy. 
     
    Calibrating itself to the turning of the mind's endlessly churning machinery, this novel gives one the rare opportunity to see it at work. Life affirming and inspiring, this is at the same time a journey that navigates through the loneliness, heartbreak and intensity of Amrita's approach to life.  
     
    Intimate, forceful and raw, Borderline is the catharsis we all need.
    Show book
  • A Thousand Tiny Disappointments - cover

    A Thousand Tiny Disappointments

    Sarah Edghill

    • 1
    • 4
    • 0
    “A thoroughly gripping story about grief [and] unexpected friendship . . . Sarah Edghill knows how to pinpoint what goes on in families.” —Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry   Martha is being pulled in too many directions, trying to be a good mother, a loving wife, and a dutiful daughter. Despite it all, she’s coping. But then her elderly mother is rushed to the hospital and dies unexpectedly, and the cracks in the life Martha is struggling to hold together are about to be exposed.   When she discovers her mother has left her house to a stranger, she’s overwhelmed by grief and hurt. Getting no support from her disinterested husband or arrogant brother, Martha goes on to make some bad decisions.   If she were a good daughter, she would abide by her mother’s final wishes. If she were a good daughter, she wouldn’t destroy the evidence . . . “An accomplished first novel with characters you can relate to, who are struggling with interesting moral dilemmas.” —Katie Fforde, author of A Country Escape and A Wedding in Provence “Compelling and beautifully written, Edghill explores grief, regret and self reconciliation in her debut novel. A Thousand Tiny Disappointments is an accomplished, moving and ultimately uplifting novel about friendship and love.” —Hannah Persaud, author of The Codes of Love “A brilliant story about taking back control of your life. Martha is my new hero. So readable, so relatable.” —Ericka Waller, author of Dog Days
    Show book
  • The Race for Love - cover

    The Race for Love

    Barbara Cartland

    • 0
    • 9
    • 0
    All her young life has been lived in the shadow of her father’s disgrace after he was caught cheating at cards at his Club in London and Alita Lang lives a dismal life under sufferance with her begrudging aunt and uncle, the Duke and Duchess of Langstone.           In fact the only love in Alita’s lonely life is her passion for her uncle’s thoroughbred horses, especially her beloved stallion, Flamingo, who she has taught many tricks to. She spends most of her time in the Duke’s stables and can train the most unruly horse        And now the Duke, desperate to raise money, is determined to sell them all to the brash American multi-millionaire who has just bought the neighbouring estate and its magnificent Marshfield House.        Introduced to the handsome, blue-eyed and tanned Clint Wilbur as Alita Blair, an employee of the estate, she soon finds herself working for him on improvements to his stables and soon, through his consistent kindness and gentle thoughtfulness, she discovers an alluring new side to her new employer and ally.       Suddenly Alita’s heart is racing as she realises that she is in love. But surely the race for love is already lost because the Duke is already scheming for his daughter, Hermione, to marry the eligible millionaire and join their two estates together.KeywordsPrince of Wales, Texas, The Derby, Gaiety Theatre, Gaiety Girls, Steeplechase, Fox Hunt, thoroughbred, Covent Garden
    Show book