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Publisher's Summary

May 1565. Suleiman the Magnificent, emperor of the Ottomans, has declared a jihad against the Knights of Saint John the Baptist. The largest armada of all time approaches the Knights' Christian stronghold on the island of Malta. The Turks know the Knights as the "The Hounds of Hell." The Knights call themselves "The Religion."

In Messina, Sicily, a French countess, Carla la Penautier, seeks a passage to Malta in a quest to find the son taken from her at his birth 12 years ago. The only man with the expertise and daring to help her is a Rabelaisian soldier of fortune, arms dealer, former janissary, and strapping Saxon adventurer by the name of Mattias Tannhauser. He agrees to accompany the lady to Malta, where, amidst the most spectacular siege in military history, they must try to find the boy - whose name they do not know and whose face they have never seen - and pluck him from the jaws of Holy War.

The Religion is Book One of The Tannhauser Triology, and from the first page of this epic account of the last great medieval conflict between East and West, it is clear we are in the hands of a master. Not since James Clavell has a novelist so powerfully and assuredly plunged readers headlong into another place and time. Anne Rice transformed the vampire novel. Stephen King reinvented horror. Now, in a spectacular tale of heroism, tragedy, and passion, Tim Willocks revivifies historical fiction.

©2006 Tim Willocks (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

"Willocks...strikes gold with this epic account." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • Pickerington, OH, USA
  • 02-19-09

Ups and downs

This a great way to tell a historical tale. A man split between two worlds, and his adventures. But there were times that I could barely stay awake. Too much of something, i just can't put my finger on it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn't finish

I wanted to like this. It might actually turn out great but I quit in the first downloaded section when they started killing off the dogs on Malta-it was graphic. (I am really crazy about my dogs!) Unlike some reviewers, I found the character development adequate to identify with them (as far as I listened to). But as someone else stated, the author does use 3 words when one would do. I would advise any listener to be warned that many scenes are extremely graphic and not for the faint of heart.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Work of Historical Fiction!

This is rip roaring historic adventure, set in the epicenter of the brutal battle between the Hospitaller Knights and the Muslim army of Suleiman the Magnificent on the Isle of Malta in 1565. The plot involves Mattias Tannhauser, a crafty adventurer who is commissioned by Countess Carla la Penautierto to find and rescue her 12-year-old illegitimate son, who was snatched from her grasp at the moment of his birth. Countess Carla knows her son is on the Isle of Malta, but nothing else about him. The undertaking takes Tannhauser, Carla and a couple of their friends to the Isle of Malta, stronghold of the Hospitaller Knights, right on the brink of the historic to-the-death Battle of Malta in all its bloody glory. Willocks knows his history well and the reader feels like he has been plunged into this historical era in all its gritty and brutal glory. Not a pleasant read for the racially sensitive or those offended by graphic descriptions of sex and violence. But it's all integral to the plot and this is a very exciting and enjoyable book. Highly recommended!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

This book starts out pretty well - action filled first scene. Then there's about an hour of waiting for something to happen. Another scene. More waiting. I stopped before I got through the first third.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful