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The Religion

by Tim Willocks

Malta, 1565. The Turkish armies of Suleiman the Magnificent are beseiging the island. Caught up in this titanic struggle between the Christian Knights of St John and the Moslem gazis, a Maltese noblewoman attempts to find her son. You can read this as a rip-roaring adventure or a discourse on the futility of war, echoing the present. Either way a bloody, good read.

Extract

The horde shouldered each other in their frenzy to get through the choke point, their weapons constricted, one shield obstructing another. Spot the openings. Swallow the scalding bile. Kill him, kill them, kill them all. A blow glanced off his helm and hammered into his pauldron. Spike him in the privities, stab him in the neck. The fellow fought on from his knees, blinded by the fountain from his arteries, still scrabbling with his blade for the joints in Tannhauser's plates. Tannhauser drove the finial through his temple and stepped back.

Parallels

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Great Siege: Malta, 1565 by Ernle Bradford
 

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