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Richard Warren Field was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from Los Gatos High School in 1972, and from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Political Science in 1976. Richard, known as "Rick" by his friends and family, lives in Southern California with his wife Carrie and his two children, Michelle and Ryan -- and three cats. Richard Warren Field is the name on his published writing. His novel THE SWORDS OF FAITH, about the "Third Crusade" (involving Richard the Lionheart and Saladin), won a bronze medal in 2011 for Historical Fiction/Military from the Independent Publisher Awards (IPPY). Another recent release is a novel he co-wrote with chiropractor Dr. Alan Fluger, DYING TO HEAL. His music CD "Issa Music" was released late in 2011. Two of his essays were published in the Opposing Viewpoints series (see Richard Warren Field's Internet Column for details). He has described himself as a creative eccentric with serious interests in both writing and music since he was a child. His blog and this website reflect his many interests.
In the 12th century, under the leadership of Richard the Lionheart, knights marched into the Holy Land to reconquer it and wrench it from the grip of Saladin, its Kurdish Muslim Sultan. It was known as the Third Crusade, and although it was considered a failure, it was the catalyst which fired the need for a Fourth Crusade years later.
Two larger than life men are at the heart of this sweeping epic. One is Saladin, the charismatic and chivalrous Saladin who staunchly conducts himself with honour even though his followers did not always obey his orders. He is driven to defeat and oust the foreign Christians forever from his lands. His rival is Richard the Lionheart, the pious and gallant English prince and king, who aims to re-conquer Jerusalem, the city the Christians lost to Saladin years before. Both men believe themselves called by God to lead their armies to victory against each other.
Several endearing secondary characters pepper this intriguing story. Pierre of Botron, a captured knight is traded as a slave to Rashid, a wealthy merchant, for the cost of a ruined pair of shoes. Rashid of Yenbo, a man with a dark secret who is driven by greed and power, but who is also a loving son, father-figure, and trustworthy friend.
Meticulously researched, the story recounts, in accurate detail, the history of this momentous event in history, from start to its finish. Author Richard Warren Field penned this incredibly story with such a vibrant simplicity that not only engrosses the reader in the plot, but that endears them to its colourful and intriguing characters.
Field's passion for this period in history is clearly evident on every page. He relays historical facts and details through action and dialogue instead of narrative.Read more ›
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This really is an extremely lively, true-to-history account of the encounters between the two greatest warriors of the Third Crusade; King Richard and Saladin, albeit both charactors seemed a little over-endowed with awe-inspiring nobility. I think a showing of the more ignoble traits of each (especially King Richard) would have given a little more realism to the whole book. King Richard, even following his ordering for the cold-blooded slaughter of the Acre prisoners, manages to come up smiling and smelling of roses. Be that as it may, I did enjoy the historical elements of the book, the stirring battles, convoluted intrigues, plots, etc. that did actually take place. Less convincing for me was the sub-plot involving Sir Pierre, Atiya and Raschid. The love interests was pure Mills & Boon and bordered on sappy in places. I found myself speed reading this secondary story to get back to the gripping accounts of Richard and Saladin. Thinking back, in my opinion there was probably enough of 'real' history there, very engagingly presented, to do without completely the lamentable tale of the haplass Pierre & Co. and the book would likely have been a better finished article. I have to give 4 stars for the Richard & Saladin saga, delete one star for poor Pierre. Recommended!
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The Swords of Faith is a richly detailed book. The level of detail blew me away. It left me with a vivid impression of the Crusader period and of the principal historical figures, Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin, each aided and influenced by the unlikely friendship of the protagonists Pierre of Botron and Rashid.
The story begins in Outremer, where several kingdoms have been carved out in the Middle East by the first generation of those who "took up the cross" with an intent to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims. Pierre is a third generation warrior from Outremer, captured in a decisive battle where Saladin, the Muslim leader defeats the king of Jerusalem. Pierre unwillingly enters the service of Rashid, whose goal is to recapture the prestige his family once held prior to the Crusader kingdoms. In Europe, Prince Richard vies with his father Henry II, his brother John and an erstwhile ally, King Philip of France. Richard wants to rule in his father's stead and earn fame and glory as a Christian warrior, so he sets his sights on the Holy Land and an eventual confrontation with Saladin.
Pierre has founded an unlikely friendship with Rashid and a new life with a Christian slave, Atiya, but there are secrets in Rashid's past that threaten to undo the basis of their relationships. Richard's determination matches Saladin's own and both fear they will not the final arbiters of a conflict that has existed for generations. Politically savvy readers will be painfully aware of the parallels to recent clashes between militant Islam and the West, while those who love adventure and the medieval period are in for a feast of generous historical details. Without giving the ending away, it left me a little conflicted, much as it seemingly did for each of the central characters.
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I find that the characters are believable and I want to know what is going to happen to them. The parallels with what is happening today are subtle yet obvious. Are we not fighting the same war that they did a thousand years ago?
As an Atheist, I'm always puzzled why one brand name of God is somehow "better" than another brand name... The Christians and the Muslims are fighting each other over what seems to be trivial. Imagine Coca-Cola fans murdering Pepsi fans. Just ridiculous. Why don't those people stop the crazy behavior?