As I posted a while back ago, our friend on this blog Bror Erickson has translated a book by the Swedish Christian novelist Bo Giertz, The Knights of Rhodes. In my review, I complained about the large number of typographical and other errors. After corresponding with Bror, I agreed to correct the mistakes. So now, available on Amazon.com is a NEW edition of the novel. This is the one you need to get. I’ll repeat my review to remind you why:
Bo Giertz (1905-1998) was a confessional, orthodox Lutheran bishop in the Church of Sweden. He was also a notable novelist. Many of you have doubtless read Hammer of God, about three generations of pastors, each facing the various challenges to the Gospel of each era. That novel has been a life-changer for many readers.
Now, at long last, another Giertz novel has been translated into English, The Knights of Rhodes.
It’s a historical novel about the Knights Hospitaller and the siege of Rhodes. The Hospitallers started as a hospital order–which remained a part of their ministry–but they became a military order during the Crusades. Think monks–complete with vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, as well as performing the daily liturgies–plus swords and cannons. This novel is set in the 16th century, with the knights in their formidable citadel on the island of Rhodes having to face the Turkish empire under the young sultan Suleiman, beginning his plan to conquer Europe.
The characters come alive and stay in the mind. The battle sequences are thrilling. The spiritual complexities are fascinating.
The Knights of Rhodes is not as pre-occupied with theological issues as Hammer of God, at least not on the surface. And yet, even this story of Roman Catholic monastic knights is full of what Luther was preaching about the same time as the Turkish invasion. The characters have piety of various kinds, but in a climate of sin, violence, betrayals, and the competition of a triumphant Islam, they need to discover Jesus and the Theology of the Cross.
Not only all of this, but the translator is our own Bror Erickson, frequent commenter on this blog. Let’s give it the Amazon bomb treatment, buying it up and advancing its sales ranking (currently in the 800,000s) to attract other people’s attention to it.
Buy it by clicking the links and this blog will get a cut of the proceeds, which will go towards the expenses run up by this little venture (paying for the server, the software, etc.).