Sunday, November 14, 2010
Spear of Destiny - Book Review
Spear of Destiny
by Daniel Easterman
Allison and Busby 2009
The untimely and brutal death of an old man sparks a chain of events that will put his grandson in danger as he races across Europe to Libya, to solve one of the oldest mysteries in the world: the location of the tomb of Christ and the sword that pierced his body on the Cross. In 1942 Gerald Usherwood and his platoon discover a mysterious crypt and it becomes clear they've stumbled onto something extraordinary. Sixty years later, his grandson Ethan discovers his body, slumped over his desk, clutching a small, ancient relic. As Ethan begins piecing together the events of 60 years before guided by Gerald's diaries, he finds himself hurtling across Europe, just one step ahead of the killer who will stop at nothing to discover the final resting place of Jesus Christ - and the ultimate religious icon that could spearhead a violent campaign to revive the Nazi legacy.
We have probably all heard of the Spear of Destiny. This is the roman spear that was supposedly thrust into Jesus's side as he was on the cross 2000 years ago. This spear is said to have special powers. Anyone who holds the spear, will become powerful. Legend says that the spear was broken into 3 pieces and the pieces hidden around the world. Back then the world consisted of North Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
During World war 2 - Hitler had teams of scholars searching throughout Europe and Africa for esoteric items - items that were reputed to make the holder powerful. Items like the holy grail and the spear of destiny.
Also during world war 2, deep in the southern desert of Libya, a British army team found an oasis that was not marked on any map. It was called Ain Suleiman (the Well of Solomon). The people there spoke a mixture of Hebrew and Greek. The chiefs son was infected with tetanus and the boy was healed. That is the main reason the team were allowed to leave after promising to never mention the location of the oasis to anyone.
60 years later the British team leader is killed in a very ugly manner in his home in England. His grandson Ethan, is determined to find his grandfathers killer. Ethan's adopted cousin Sarah is kidnapped and he tracks her first to Germany and then to Transylvania in Romania. Sarah is repeatedly raped by men who are members of a secret Nazi organisation. These men have been promised the power of the spear to rule the world.
Ethan tracks these men to Romania where he is able to rescue Sarah. They are given the name of a monastery to take shelter in. The abbot of this monastery explains to Ethan and Sarah the full story of the 50 year search for these esoteric items.
From Romania the trail leads back to Libya. Ethan and Sarah must put a team together to travel into the Libyan desert to find the lost spear of destiny. If you start at Kufra - deep in the southern desert of Libya not far from the border with Egypt - and travel west for 3 days, you will eventually reach the oasis called Ain Suleiman. Along the way Sarah is seperated from her team and ends up with the Nazis team - the same men who raped her.
The Nazis get to Ain Suleiman first and kill most of the inhabitants including the chief. Sarah is able to help the women of the oasis to kill the Nazis. By the time Ethans team arrives, Sarah has discovered that the people of the oasis are the direct descendents of the children of Jesus amd Mary. Sarah is a biblical scholar and speaks Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The people of this oasis speak a misture of Hebrew and Greek. Ethan and his time choose to leave the oasis in peace to allow the community to recover from the deaths of the chief and other leaders. They promise to never mention the location of the oasis to anyone.
The story was interesting but formulaic. I would give it a 5 out of 10.