Templar Blood: The Battle of Hattin by K.M. Ashman (The Brotherhood Book 3)
English | 2020| General Fiction | ePUB | 3.0 MB
The Holy Land
There is an uneasy peace across the Holy Land. King Baldwin IV is on his death bed and nobles across the Outremer jostle for position, each fully aware that his heir, the boy king, Baldwin V, is sick and unlikely to survive. The politics of Jerusalem consume the pretenders to the throne, so much so, that the increasing risk from Saladin goes unnoticed.
But to the east of the Dead Sea, the notorious Templar and castellan of Karak Castle, Raynald of Chatillon, sees the danger and continues to campaign against Saladin’s people at every opportunity. His actions are brutal and find little favour from his allies, but he is the Lord of the Oultrejordain and rules it with an iron fist.
In the coastal city of Acre, a woman arrives from Cyprus, desperate to find her missing son but to do so, she has to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory, a place where Christians fear to tread. Despite risking the wrath of Raynald, she forges ahead, seeking help from an old friend and an unlikely ally, but success is far from assured, especially when she faces betrayal from those she trusts the most.
With war looming, and the Christian forces still reeling from their overwhelming defeat at Jacob’s Ford, there is only one way to defeat the Ayyubid, and that is for the Christian armies to unite under Jerusalem’s banner. But with personal gain on many people’s minds and treachery around every corner, Jerusalem is under serious threat for the first time in generations.
The sun blazed down on the rocky landscape, scorching the arid earth and forcing most living creatures into the life-giving shade. Lizards crept under boulders; spiders closed the silken trapdoors at the entrance of their lairs and even snakes vibrated their bodies deeper into the sand to find the cooler levels beneath. The desert was barren and silent, seemingly devoid of life, yet even in the most desolate of places; you could find what you were looking for; if you knew where to look.
Abdal-Wahhab lay silently between two rocks, protected from the worst of the sun’s rays by the overhang of another rock above. Behind him, his two Saluki, the lithe and powerful hunting dogs that were the pride of all Bedouin tribes, lay silently on the ground, patiently waiting for the chance to run free. Abdal’s waterskin was getting low, and he knew that if things didn’t change soon, he would have to break cover and head down into the rocky valley below, seeking the tiny pool of water hidden amongst the rocks that had filled many Bedouin tribesmen’s waterskins for generations. Such pools were well known to those who made the desert their home, and though they were often well-kept secrets, their location was also known to other creatures of the Negev; wolves, desert cats, but most importantly, the skittish deer that had occupied Abdal’s mind for many days.
The deer rarely drank, getting most of the moisture they needed from the morning dew that lingered for the briefest of moments on the leaves of the resilient plants struggling to exist in the unforgiving landscape, but when the sun was at its hottest, even the hardiest of deer had to run the risk of predators to find water. This was what the Bedouin hunter was waiting for, the rare chance to take down a young deer and fill his food bags with enough dried meat for another month. He had killed many in his day and despite his thirst and frustration, knew that patience was the only way to guarantee success.