Hunted by demons. Lost in time.
Welcome to the First Crusade.
Syria, 636: As heretic invaders circle Jerusalem, young Lukas Bessarion vows to defend his people. Instead, disaster strikes.
His family is ripped apart. His allies are slaughtered. And Lukas is hurled across the centuries to a future where his worst nightmares have come true…
Constantinople, 1097: Ayla may be a heretic beggar, but she knows one thing for sure: nine months from now, she will die. Before then, she must avenge her father’s murder–or risk losing her soul.
Desperate to find their way home, Lukas and Ayla join the seven armies marching east to liberate Jerusalem. If Lukas succeeds in his quest, he’ll undo the invasion and change the course of history.
But only if he survives the war.
Only if his enemies from the past don’t catch him.
And only as long as Ayla never finds out who he really is.
A WIND FROM THE WILDERNESS (WATCHERS OF OUTREMER #1)
Published on October 29th 2018
Genre: Historical Fantasy
When I first began A Wind from the Wilderness, I wasn’t sure what I going to expect. I’m not fully familiar with the history of the Crusades, so this book was a chance to familiarize myself with the history before grabbing a non-fiction book.
To say that I adore this book would be an understatement. In fact, I want to shove this book into everyone’s hands and have them read it. Historical buffs will enjoy the retelling and the discordant characters who just jump out at you! As for fantasy lovers, you will oogle over the richly described yet vague magic that blankets the story.
From the beginning I loved Lukas and Ayla’s interactions. While I found Lukas’ character interesting, I also thought he was quite, uhm, annoying. The privilege he had enjoyed as a Watcher is blatant in all his actions. He constantly whines about what he deserves, and yet doesn’t not recognize that he might just not yet be ready? In spite of his current conundrum, he doesn’t seem to understand having to “humble” himself. Still, he was a likable character because you know he is trying his damnedest to do right.
Because of the war between the Crusaders and the Turks, the latter being Ayla’s people, Lukas and Ayla were torn between loyalty to their heritage and their friendship. Ayla is quite the complex character. Imaging the broody YA hero with a tragic past, the jerk with a golden heart, now imagine it a woman. There are so many questions regarding Ayla’s character. I couldn’t properly figure her out, but I loved how she always spoke the ugly truth.
I loved reading Saint-Gilles’ perspective. For one, the political arguments and power struggle within the army. Saint-Gilles was an exciting character to follow – one who has to confront his own ambitions and his motive for the holy cause. In fact, much of the book raises the questions about the morality of the war, and the characters “holy cause.”
A Wind from the Wilderness is rich with characters who deal with their own conflicted aspirations in the midst of a war. Like with any historical novel I read, A Wind from the Wilderness required a lot of concentration on my part as I wasn’t familiar with the history or the historical figures. Still, it was an amazing chance to delve into the world and the war in . For me, it was a chance to learn and Suzannah Rowntree made it worth every page.
While I loved the book I also had a bit of problem with understanding Lilith. She seems to be a fluttering character throughout the book which makes me feel confused regarding her motives. I find it hard to fear her as equally as Lukas and Ayla do. However, none of this deterred me from enjoying the book. Rowntree paints a colourful story of love, war, and loyalty in A Wind from the Wilderness.
Recommend me a historical fantasy you love!
If you enjoy my content, please consider donating to help me with medications and with running my blog!