The Tenth Crusader
Marcher Lord Press
Kirk Outerbridge’s The Tenth Crusader opens in 2082 in a world that is balanced between the West and Islam. Rick Macey is an cyborg and an agent with CDI – Civil Defence and Intelligence. He is ready to go on his twice delayed honeymoon with his new wife, Sheila. Unfortunately for their plans he is called in to do a quick job in the Philippines. He takes the job, in spite of his misgivings, because of two things; a mark left at assassination speaking of the Tenth Crusade, and a promise that he had made many years before.
Sheila is furious at yet another delay and while Rick is in the Philippines tracking down the possible terrorist group who may be trying to upstage the country joining the Islamic Alliance of Oceania. She decides that she is going to join him and find out what made him put off the honeymoon yet one more time. Rick find himself trying to save his marriage while he is also trying to track down a group of ruthless people who are apparently trying to turn peace talks into a blood bath.
Marcher Lord Press is a Christian Publishing Company that produces science fiction and fantasy works that bring a different slant to the concept of Christian fiction. The Tenth Crusader is from their most recent list and is a terrific addition to their list of books. The characters are well drawn and struggle with real issues. Neither Rick or Sheila are perfect, and they know it. It is as they struggle with their different understanding of marriage and faith that we get to know and empathize with them.
Even more interesting is how God is treated as a characters in the story. God is not used as a convenient plot device to get Rick or Sheila out of trouble, yet He is present through the story as they fight with themselves, each other and the world around them. I was also very impressed at the balanced way that people of other faiths are treated in the book. There are no stereotypes or easy short cuts. The Tenth Crusader asks some tough questions and refuses to deal in easy answers, yet at the same time there is a powerful affirmation of faith.
This is a book well worth reading whether you are a Christian or not.
Purchase The Tenth Crusader and other books from Marcher Lord Press