ACRE: The Forest Knights Prequel Series: Book 1
It is late in the 13th century, the twilight of Christendom in the Holy Land. All the great fortresses have fallen to Mamluk forces and only the port city of Acre remains in the hands of the Crusaders. In a desperate attempt to bolster the Christians’ fighting forces, a young Hospitaller Knight, Brother Foulques de Villaret uses the last of his resources to buy five hundred peasant children from the remote Alpine regions of Europe. It is said that one fully trained and armed Knight of The Religion defending a castle wall is worth one hundred attackers. Foulques believes this, as do those Mohammedans who have faced the Black Knights in battle.
But the Mamluks, the slave warriors of Islam, have turned against their masters and now control the Egyptian Sultanate. The very meaning of Mamluk is “to be owned”. Trained in the arts of the Furusaya since children, they are the greatest warriors the East has ever known. They decimated the Mongol hordes of Kublai Khan and now they turn their eye on the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land: Acre.
Foulques, better than anyone, knows the training will be hard, the years long. All he can do is pray that once the child soldiers are ready to don the White Cross, there is still a Kingdom of Jerusalem left to defend.