1095. Pope Urban calls on the princes of Christendom to free Jerusalem from the infidel.
Bohemond of Taranto arrives in Sicily seeking recruits for his force of Crusaders. Ranulph of Erbistock, known as Ironhand, joins him.
Bohemond’s army is beset by enemies without and dissension and treachery within, but Ranulph becomes one of his trusted councillors.
The crusaders fight their way onwards until halted by the impregnable walls of Antioch. Ranulph calls on the help of an old friend to find a way into the city. In the midst of the ensuing slaughter he is reunited with Mariam, the woman he hoped to marry.
Besieged in their turn, the crusaders are saved by the discovery of the Holy Lance. Jerusalem falls to them at last, but Ranulph is sickened by the terrible slaughter that follows.
Almost at the point of death, he is offered a chance to join a new Order of Brothers whose purpose is to care for the sick.
But Ranulph is one of God’s warriors. And he will have to fight.