Exiled from his home and the woman he loves, Arn de Gotha became one of the fiercest and most feared warriors of the Knights Templar. But now that Jerusalem has been lost to the man who saved him—his longtime enemy and trusted friend Saladin—the weary nobleman, ravaged by wounds and illness, can finally return to his beloved Sweden.
During his twenty years of exile, warring clans have torn Arn's homeland apart. Determined to reunite it under the Folkung lineage and establish lasting peace, he sets off with a band of skilled craftsmen and doctors from the Holy Land whose talents and knowledge are unknown to the northern world. With the superior skills of the foreign men, Arn sets about building an estate to rival those of the most powerful in the region.
And waiting for him is his beloved Cecilia. Emerging from a convent after their unfathomably long separation, Cecilia is beset by the clan's demands that she return to monastic life, while Arn is urged to marry into a competing family, for the sake of avoiding war. Arn and Cecilia are reunited, but new obstacles have been set in their path. They can only hope to convince their clan that love ranks higher than politics, and that it can sustain a new quest: to create a new people, a new society—both Christian and Muslim, craftsmen and warriors—with Arn at its helm.
A rousing, satisfying conclusion to an unforgettable and original epic, Birth of the Kingdom tells the story of a warrior's transformative journey, and of the love that founded a nation.