Perdition: The Crusaders' Last Stand. James Jackson/John Murray. £12.99.
THE FUTURE of the Crusader empire hangs in the balance as the forces of the Saracen ruler Qawalum circle the besieged city of Acre.
As the Christian church clings on to its final outpost in the Holy Land in 1291, a handful of hardy adventurers make one final bid to forge an alliance which could just save the day.
But as the forces of the Muslim world circle the embattled city, with machines of war at the ready and ever more ghastly forms of torture being employed by the day, the knights of the Temple and Hospital orders bravely put their lives in peril to protect the citizens of the city.
James Jackson has established himself as a fine storyteller of this type of historical fiction with the likes of Blood Rock and Pilgrim, and Perdition keeps the standard flying high. But with damnation awaiting and the glory of death, the cast of heroes assembled by Jackson face only one future.