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In a Nutshell:
Haunted by his faith, Balian flees France to fight with the Crusaders in Jerusalem, where questions of faith are no more clear.
Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong.
Balian of Ibelin: 'What could a king ask of a man like me?'
Godfrey of Ibelin: 'A better world than has ever been seen. A kingdom of conscience. A kingdom of heaven.'
King Baldwin IV: 'When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus," or that virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.'
During a cold winter in 12th century France, a blacksmith named Balian grieves over the suicide of his wife. A group of Crusaders pass through his village. Their leader, Godfrey of Ibelin, seeks the blacksmith out claiming to be his father.
When Godfrey asks Balian to join him to fight for Jerusalem, Balian declines and see to putting his beloved wife to her final rest.
His faith is further shaken when his half brother, the village’s priest, informs him that his wife has been beheaded to prepare for her burial as is custom for Christians who commit suicide, all the while wearing his wife’s cross around his neck. Balian becomes enraged and kills the priest.
Now, with nowhere to turn, Balian takes his wife’s cross necklace and flees. He joins his father and the Crusaders on the road to Jerusalem.
Balian hopes to find redemption and answers to his questioning faith, but he is instantly thrown into a complex world of power, greed and so-called duty to God.
Balian is knighted and proves himself early to the King of Jerusalem, King Balwdin IV. Baldwin is a powerful and controversial leader; he has leprosy.
With the Templar Knights looking to take control of the crown, coupled with the King’s illness, the stronghold the Christians have over Jerusalem against Saladin and his Muslim army is weakening.
Balian, in the holiest place in the world, must choose what his faith is for; for power and greed or for his fellow man.
Written by: Shanel Wilson