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Religion [Italian] [Hardcover]

Tim Willocks , C. Brovelli
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
RRP: 22.63
Price: 20.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Oct 2006

Malta. May 1565.

From the shores of the Golden Horn, Suleiman the Magnificent, Emperor of the Ottomans, has sent the greatest armada since antiquity to wipe out Islam's most implacable foe, the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, in their stronghold on the island of Malta. To the Turks the knights are known as 'The Hounds of Hell'. The knights call themselves 'The Religion'.

Meanwhile, in Sicily, a disgraced and exiled Maltese noblewoman, Carla La Penautier, has been trying to return to the doomed island in an attempt to find the bastard son who was taken from her at his birth. The Religion have refused her every plea and a tormented Roman Inquisitor, Ludovico Ludovici, seeks to imprison her. But Carla recruits a notorious adventurer and arms merchant - Mattias Tannhauser - to help her evade the Inquisition and to escape on the last galley to run the Turkish blockade. As the ensuing apocalyptic conflict between Islam and Christianity becomes the most brutal and harrowing siege in military history, Tannhauser and Carla must survive the bloody inferno and track down a twelve-year-old boy whose face they have never seen and whose name they do not know. And neither of them reckon on the return of the avenging Inquisitor, Ludovico Ludovici...

The Religion is an epic and exuberant tale of love and war, of intrigue and obsession, of politics and faith and high adventure. Against a rich and meticulously detailed historical backcloth, it tells of a small band of intrepid men and women who defy the madness of Holy War to realize their own vision of God and Eternity.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cairo Publishing (Oct 2006)
  • Language: Italian
  • ISBN-10: 8860520479
  • ISBN-13: 978-8860520470
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 15.6 x 6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,203,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Macho, sexy, profoundly bloody and concerned with spiritual salvation. This wondeful adventure story is also an unavoidably resonant meditation on the power of religion to incite war... The Religion contains some beautiful prose (The Sunday Telegraph)

With a slow-burning pace and a knack for a cliffhanger, Willocks builds the tension terrifically amid graphic slaughter and velvet-gloved treachery . . . paints its broad strokes with inventiveness and intelligence (Time Out)

A gripping story with reliable factual underpinnings (Times Literary Supplement)

A novel of high adventure, blood, guts and romantic love . . . as master craftsman, [Willocks] tells his story with extraordinary pace (Literary Review)

This sprawling epic brims with religious passions, political intrigue and steamy romance. A thrilling plot (Library Journal) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

They lived for it. They fought for it! They died for it! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humdinger of a Book 13 Mar 2007
I admit I was sceptical. I have always been suspicious of novels surrounding the Great Siege of Malta, possibly because it is the story of my own homeland. For such a significant episode in history, it has been largely passed-over in favour of others. Knowing the background and the places in which the events occurred, so well, I was anxious as to what I might find within the pages of "The Religion".

I was therefore pleasantly surprised. As a writer Willocks grips you straight into the first chapter. He combines high-flown poetic imagery with desciptions of the basest of human emotions and vices. The juxtaposition of the two make for a roller-coaster ride with very few pauses along the way.

The story follows the exploits of one Mattia Tannhauser, a Saxon-born ex-Janissary turned adventurer based in 16th century Sicily, who is persuaded by the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, via the palpable charms of the Maltese Contessa Carla and her fey companion Amparo, to lend his aid to the Order in the fight against the might of the Ottoman Empire. The Contessa engages him to help her find her illegitimate son left behind in Malta when she was forcibly married off. Their search, compounded by the siege and the malevolent presence of Ludovico Ludovici, representative of the Inquisitor General and father of Carla's bastard son, is only the main thread that weaves through a whole tapestry of events.

Willocks' account of siege warfare, the glory, the honour, the desperation, savagery and gore, place the reader forcibly in its midst. His main character, due to his background, is uniquely able to cross the lines of battle allowing the reader to observe the behaviour of both sides.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Red Rose 11 Jun 2007
THE RELIGION by Tim Willocks.

Picture this.

It is the year 1565. The Emperor of the Ottomans has despatched a huge armada. They set sail to Malta. Where they will face the Christian Knights of St John of Jerusalem. What follows is a huge fictional account, penned by Tim Willocks. The Island of Malta is besieged. Against this mighty struggle between these two opposing armies, enters Mattias Tannhauser.

THE RELIGION is a powerhouse historical novel. The best I have ever read. The seven hundred plus pages, just raced.

Mattias Tannhauser is the central character. He is completely unique. He can be brutal. He can be as barbaric as the enemy he is fighting. Yet he possesses an amazing and deep sincerity. He would rate well, with many modern day fictional heroes. He can be and occasionally is, manipulating. He can be as ferocious as the occasion dictates. Perhaps, even more so to those he considers his enemy. But to his friends, to his comrades in arms, he is a man to be relied upon. To be trusted with their lives.

The battle scenes are, in parts, horrendously graphic. This is not a book for the squeamish. Yet again, the love that blossoms between Mattias and Carla, and his `blood red rose`, Amparu, reveal the deeply passionate and emotional side of his character.

The story is a quest. Carla, has asked Mattias, to locate her young son. He is currently on the island of Malta, shortly to be besieged by the Turks. The Christian Knights of St John, are determined never to let the Island fall, to the followers of Islam. Through this mayhem, at times fighting for the Christians, and other times, having to fight against them, Mattias endeavours to locate the boy.

I do end this review with some warnings.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, Realistic and Gritty 19 July 2006
After being sent a proof copy of this book I must admit to looking forward to reading it. There had been a lot of positive buzz on this book and I could not wait to see what the fuss was about.

Set in 1565 this novel revolves around the fact that Suleiman the Magnificent, Emperor of the Ottomans would like nothing better than to wipe the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem from the face of the earth. With this in mind he dispatches the largest flotilla in time immemorial to accomplish this task and so the scene is set for one of the most vicious sieges the world has ever known. Whilst this is going on a noblewoman desperately wants to return to the Island, to the Fortress of the Knights, to search for her lost child, an attempt that has been in vain until she requests the help of infamous fortune-hunter to help her run the blockade in set in place. Meanwhile a member of the Spanish Inquisition seeks to imprison her and will do anything in his sadistic grip to capture her.

This is all set around one of the most harrowing and epic sieges in antiquity. A word of warning this book is not for the faint of heart, from the gory prologue to the end of the book there is a lot of violence and blood. Tim Willocks captures the very essence of what it was like to live and breathe in this time and he brings this to the page perfectly which makes for a gripping read. Once I reached the Siege sequence I was very hard put to leave the book. That was possibly one of the greatest parts of any novel I have ever read creating scenes so epic that I was hard put for a comparison to anything I have ever read. Tim Willocks must have put a huge amount of time into researching the time as well as the Siege of Malta as he grasps every historical detail drawing the reader in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
Found this purely by chance never having heard of the author(any apologies offered) and a little reluctant as knowing nothing about the events in history described, but really... Read more
Published 16 days ago by SJC no 1 fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Wow what a read lovely love story with all blood and guts ,plenty of history too make u feel like you are there
Published 23 days ago by Littlemo
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Historical Fiction
Great plot, great characters, fascinating subject all brilliantly written. Could not put it down but be ready for the horror of war.
Published 1 month ago by Angela C
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting adventure/historical romance
Couldnt put his book down, excellent characters and story, gripping from the start and never slowed. Liked it so much i bought the sequel 12 children of paris
Published 1 month ago by andrea rowland
5.0 out of 5 stars the religion
Excelent content compeĺling reading having visited Malta many times I could picture the different sits and the towns and villages brought the book to life tks
Published 2 months ago by C D SOLOMON
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic
This is one of my favourite books, and probably the best written story I have ever read. It's dark and bloody and all too human. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Titanium Rex
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.
The book was bourght as a present - it took some time to find the author. The gift has been well received and i would purchase more books in the future by the same author.
Published 5 months ago by jummie
5.0 out of 5 stars superb historical thriller.
This is the only t willocks book i have read and it won,t be the last,what a gifted storyteller this guy is. Read more
Published 6 months ago by oldginger ebbw vale
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose, masterful story-telling, profound themes
This is one of the best novels I have ever had the fortune to read. It literally has it all.
Published 6 months ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars All Contained in a body
This book was great. Well written and the story had me gripped from the beginning to end. Very descriptive and I fell in love with him, well who could not
Published 7 months ago by breton002
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