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Shadow of the Swords

Shadow of the Swords

An Epic Novel of the Crusades

  • reading group guide
An epic saga of love and war, Shadow of the Swords tells the story of the Crusades—from the Muslim perspective.

Saladin, a Muslim sultan, finds himself pitted against King Richard the Lionheart as Islam and Christianity clash against each other, launching a conflict that still echoes today.
      In the midst of a brutal and unforgiving war, Saladin finds forbidden love in the arms of Miriam, a beautiful Jewish girl with a tragic past. But when King Richard captures Miriam, the two most powerful men on Earth must face each other in a personal battle that will determine the future of the woman they both love—and of all civilization.
      Richly imagined, deftly plotted, and highly entertaining, Shadow of the Swords is a remarkable story that will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416579953 | 
  • June 2010
List Price $24.99
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Author Kamran Pasha Discusses His Favorite Movie

Kamran Pasha reveals his favorite movie.

Read an Excerpt

1 The Horns of Hattin—AD 1187

It is said that God favors irony. Perhaps that is why His city, named for peace, has known only war and death.”

The rabbi’s father had said that to him once, when he was a restless youth and a virgin. He had changed much in the untold years that had passed since then. His desire for adventure had been supplanted by a desperate longing for serenity. His wedding night was a distant but still tender memory. The old man had learned that much of what he had believed in the morning of his life was incomplete at best. False, at worst. Yet these words had proven true, time and again. The God... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Shadow of the Swords includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Kamran Pasha. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


In this sweeping historical novel, Kamran Pasha brings to life the Third Crusade and the epic battle between Richard the Lionheart, King of England, and the Muslim Sultan, Saladin. Just when Saladin has finally taken Jerusalem for the Muslims and believes a time of peace is setting in, King Richard is departing from England to regain the Holy City for Christianity. Another bloody war is launched in the name of God, as these two men fight for the honor and glory of their faiths and the love of one beautiful Jewess. In this deeply moving and thought-provoking novel, Pasha recreates some of the most earth-shattering moments in history that still impact us today.

Discussion Questions

1. Many examples of leadership are presented throughout the book: Saladin, King Guy, King Henry, Richard, Conrad. Discuss the leadership style of each of these characters. Is it better to be feared than loved? What makes each of these rulers successful or not?

2. Sir William muses that love is &ldqu see more

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