"Among his brethren La Valette inspired awe, almost fear, and his mere presence extracted superhuman effort from otherwise ordinary men. Every ounce of his being proclaimed him a warrior, and his determined comportment promised that only death would sheath his sword."
The year is A.D. 1523 and the island of Rhodes has just fallen to the Turks. Those sailing away in defeat from this captured bastion are members of an anachronistic crusading order called the Knights of St. John -- otherwise known as the Hospitallers. Among the dejected company is a stalwart young knight named Jean Parisot De La Valette. Were it up to him, the order would have defended the island to the bitter end.
Forty-two years later, history has repeated itself. The Hospitallers are again besieged by the teeming armies of the relentless Turk. Their tiny island-fortress of Malta is all that stands between the armies of Suleiman and the very heart of Christendom. But this time the scenario is different -- La Valette wears the Grand Master's cape. Behind him stand the knights of his faithful order: men of incredible valor ready to "strike a blow for Christ" and sacrifice their lives to halt the invading Turks at the gates of Europe. What follows is an desperate struggle between East and West, Cross and Koran, faith and despair.
Angels in Iron is based on the actual events surrounding the Siege of Malta in 1565. Nicholas C. Prata relates the tale in riveting and graphic prose which brings the extreme heroism of the knights and the unimaginable horror of combat sharply into focus.
313 pp. softcover.