Wipf and Stock sent me a complimentary copy of The Knights of Rhodes by Bo Giertz for review. Bo Giertz was a Swedish Lutheran pastor, well-known for his book The Hammer of God. Both The Knight of Rhodes and The Hammer of God are historical fiction and both have theological points to make. The Hammer of God is very explicit in the theology that it is teachings. Various pastoral situations are set up where either liberalism or pietism is pitted against orthodoxy and orthodoxy is shown to provide the real answer to the problem. The Knights of Rhodes does set the theology of glory up against the theology of the cross but it is much more subtle. Greater attention is paid to the story and the historical events in The Knights of Rhodes. The Knights of Rhodes is based upon actual events that ocurred beginning in 1521 when Christian knights defended the island of Rhodes against the Muslims. The author provides a list of characters at the beginning of the book and notes whether or not they were actual people or characters created for the book and there are lots of characters. The stories contained in the book are based on actual events. Giertz just fills in some of the blanks. At times, it seems that many of the characters are unnecessary to the basic story but they do help provide an understanding of the entire c0mmunity and how it funcitioned. The story kept my interest and was very well told.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the editing. There are spelling and punctuation errors all over the place. I'm not sure if there is a single page in the book that does not have quotations marks some place that they do not belong or absent where they should be. Most of the time I was able to figure out who was speaking and what was going on but there were a few times, including what seemed to be a pretty important part of the book that I was not able to. Some of the quotations marks were so consistently wrong that it led me to believe there was some sort of formatting error that ocurred when transferring the text between different formats. I just don't understand how all these errors made it through the publication process.
The story was excellent. If you are willing to work your way through all the typographical errors, I highly recommend this book. Hopefully, there will be a second edition that corrects these errors.