Melvyn Bragg's acclaimed epic novel is set at the tumultuous dawn of Christianity in Britain and Ireland. It is a stunning story of adventure and spirituality, war and romance, but it is deeply rooted in Bragg's historical studies of the Dark Ages, and it throws into question our modern-day conceptions of faith, hope, and true love. Two people destined to be lovers sacrifice themselves for what they believe to be a greater destiny. For the warrior Padric, a charismatic British prince, it is the salvation of his people and homeland from warring Northumbrian overlords; for Bega, a bewitching Irish princess, it is carrying out her self-imposed commitment to spread the word of God. She, bearing a fragment of the true cross, is gifted with miraculous powers; he is a swordsman without peer. Their disparate missions send them apart as they travel throughout the frigid wilderness of a primitive England beset by terror and villainy. Faith is pitched against doubt, spiritual fulfillment against physical desire, romantic ideals against political expediency and pragmatism against theory. The Sword and the Miraclerose quickly to the top of the British bestseller lists, heralded by critics as an absorbing, wonderfully evocative work, several cuts above contemporary attempts at historical fiction. The reader will find an exciting narrative informed by insight, knowledge and understanding.