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When Jihad Threatened, A Handful of Catholic Men Stood Firm

The cannons are silent now and the smoke has long since cleared. But 440 years ago, the tiny island of Malta was the scene of an epic battle that saved Christian Europe.  By the 16th century, crusading Islam had steam-rolled through the Balkans, conquered Greece, and stormed the great eastern capital, Constantinople. In AD 1565, Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent aimed a new offensive at the very heart of Christian Europe—his goal to build a mosque over the bones of St. Peter in Rome. The staging point for this grand invasion would be Malta and its fine harbor—a mere day’s sail from Sicily.

But a handful of pious men were determined to deny the Sultan his prize. The Knights of St. John, an anachronistic crusading order also known as the Hospitallers, were perhaps the finest warriors Europe had ever produced. The Muslim chronicler Imad-ad-Din called them “full of zeal and without weakness.” Thus Malta became the stage for a climactic test of faith, courage, and fortitude: an irresistible force versus an immovable object. By the time the great siege ended some five months later, Malta would be known throughout Europe as the “Island of Heroes.”

A classic work of historical fiction, Angels in Iron tells the story of this legendary battle in all its gritty, glorious, and dreadful detail. The author, Nicholas C. Prata, was inspired to write this novel as a tribute to the sacrifice of the valiant knights. “Because they fought and died for their beliefs,” says Prata, “our ancestors and we ourselves remain free to worship as Catholics.”

About the Author:  Nicholas C. Prata resides in Bear, Delaware. He is also the author of the apocalyptic fantasy novel, Dream of Fire.

Title: Angels in Iron    Author: Nicholas C. Prata    Page Count: 304    Release Date: June 2004
ISBN: 1-889758-28-0    Binding: Paperback    Retail Price: $16.95

Publisher:     Arx Publishing, LLC, PO Box 1333, Merchantville NJ 08109, USA
Phone: (856) 486-1310 • Fax: (856) 665-0170 • •