Emperor Frederick II has re-established Christian control over Jerusalem by means of a treaty with the Egyptian Sultan al-Kamil, but the Sultan brags that he will drive the Christians out as soon as the ten-year truce expires. The common people of the Holy Land show their contempt for the Emperor and his treaty by pelting him with offal, while the barons resist Frederick’s absolutism with the demand for rule of law. Filled with resentment and bitterness toward his impertinent subjects, the Emperor vows to destroy the family that embodies the independent spirit of Outremer: the Ibelins. The Emperor's deputies will stop at nothing to fulfill their orders, but the Ibelins fight back. Then the Pope goes over to the side of the Emperor, and Balian’s marriage becomes a spiritual weapon turned against his father.
Helena Schrader holds a PhD in History from the University of Hamburg and served as an American diplomat in Europe and Africa. Her historical novels have collectively won more than twenty literary awards, including Best Biography 2017 and Best Historical Fiction 2020. In addition, she is the author of non-fiction books on women in aviation, the Berlin Airlift and the German Resistance to Hitler. She has been commissioned by a leading UK publisher to write a comprehensive history of the crusader states. For more about Helena’s publications, forthcoming projects and awards visit: www.helenapschrader.com.
The Emperor Strikes Back was named Best Historical Fiction 2020 by Feathered Quill Book Awards, and was awarded “Silver” (2nd place) for Spiritual/Religious Fiction in the same contest. It earned “Bronze” (3rd place) for Christian Historical Fiction in the Readers Favorites Book Awards, was a finalist for the Book Excellence Award in the category Historical Fiction, and named a “Distinguished Favorite” in the category Military Fiction in the Independent Press Awards, all in 2020.
“From central actors to more minor characters, each individual has a depth that will leave readers highly invested in the story’s outcome.” -- BLUE INK STARRED REVIEW
"Schrader’s (Rebels Against Tyranny, 2018, etc.) prose manages to summon the culture and time period of the Crusader states while remaining light and readable...." -- KIRKUS REVIEW
"The author is brilliant in her writing and ... continues to offer the most exciting historical series that mesmerizes the reader." -- FEATHERED QUILL REVIEWS
“Schrader’s detailed rendering of the ill-fated first marriage of Bailin, d’Ibelin’s eldest son, and heir, to Eschiva de Montbéliard, a cousin by marriage, will capture readers hearts." -- CHANTICLEER REVIEW