Praise for "In the Shadow of the Sword:
""[Tom Holland's] conclusions may be tentative, but they are convincing. His book is elegantly written and refreshingly free from specialist jargon. Marshaling its resources with dexterity, it is a veritable tour de force."--Malise Ruthven, "Wall Street Journal"
"Those unwilling to struggle through academic texts have long needed a guide to the story of Islam as it's understood by those with the fullest access to the latest linguistic and archaeological evidence. Now at last in Tom Holland's "In the Shadow of the Sword," they finally have it.... Holland--author previously of "Rubicon" and "Persian Fire"--is about as exciting a stylist as we have writing history today.... [This book is] accessible but delightful...as fun to read as any thriller, and with far richer intellectual nutritional content."--David Frum, "Daily Beast
"""The life of Muhammad and the rise of Islam are boldly re-examined in this brilliantly provocative history.... [An] ambitious and...important book.... Holland is a skilful and energetic narrator, and while he guides us along the more intricate twists and turns of the period, he also keeps our eyes on the bigger story."--Anthony Sattin, "Guardian Observer" (London) """[An] elegant study of the roiling era of internecine religious rivalry and epic strife that saw the nation of Islam rise and conquer.... Holland confronts questions in the Quranic text head-on, providing a substantive, fluid exegesis on the original documents. Smoothly composed history and fine scholarship."--"Kirkus Reviews
"This is a book of extraordinary richness. I found myself amused, diverted and enchanted by turn. For Tom Holland has an enviable gift for summoning up the colour, the individuals and animation of the past, without sacrificing factual integrity. He writes with a contagious conviction that history is not only a fascinating tale in itself but is a well-honed instrument withbshow more