FeaturedHistorical Fiction

The Sulphur Priest


Loved it! 😍

A surprisingly intriguing mix of fact and fiction, rich in lore, heart, and mystery that transcends the ages.

The Sulphur Priest is about a castle in British mandate Palestine. The story unfolds through two accounts: Hermann’s, a German squire in 1271, and Robert, the British assistant to an excavator in 1926. What’s especially fascinating is that much of the book is based on real events and sources, some of which are included in the plot.

Hermann is helping an old man, Albert, track down his son and ends up at the castle shortly before a siege takes place. While he narrates parts of the past, Robert and his archaeological expedition unearth what’s left of that same castle. Both sides of the story tie into each other and form layers of substance and mystery.

The characters, existing centuries apart, face adversity in pursuit of different truths. Hermann is very likeable as he does his best to solve the mystery of Albert’s son. Robert is just as relatable while threats and intrigues revolve around the castle, its dark secrets slowly coming to light.

The plot is very well structured. It’s not always clear whether something is fiction or not, but that’s the beauty of the book. Real and made-up parts are laid out in such a way as to build suspense and lead nicely into various twists.

The back and forth in time does fragment the narrative and slightly disrupts immersion. Also, there are a few historical info dumps and seemingly random details. However, these issues are so minor that the strong overall writing style easily counteracts them.

A lot of thought and care has clearly gone into this text and the result brims with a love for history, archaeology, and the mysteries of ancient cultures. Fans of The Alchemist, The Name of the Rose, and maybe a bit of Indiana Jones would find it quite interesting.

As far as historical fiction goes, The Sulphur Priest is a wonderful mix of lore, mystery, action, revelation, and heart.

Reviewed by

I'm an author, beta reader, and reviewer. I post on Goodreads, Amazon, TikTok, Instagram, and Reedsy Discovery. Credentials: BA in English Literature and indie creative writing for 15+ years.


About the author

I am an archaeologist and historian specialising in the crusader period. I have surveyed and excavated extensively including a decade and a half at the castle that forms the central theme of this novel. view profile

Published on March 08, 2021

Published by Wheatmark

100000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by