Browsing in Waterstones yesterday I happened across a couple of books I hadn't seen before and picked one up - so far (I'm only on p57). Called "The Road To Jerusalem" by Jan Guillou it is the first of a trilogy about a Swedish crusader called Arn Magnussen or Arn de Gothia. I'm demonstrating my raging ignorance of medieval Europe outside of the British Isles and France when I say I had to search to see whether or not there was such a historical figure (there wasn't - he was fictional but set pretty tightly against the backdrop of real events).
Evidently the books were first published in Swedish in 2002 - according to Amazon my copy was released in January 2009 with the second volume just out and the final volume coming in March 2010I guess the popularity of Crusader Lit (is it just me or does every second book you see now seem to be about some guy in the Holy Land?) and the success of the Stieg Larrsen books has persuaded some publisher to start publishing more Swedish translated work.
Anyway so far it seems pretty good stuff (nice and gritty) set in 1150's Sweden (a time when Sweden was a patchwork of petty kingdoms) with some good Harnic material to feed off.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Jerusalem- ... 746&sr=8-1
Evidently they have made a film (the most expensive Swdish production ever) "Arn: The Knight Templar" and mini-series (it certainly looks a better prospect than the god-awful Kingdom of Heaven, Orlando Bloom wielding a sword? please!):http://www.arnthemovie.com/
Amazon.com in the USA has the first volume of that trilogy new (and used copies of Vol. 2); eBay has copies of "The Road to Jerusalem" in several languages (at least 3 that I saw this morning), and possibly copies of the other two volumes as well (at least if one reads Swedish). If I decide that I can't wait until next year for Vol. 3, perhaps I can dig out my old Swedish-English dictionary from university and have a go at the Swedish edition.
(I call dibs on the copy of Vol. 1 I'm bidding on on eBay, though!) Thanks for the tip, Malcolm!